The U.S. Equestrian Federation, in conjunction with the Eventing Owners Task Force, has launched the Experience Eventing website to connect riders with potential owners and facilitate new syndicates to further eventing in the United States.
"We need to broaden the ownership base in eventing, and not just for the upper-level horses," explained EOTF chair Mark Hart, a part-owner of Amy Tryon's Olympic mount Poggio II. "We need to support the current team riders, but even more importantly, the generation who’s going to be the upper-level riders in a short period of time."
The new website allows riders to post profiles with photos, videos and detailed information about their backgrounds as well as the horses they're seeking to syndicate. EOTF leaders established three categories—Elite (riders who have ridden on U.S. teams for Pan American, World Equestrian or Olympic Games, or been listed on a USEF high performance training list during the past two Olympic quad cycles), Emerging (riders who have been listed on the USEF developing rider list in the past Olympic quad cycle), and Future Stars (riders who are up-and-coming).
"Listing syndications is really a win-win for everybody," said Hart. "It's not just for team riders—we really want to appeal to all levels. Whether someone wants to be involved with a Kim Severson or a Doug Payne or a really young rider who's just popping up, this is the place for them to connect."
Because individual ownership of a top event horse isn't feasible for most people today, the EOTF is promoting syndication as its prime new model for supporting future horse-rider partnerships.
"The people that worked on [Experience Eventing], their love for our sport is incredible,” said Sharon White, a four-star rider with syndicated horses from Summit Point, W.Va. “For people to want to help us riders out like this is huge. What a wonderful thing. They have made it so that anyone who loves eventing can now have a chance to be involved. It’s an amazing sport with amazing people, and it is because of things like this that it will be accessible to more people."
The syndicate models used on Experience Eventing are proven in other arenas, and the EOTF has been successful in helping a number of riders syndicate their horses already.