I've got an idea (well, I always have ideas) but what do you think of this?
Like a national passport -- every eventer at any level (but especially the lower levels) -- three basic ways to get your "passport" stamped.
-- ATTEND (Spectator)
Rolex would be like a four star stamp on your passport -- for Saturday -- and if you go to all four days you get like an extra star. Other big FEI events like Fair Hill or Rebecca Farm or Galway CCI's....three star stamps and so on.
For every volunteer act at a USEA event or FEI event you get a stamp -- one star for one day and many stars for many days! If you get like five stars from five different events you get like a bonus stamp for being a Veteran Volunteer
This is for everyone who competes. No matter where you finish, just have to finish to get a star - every completion gets you a star. If you complete like a bunch in your own area on the same horse you get more stars for being a constant supporter.
I think we would want to try and get sponsors to sign on to this and provide awards -- swag -- and recognition for those who have full passports at the end of the year. I think passports could be electronic -- online -- too. Could we track ourselves online somewhere? I don't know...haven't thought it all out but there has to be a way. There are so many neat apps now.
I want to find a way to give some respect to the adult ammy nationally in the sport, who might live in an area without 54 events (like my area) but still supports the USEA with their volunteer time, spectator tickets, and riding in the events available to them. They won't ever win a year end award, might never ride above training level, probably own one saddle, but love the sport and deserve respect for what they do -- provide the backbone of eventing so that our 10 percent upper level people can do what they do.
If respect is one of the four prongs of the new way forward, then let's start with the class that deserves the MOST respect in eventing --the adult ammy whose numbers pay for it all....?