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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    Around here...that is pretty common. Many donate their time judging the schooling shows. I've seen a few be timers on the xc. Hell...I once jump judged with a two 4* riders (they also had their working students jump judging). There is also a lot of work done behind the scenes that you may not be aware off.
    I'm not doubting your claims, but what 4* riders were jump judging? I'm not shaming them, if anything publicly saying who they are will only make them look better.

    I'm in the same area as you, I believe, and I volunteer regularly at 2-3 events and I've never seen anyone of that caliber.



  2. #42
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    Here's a QUICK list of names on committees. MOST of the popular ULR's in this country serve on a committee because our sport is just not that big.

    From 2012 committee lists at USEA:

    Phyllis Dawson, Jon Holling, Allison Springer, Leslie Law, Carol Koslowski - Board members USEA
    (Allison on Membership development committee) JOn on Nominating com.

    Nate Chambers - Awards committee, membership development committee
    Cathy Wieschoff, Martha McDowell - area affairs committee Cathy course design committee

    Max Corcoran - Dorothy Crowell - classic three day committee liscensed officials

    Karen O'Connor co-chairs the ICP committee with Phyllis Dawson. Karen also on Nominating com.
    Gina Miles on Prof. Horsemens council

    USEA
    HP Eligible Athletes Eventing Committee
    Buck
    Phillip
    Jan Byyny
    Will coleman
    Sinead Halpin
    Becky Holder
    Jon Holling
    Allison Springer

    buck, Phillip, Bobby Costello, Jan serve as appointed athletes on the USEF (International) HP Eventing Committee as well.

    I know Sinead is Area II Jr/YR coach. (This is a paid position but so much work it is probably half volunteer!)

    This is by no means complete. I haven't even spent 20 minutes finding these "ULR's", some of whom are Olympic medalists and World medalists, that are serving the sport as volunteers. Easy for anyone to look up. I think a day's jump judging is getting off easy compared to the time commitment of a member of the USEF HP eventing committee.....just sayin'......

    Add Boyd to the board at Plantation HT too.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
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  3. #43
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    I only do unrecognized and I don't feel any special connection or allegiance to BNR's. I have volunteered at bigger shows but I think in the future I'm going to restrict my volunteering to the types of shows I compete in.

    I am happy if other want to support ULR's in any way, but I feel very far from them and have no specific drive to support them. I'm more interested in supporting the lower level adult ammies like myself. And I doubt that any ULR's will be supporting the dinky shows I attend. We just travel in different circles.

    I would go to their clinics if I thought it would work well for me and my horse, but that is about it. I appreciate the ULR's who make efforts to work with lower level riders and I am more likely to support them by auditing or attending clinics.


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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
    I'm not doubting your claims, but what 4* riders were jump judging? I'm not shaming them, if anything publicly saying who they are will only make them look better.

    I'm in the same area as you, I believe, and I volunteer regularly at 2-3 events and I've never seen anyone of that caliber.
    Well, if we are supposed to name names, Stephen Bradley was my starter (a MUCH MORE BORING job than jump judging, IMO) when I last competed at Rubicon. He was very sweet to everyone going out at Novice and Training, and, typical Stephen, if you didn't know he was Somebody in the sport, you'd not know from his demeanor.

    The T3d at Waredaca often gets a pretty impressive list of people to donate their time to coach and prep riders. Off the top of my head (and thus NOT a complete list), Pam Wiedeman, Phyllis Dawson, Stephen Bradley.... Perhaps not coincidentally, all three of them have been super supportive of a rank amateur they didn't know at events locally (Pam in particular was really helpful at one of my first and only Prelims, sorting out two alternative tracks in the SJ and then taking the time to find me later and ask how it had ridden).
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by asterix View Post

    The T3d at Waredaca often gets a pretty impressive list of people to donate their time to coach and prep riders. Off the top of my head (and thus NOT a complete list), Pam Wiedeman, Phyllis Dawson, Stephen Bradley.... Perhaps not coincidentally, all three of them have been super supportive of a rank amateur they didn't know at events locally (Pam in particular was really helpful at one of my first and only Prelims, sorting out two alternative tracks in the SJ and then taking the time to find me later and ask how it had ridden).
    I've seen the list at Waredaca's 3 day, but BFNE was talking about schooling shows, I don't consider a T3d a schooling show, not that it belittles their time helping.



  6. #46
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    At Waredaca we run both recognized and unrecognized shows, and it is always a challenge to staff everything - any time a volunteer gives us is valued no matter the specific day...I suspect which days people work has more to do with their schedule than what we are running.
    The T3d is a different animal - both in terms of time and job required (many of the jobs such as steeplechase coach must be done with someone with that expertise) so I would agree it's not really comparable.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  7. #47
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    At unrecognized events, I've been bit checked by Bobby Costello, dressage judged by Lauren O'Brien, and seen Stephen Bradley doing various jobs, all of them friendly and encouraging without fail and often getting nothing in return other than a fun day watching me knock down rails. I mean... I know there are others, I just have a crappy memory.

    I am not saying this is the norm, but there are more than you think who go out of their way to give back, and as asterix said, for each of the ones I listed, if you didn't know who they were, you would never guess BNR. But again, that goes back to the type of horsemen I respect and support.

    But I agree that I'm not sure what the topic even is now, it has strayed so wildly...



  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildlifer View Post
    At unrecognized events, I've been bit checked by Bobby Costello, dressage judged by Lauren O'Brien, and seen Stephen Bradley doing various jobs, all of them friendly and encouraging without fail and often getting nothing in return other than a fun day watching me knock down rails. I mean... I know there are others, I just have a crappy memory.

    I am not saying this is the norm, but there are more than you think who go out of their way to give back, and as asterix said, for each of the ones I listed, if you didn't know who they were, you would never guess BNR. But again, that goes back to the type of horsemen I respect and support.

    But I agree that I'm not sure what the topic even is now, it has strayed so wildly...


    I agree completely. There are oodles of ULR (both big name and small) that go out of their way to nourish the LL and those are the people I am most happy to support, both with $ and with good word of mouth.

    Unfortunately, for every Bobby, Lauren and Stephen there are ___, ____, and ____ that act like the blue numbers come with an automatic worship squad. They commandeer the hot spots at XC schooling and expect the seas to part in warmup.

    I'm not anti BNR at all. I just don't subscribe to the philosophy that simply because one has risen through the levels they are automatically better horsemen or are entitled to financial support from the masses.

    Seeing the sh*t eating grin of someone coming across the finish of their first BN makes me smile as much as any ULR finishing Rolex. Accomplishment is valid regardless of the level (though I cried like a baby watching Sinead galloping around the arena after her stadium round. I don't know her personally, but seeing someone of her caliber overcome with such raw emotion made me appreciate her contribution to the sport even more).

    As for the committees, meh, I'm not in the loop to know how much of that is altruism and how much is playing the proper politics. Either way, I'm still grateful for the effort IF that effort is for the benefit of the sport and not just the benefit of the few.

    Still a good discussion Retread, thanks for the thread
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
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  9. #49
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    As I've read through the various responses (even looking back through my own) I get this picture formulating about our spot of Eventing and how it seems to be evolving and how it is rare (if not unique) in its application.

    Look at that the top sports in the US today, I'll pick
    Golf
    Car Racing
    Football

    What characterizes them is that they have a strong, large audience base that has little to no direct involvement in the sport. To my knowledge there are no National amateur football leagues that support young and adult players. Folks who played played through school (up to college) then stopped, but they support the sport (professionals) by going to games. People who don't even really play come to support the "local" team for no other reason that they represent "Us" against "Them". NASCAR, mainly Sprint Series, has a similar model in that the vast majority of supporters/fans are not racing themselves, they just drive cars, easily imagine racing on the highway, attracted to danger and the environment of the track. Support is still somewhat a "Us" vs "Them" but almost more on product, not really driver though that is a factor. Yet though the FAN does not race, they pour major dollars to watch and participate vicariously. They get the ROI and keep coming back. Golf has more participation of fans, people hack grass plots at all skill levels, but golf is popular because the cost of entry is reasonably low,the skill required minimal, and the danger factor almost zero. Golf does not need volunteers for its masters/pro games (though I know they get them and fill the spots quickly) for they could pay people and still make money. Golf is very much an individual sport and the fans follow a player with minimal Us vs Them support.

    Eventing fits close to the Golf model, but its drag is just the opposite of golf. Cost of entry is high, skill required is not basic, and the danger factor even at LL is high. Also, people cannot really imagine themselves doing Eventing, much less riding a horse. How do you sell that? How do you grow that much less sustain what is there? Another thought is the fan base is actively involved in "playing" the game, thus getting people to volunteer or service is much harder for they them selves are active and not always willing to give up rare play time to help.

    The thing I liked about the OP article is that is uses a simple structure to get across a message, but the focus of that message was off. Like Golf, Car Racing, and Football, the top elements of the Eventing Game do not need volunteers to execute a show, they don't need people to participate; what they need is people to buy their product so sponsors buy their product. This is why I'm bothered by the FEI, for they understand that model, they want that model and are actively changing the sport so that it begins to create a mash up of something like Golf (individualism support through name recognition) and Car Racing (thrills, maybe spills, what will happen next). That sells media time and that means ads and that means dollars. The fate of rabble is not their concern. The FEI does not want amateurs playing on their fields.

    I will do what ever I can within my means to help keep the foundation of Eventing alive and growing. That means volunteering when I can. Myself, like many eventers either compete, train, or try to manage a farm on the weekends so volunteering is hard. This thread reminded me that it is important so I plan to commit to at least one show this year that is not FEI affliliated. I continue to support all my local riding friends, my trainer, and on occasion a touring Pro running a clinic, but as to sending money direct, no. The Game is changing and if you want to run with FEI Eventing I may cheer from my couch, I may check out the live stream, but I'm not giving money to your career other then checking out what you sponsor. Participation is the best service we can provide to keep this sport alive. I'll extend it by adding a challenge, get one non-horse person to come to a show. Explain what's going on, teach them just enough to understand and at the end let them know that this goes on all the time; come back out again. You just never know what could happen, but at least they begin to see that Eventing is not a sport just for rich folk, it is not prissy, it is not elitist; they begin to see it is for anyone willing to work damn hard, put their body and their horses body at risk for the joy of doing well, going that one step further along. That will do more than dollars to professionals.


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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
    I would be inspired by seeing an ULR volunteering at a local event, even for just a few hours.

    Oh, and teaching a clinic doesn't count as ULR "giving back", that's networking and they get paid.
    Don't assume that all ULR's don't give back... You just may not see it since most are busy coaching at shows. Now, I may be speaking only of Area 1's BNT's, here are some of the things they do that may not be public knowledge or high visibility:

    Teach clinics and donate the money to the farm that hosts the Event.
    Donate lessons to Silent Auctions
    Raise money by selling ad space at the bigger Area 1 Events
    Conduct Course Walks, talks at the bigger events
    Encourage their students to fence judge

    I no longer judge them as non-volunteers until I know specifically that they don't.



  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
    I'm not doubting your claims, but what 4* riders were jump judging? I'm not shaming them, if anything publicly saying who they are will only make them look better.

    I'm in the same area as you, I believe, and I volunteer regularly at 2-3 events and I've never seen anyone of that caliber.

    Jane Sleeper with several of her Working Students is one example. We were in Aiken at the time...and yes, I was jump judging that day as I wasn't riding and the event put out an SOS. I've seen several others in their trucks at Plantation HT. Denis knows when you are not riding and will call if he needs help. (He isn't someone you say no to easily).


    Many others I know donate their time in clinics and lessons. Teach PC for free. The riders have donated their time at events (guest announcing, the bareback riding, meeting the kids etc)....all done to enhance the experience of the spectators at the events to make the events more successful. That is also giving back as far as I'm concerned.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  12. #52
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    Kate Chadderton has volunteered, including jump judging. Hilda Donahue routinely volunteers. Erin Sylvester has sometimes provided over 50% of the jump judges at Plantation Events, Kate Hicks has jump judged. Missy Ransehousen has volunteered and sent her staff/working students to volunteer. Dorothy Crowell volunteered to lead a course walk. There are many others, including those already named. In addition, when I considered having a volunteer course-walk, every single BNT I contacted said they would absolutely do it. And, at every silent auction put on by eventing (including some that are not directly supporting the USEA, USEF or an event), many ULRs donate lessons, course walks, gear or meet and greets (I have even bought some of them).

    And in my reasonably extensive experience as a volunteer, it has very rarely been the ULR that have made my life more complicated (not never, but much less often than the amateurs and/or the parents of juniors).

    I generally agree with the OP. I loved when we had the Derby at Plantation to support Erin and Kate's efforts to go to Burghley. They were providing something that was valuable to me and by doing it, I could help support them. I volunteer at every level and really appreciate how much I have learned that helps my own riding by volunteering. I also think that in the new world, sponsoring riders can be less expensive than you think it is. For example, a "Bronze level" share in Sally Cousin's Taz (Ideal Contini) is $100 per month (and yes, I understand that for some that is still a lot of money, but for many it would be easily doable) and gives you a fabulous inside view of the thought process and training progression of a top rider and superb horseperson.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubed View Post
    Kate Chadderton has volunteered, including jump judging. Hilda Donahue routinely volunteers. Erin Sylvester has sometimes provided over 50% of the jump judges at Plantation Events, Kate Hicks has jump judged. Missy Ransehousen has volunteered and sent her staff/working students to volunteer. Dorothy Crowell volunteered to lead a course walk. There are many others, including those already named. In addition, when I considered having a volunteer course-walk, every single BNT I contacted said they would absolutely do it. And, at every silent auction put on by eventing (including some that are not directly supporting the USEA, USEF or an event), many ULRs donate lessons, course walks, gear or meet and greets (I have even bought some of them).

    And in my reasonably extensive experience as a volunteer, it has very rarely been the ULR that have made my life more complicated (not never, but much less often than the amateurs and/or the parents of juniors).

    I generally agree with the OP. I loved when we had the Derby at Plantation to support Erin and Kate's efforts to go to Burghley. They were providing something that was valuable to me and by doing it, I could help support them. I volunteer at every level and really appreciate how much I have learned that helps my own riding by volunteering. I also think that in the new world, sponsoring riders can be less expensive than you think it is. For example, a "Bronze level" share in Sally Cousin's Taz (Ideal Contini) is $100 per month (and yes, I understand that for some that is still a lot of money, but for many it would be easily doable) and gives you a fabulous inside view of the thought process and training progression of a top rider and superb horseperson.

    Thanks...I didn't feel like typing all the names out. But agree. When I was an organizer or stuck raising volunteers for whatever ....getting a BNR to donate was generally very easy. Besides all the committee time that many of these riders donate. They also often help get a lot of their students and parents to be involved even if they can't themselves jump judge etc because they are riding.

    Giving back to the sport by them isn't a weekness I see in this sport. And the amount of times I had a top rider give me a helpful pointer or give me a heads up about something out on course (even at novice) even if I wasn't their student, share the warm up fences or give a nice compliment to my cute OTTB.....shows what our sport is about.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post
    Look at that the top sports in the US today, I'll pick
    Golf
    Car Racing
    Football
    Golf has been in decline for some time. Participation flattened around the turn of the century and since then, numbers have dropped. Golf demographics are skewing older and young people aren't taking up the sport. (FWIW, NASCAR has taken a similar turn.)

    It's worth noting that golf, like equestrian activities, is linked to land-use and the real estate market. A huge number of unsold/for sale/foreclosed homes sit on golf courses.

    Here's one article on golf's decline, but if you go to Google, you'll find many more.

    The main culprits here -- in eventing as in golf and as in NASCAR -- are time and money. Americans are working longer hours for less pay and a less-secure future. Knowing that, there's no need to berate anyone for not volunteering. Sometimes, it's just not possible, and I'd rather thank those who do volunteer rather than rail against those who don't.

    As for supporting BNRs and USEF teams, that's also up to the individual. While I never wanted to be a BNR, I've had dreams of my own that I didn't expect anyone else to finance. It was up to me to make and execute that plan, and it required discipline and long-term thinking. I would expect that any reality-based equestrian would do the same.


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