APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR USEA FOUNDATION GRANTS

Essex Horse Trials – Seema Sonnad Junior Rider’s Grant – Haller Scholarship for the Education of Eventing Officials

The USEA Foundation is now accepting applications for the Essex Horse Trials Grant, The Seema Sonnad Junior Rider's Grant, and the Haller Scholarship for Eventing Officials. Check out which grants you qualify for HERE and apply now.  Scroll to the grant you want to apply for and click on the live "click here to apply" link. The deadline is October 15.

Good luck to everyone!

Frankie and Chatwin - CCI 5* Done and How!

 
THANK YOU CHATWIN!  Photo: Sherry Stewart

THANK YOU CHATWIN! Photo: Sherry Stewart

 

As I sit here typing this, I have some kind of colored pen on half my legs, some kind of food product on parts of my shirt, and duct tape and string across half my living room—that is the latest trap creation my three-year-old has made. I am back in full mom mode, and after being away for two full weeks that for the horse girl in me went by in the blink of an eye, but for the mom in me felt like a lifetime, I cannot help but think about what a difference a few days make.

Last week at this time I was in Germany preparing for the biggest competition of my life and this week here I am going to swimming lessons, taking kids to school and working back in my wonderful quaint little office.  I have a stack of emails a mile high and a to do list a mile long, but I have to laugh thinking about the multiple lives I am simultaneously living, and I have to say I am beyond blessed beyond measure.

 When I was given the Big Becky Grant last December, I knew it would change my riding career. I knew it could take me places I would otherwise never be able to go, but I do not think it was even possible to fathom sitting in that room in New Orleans last winter what had really just become possible.

When the universe decided Land Rover Kentucky was not meant to be my first 5* competition I was gutted but was able to reroute to Luhmühlen only because a group of incredible people believed in me more than I believe in myself.  When I left for Germany I had never flown with a horse overseas, I had never packed for a trip like this (which I have now been told by my good friends I am horrible at and will never be allowed to do on my own again), I had never ridden across the pond, never competed on the international stage, and never done a 5*.  I had never really even dared to dream about most of these things, to be honest, because the thought of them was quite overwhelming. The Broussard Grant dared me to dream, and not only that, because of being the Big Becky recipient, I can now say we have done all these things and along the way learned more than I knew two weeks could ever teach you.

 I could write an entire novel about our trip to Germany, so for these purposes, I will give you a few highlights. After navigating the waters of getting overseas with a huge thank you to DUTTA CORP. for our incredible flight and helping this clueless first timer with paperwork and details, we safely arrived in Amsterdam where we met Allie Knowles horse Sounder. After several hours at the airport, the horses were released, and we put them on a lorry to make the trip into Germany. Luhmühlen is an adorable little town about 6.5 hours from Amsterdam, and they have a lovely little riding school. This was our home for four days and being only a couple minutes down the road from the venue, with access to great trails and arena, it was ideal to get the horses settled.

 During this first couple of days, I was able to ride Chatwin a bit and meet some wonderfully kind people, including Chatwin’s breeder who came from a couple of hours away to see us. Carola and I have talked via social media for years, but meeting her in person was something I always dreamed about doing, and it was more than I ever expected. She is incredibly proud of Chatwin, and she and her husband are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. I felt as if I was meeting my child’s birth parents and what an experience it was. I was able to ask questions about things I had always wondered. Such as, what is that weird scar on his right ankle from—I had always guessed a fence—but no, it was from a dead Christmas tree that was out in the horse field when he was a baby, and it makes total sense if you know Chatwin. Of course, it would never have been from something as common as a fence, silly me.

With my boys at home being cared for by every one of my amazing family members and heroic babysitter, I called home each day with the nine hour time difference to check in and try to explain where the heck mom was to them. The amazing Sherry Stewart was along for the week taking photographs and acting as a much-needed mother figure to all of us, and soon Allie arrived following an excellent performance at Bromont as did US Team Coach Erik Duvander and my fantastic best friends/ grooms/ coaches/life buddies Tamie Smith and Kelly Prather.

After settling in at the venue, convincing Erik of how stellar Kelly and Tam were sure to be as “grooms” despite his attempt to hire me what he called real help the first day, my buddies had Chat looking better than ever for the jog and it was our turn right as the skies opened up. Chat and I had been accepted, and I felt incredibly excited knowing that no matter what I was finally going to get to do Dressage at a 5* if nothing else.

Chatwin with Kelly Prather, Frankie, and Tamie Smith

Chatwin with Kelly Prather, Frankie, and Tamie Smith

Allie had a nice test Thursday, and I had a practice ride to tune my beast that felt great. I am fortunate to know Chatwin incredibly well, and the horse you get on in the barn tells you a ton about how your day will go. Over the year’s I have learned to persuade him otherwise if he does not feel like he woke up with his A game, but fortunately for me, he felt ready for the task at hand Friday when I got on for our turn in the ring. I think the smile on my face as we cantered into the stadium could be seen from a mile away and I reminded myself to take a minute to take it all in.

I felt like we did the best possible test we could on the day and was thrilled with how in every moment and movement both Chatwin and I stayed completely focused on each other and producing our very best in a big atmosphere. I couldn’t see the live scores as I came out of the ring, so I waited to hear my friends scream as I came out with excitement to know that the test had scored as well as it had felt….I walked out of the white poles and silence from my crew. I thought oh no, did the judges hate it for some reason? Apparently, they did clap, but it is not like Kentucky in Germany, and people do not scream and holler as you come out, so they stood poised and professional till I walked out of the stadium. Then I could finally see the board myself, and although I hope we can produce a much better score in the future, a 28 at your first attempt and 3rd place overnight was good enough for me (this time)!

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We were warned of a horrendous storm coming in and told to wake up in the middle of the night and look outside as there was a concern the storm would be so bad the barns could flood or take flight. Fortunately, neither occurred, but the storm they had promised did come in with some serious power early cross-country morning. I was incredibly thankful for their decision to push things back several hours for our division, not only because of the rain but because I had gotten some crazy food poisoning after dressage and after spending some time hugging the porcelain throne the night before was so nauseous the morning of cross-country the only thing I could force down before the afternoon was some bland, plain yogurt. Thanks to momma Sherry Stewart, I ate about 20 tums and was ready to go by the time I left the start box at 4 pm that day.

I watched a few riders in the German Championship short format, and it is unbelievable how amazing they are! However, a few came into the final water complex so fast I nearly had a heart attack and decided I was better suited for the barns the rest of the day till my ride. I waited with anticipation as I tacked up to hear about Allie and got the very disappointing news her horse stumbled in the second water but was so thankful they were both okay.

I had walked the course many times, had what I consider to be the world’s best advice from Erik, Tam, and Kelly, and there was nothing left to do but get it done! Chat seemed ready to rumble and out we went. I went out of the box probably a bit too hot on a mission, and Chatwin answered every single question along the way.  Tamie had told me that galloping through the trees there in what are insanely twisty, narrow gallop lanes would feel like running from the police, and although I do not have a lot of experience in that department thankfully, I have to say it felt every bit like I imagine that to be! The trees and twisty turning track the whole way around was almost more physically and mentally exhausting than the jumps themselves.

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Nonetheless, Chatwin amazed me as he has so many times before. The amount he still had left at the end was admirable, and I was proud of my horse and astounded in a few minutes on the track at how far our partnership has come. He fought for me the whole way around, and although I was very disappointed to have not made the time, I learned a ton about how to do it in that type of track next time.

In California we do not have a single course where you gallop through the trees, and the courses we have excelled at to this point are big, open, galloping courses, not technical, twisty tracks. We certainly both walked away better from the amazing Mike E-S (Mike Etheringon-Smith) track in Germany, and the best part was Chat seemed to come off course well and was happy and healthy, thanks to the outstanding US Team Vet Dr. Tim, as we finally tucked him into bed Saturday night.

I was gutted for Allie, and reminded how cruel our sport can be that you can trip in the water and just like that it is over. Once again my world class 5* riders who doubled as fake grooms, had my friend Chatwin looking stunning Sunday and we jogged one final time.

A clear round in show jumping saw Frankie and Chat finish in 4th place and get their first 5* under their belts.

A clear round in show jumping saw Frankie and Chat finish in 4th place and get their first 5* under their belts.

It is important, as a side note to say how laid back everyone is overseas about certain things. You have never seen more dogs off a leash! Tim Price’s prize pooch even followed him to the jog on the final day and not a word was said, not a yellow card was issued, and I even saw an official smile and pet his sweet dog instead. The Stewards barely checked your tack, and it was more about being sure everyone was having a great time at a fun event with happy horses than anything else I have ever experienced.

Of all the phases, I have to say I was most impressed with Chatwin in the Show Jumping. Thousands of people gathered around to watch this final test of the competition and one which has undoubtedly been our toughest over the years. Riding a horse who at his first preliminary turned and ran away from a scary oxer and then finally jumped but took out every rail; riding a horse who none would argue has a jump style all his own and one who with his one horse rider, jumped a clear round adding less than one time fault, to climb from 8th to 4th overall making  me the highest place lady rider in the group. As I sat in the awards, I looked over at my amazing team, and down at my unbelievable horse, and I could not help but take it in and think wow, I must be the luckiest chick in the world.

When I wanted to buy Chatwin, I remember going to my cousin Zib and saying, I absolutely love this horse, and I think he has what it takes to do a 5* some day. And now he has done it! Regardless of what the future holds, he has surpassed every single one of the expectations I ever had. What started with a group of people believing in us back in December, turned us into a 5* partnership, and has shown us what we need to do to get better, what it takes to compete abroad, all while making me dream even higher.

After being awake nearly 28 hours to get Chatwin to quarantine and myself home to my family, I was greeted by my oldest in tears, mad at me that I forgot his Chat. I had come home empty handed, without his best buddy. After some serious work convincing him that he would be returning after quarantine and that I had not left him anywhere, I was forgiven, and I hugged those boys and my prize worthy husband as tight as I could.

My gratitude towards every person who helped us get to where we are, guided us on this journey, gave up things to be there to support us, driven us to and from the airport, stayed up late or got up in the middle of the night to not miss a moment at home, sent texts, called and cared is endless. I am forever indebted to the USEA Foundation and everyone who played a role in the Rebecca Broussard Grant, and I am excited for what is to come.

The Boys are Back Together! Photo: Frankie Thieriot Stutes

The Boys are Back Together! Photo: Frankie Thieriot Stutes

So what now? Chatwin is enjoying a much deserved vacation till the beginning of August, and then we will see what the fall has in store, but nothing can take away from the fact that finally, Chat and I have done a 5*, and if somehow I never do another one, there will always be Germany. While Chat enjoys being a horse, I am so excited to get to go work at the Event At Rebecca Farm this summer! If you have not been, you are missing out is all I can say. And, for those of you competing at the Advanced level, you never know which of you is the next Rebecca Broussard Grant Recipient, so I have no idea why you wouldn’t get to Montana as fast as possible to compete. After all, it is a vacation, not a horse show!

The Parent Trap Under Construction  (Photo: Frankie Thieriot Stutes)

The Parent Trap Under Construction

(Photo: Frankie Thieriot Stutes)

Now back to attend to the marker on my body, food on my clothes, and traps in my living room.

Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant Recipients Announced

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The members of the USEA Foundation’s Rebecca Broussard Grant Committee met on Wednesday, July 3 and awarded travel grants totaling $22,975 to 19 US riders entered in The Event at Rebecca Farm.

The USEA Foundation would like to express its deep appreciation to the Broussard family for making these valuable grants available to assist riders reach their goal of one day riding for America. Over the last nine years, the Broussard family has contributed almost $200,000 for travel grants alone. These grants help riders participate in the interview process at the event, which is a necessary step on the road to eligibility for the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Riders Grant, won last year by Frankie Thieriot Stutes and awarded at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention.

Riders receiving grants are listed alphabetically:

Julia Ennis Batters, Queenstown, Maryland

Andrea Baxter, Paso Robles, California

Hilary Burkemper, Santa Barbara, California

Nicole Carroll, Dublin, California

Kalli Core, Orange, Texas

John Michael (JM) Durr, Shelby, North Carolina

Gina Economou, Sun Valley, California

Natascha Eickert, Marysville, Washington

Erin Grandia, Sultan, Washington

Marc Grandia, Sultan, Washington

Ashley Hays, Benton, Louisiana

Liza Horan, Lompoc, California

Alexandra Knowles, Lexington, Kentucky

Amber Levine, Petaluma, California

Shannon Lilley, Aptos, California

Marissa Nielsen, Wilton, California

Julie Norman, Haughton, Louisiana

Erin Pullen, Louisville, Kentucky

Erin Risso, Plymouth, Massachusetts

“Sometimes the Universe Has Other Plans.”

The USEA Foundation’s 2018 recipient of the Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant, Frankie Thieriot Stutes, shares the highs and the lows of her preparation for the Kentucky CCI5* in Part III of her journey to the highest levels of the sport.

Chatwin and Frankie won the CCI4* at The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2018.  Leslie Mintz, USEA Photo

Chatwin and Frankie won the CCI4* at The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2018. Leslie Mintz, USEA Photo

This is what you say when it does not go the way you dreamed it up. But sometimes it is even more than that. Sometimes the universe does you a favor, makes you take a step back, and forces you to decide if that happening is for better or for worse.

 The last few months have been unlike any other I have experienced in riding to date. I have undoubtedly worked harder than I have ever worked every single day both on and off of my horse. I have gone all in as some would call it, adding new intense workouts to supplement my riding and showing up each day to ride with a new level of focus. Some have said the pressure has made things hard this season, and while that may in part be true, the pressure has not come from anywhere but within myself.

I have been fortunate to have incredible help which has only gotten better this year, and I do believe all of this hard work is for a reason and that the results will come if I continue to put my head down and give it my all. However, there is a careful balance between hard work and being too intense. In the process of working as hard as I can, my love of the game has been shaken.

For me to be successful, I have to enjoy the process and be in a mental state of taking in the small moments. But, at the same time, I  still need to be dedicated to the other areas of my life, just as much as I am my riding, bringing passion to all aspects of life, to have the proper balance it takes for me to actually produce results in anything I am doing. When I do this, I properly compartmentalize things mentally, and it also helps me to enjoy the process of riding, embracing the opportunity to do it.

My extreme focus this season on riding has almost tuned out the other things I need to focus on as well, and as a result, I feel I (No one else) have put pressure on myself to win which takes the fun out of it and makes it impossible to achieve success.  I’m best when multi-tasking, and that’s the bottom line. Do I need to compartmentalize things to do each well, yes, but I am not as good when I get intense about only one thing.

I ride for fun, and that has to come first. I think when you are expected to do well, by yourself and others, sometimes the fun factor is hard to find.

If you look at my record for 2019, it will mortify you on paper. It seems as though one thing after another has been slightly off. I started the season winning an event and then took a W in the interest of my horse because of the show jumping footing. At the next event, I finished second after what was our best dressage test to date, and then on the course my pinny somehow attached itself to my air vest, basically attaching my belly button to the pommel of the saddle. I halted for about 45 seconds and broke myself free before carrying on and in the process obtained an obscene amount of time faults- no big deal but certainly not the norm. In March, I headed to my first FEI of the year where I tried some new things in the warm-up, and my test ended up not being to the standard I hold myself to. The next day, I missed horribly in the show jumping, which resulted in 2 rails, and then slipped out in a turn to fall cross-country. Each of these times, I had to face an entirely different level of pulling it back together from a mental standpoint than ever before. You see riding only one horse has positives and negatives, the negatives are that there are no other chances if it goes wrong, no other rides to clear the slate, and there is COUNTLESS time to reflect on what went right or wrong and why.

Despite our less than stellar season, I felt that I had pulled it back together just in time for my first Kentucky. We continued to train hard and took each thing that happened as an essential thing we learned toward our goal. I typically back down a level before big FEI’s to run slow and easy, and that is precisely what I did at Twin Rivers. I was fortunate to do the 5* combined test and also the Intermediate dressage and Cross country (not doing the show jumping so that it was not too much in one day for him with the way the format was). I thought ignoring all the signs the universe had given me were fine, and the weekend seemed to go well. We got a 26 in our combined test, and I felt I could make a few changes to shave a bit more off for our Kentucky debut, jumped clean, and did a nice, easy cross-country round as planned. I packed after icing Chat and got ready to head home, with him going south to hop on the flight to the Blue Grass State. I went to casually trot Chat quickly before we parted ways for a few days so I could be with my boys, and to my extreme shock, he was somehow lame. It quickly became apparent that plans were changing fast and he was not headed to Kentucky but instead home with me so we could further assess what was going on.

My heart was broken, something I had worked so hard for was gone, and we were so close. To give you a bit of back-story I felt extra shattered having almost gone to Kentucky once before with my old partner Fric Frac before something very similar happened two weeks before the event. That was in 2011, and it has taken me two other horses, and nearly a decade to be close to the opportunity again, so here I was, no Kentucky and even worse I thought my horse had been significantly injured. I played out how this could happen cantering around the course as I had. He hadn’t taken a wrong step, looked perfect as I trotted around to cool him down after we crossed the finish and I found myself searching for answers in my head the long drive home.

I cried- A LOT. The universe had tried to nicely tell me that it wasn’t our time and that the lead up had not been right among other things several times, and I refused to listen. This time it made sure I had no choice. I believe in angels, and I am pretty sure that mine know more than I ever will. Somehow Chatwin was better after just a couple days, and after scanning, evaluating and doing every test known to man by some of the best vets in the country, the whole situation turned out to be unexplainable, but he appears to be his usual healthy, happy self. Had Kentucky been one week later, we would have been good to go.

Frankie has been enjoying some quiet time with Chatwin and is now re-routing to Europe to compete in June.  Noelle Floyd Magazine   Photo

Frankie has been enjoying some quiet time with Chatwin and is now re-routing to Europe to compete in June. Noelle Floyd Magazine Photo

The last couple weeks have given me a lot of time to reflect, I’ve focused back on work and my boys and had some serious heart to hearts with myself about how I want riding to fit into my life, and what I want the experience to be like. I love Chatwin an incredible amount, and riding is my peace in the world. I care more about the process with him, the daily rides, the little things and love of the sport itself than whether we win or lose. Don’t get me wrong I am one of the most competitive people you will ever meet, but I also believe that if we enjoy the moments and focus on being our best in every event, the rest will fall into place.

 I forgot some of this to start things off in 2019 and thank god the universe literally put me on my butt among other things to make me remember why I do this in the first place. I have gone back to riding in my ring alone with the speakers all the way up. I’ve gone on some long walks with my friend Chatwin, I have enjoyed being home with my boys, and it will sound crazy but I am feeling incredibly thankful to have not had the opportunity to go to Kentucky this year, because I needed a mandatory reset and although it hurt, I am certain it was right.

If you are not enjoying this than why bother? As thankful as I was for my incredible Broussard Grant before, I am even more thankful now! I planned to use the grant to pursue something in the fall, but now it seems a reroute makes sense to head across the pond as early as June. We are in the process of figuring out exactly what that looks like, but I am more excited than ever to see what is next. Some times things not going how you plan can teach you a whole lot more than when they go how you hope, and let’s just say “sometimes the universe has other plans” because deep down you need to be reminded to slow down and enjoy the process.

Drought No More!

Winner of the Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant, Frankie Thieriot Stutes, Describes Her Very Wet Start to the Season.

Chatwin Strides Out Boldly Ignoring the Wet California Weather

Chatwin Strides Out Boldly Ignoring the Wet California Weather

Oh, California! This winter has been unlike any other I remember ever eventing, and the start to the 2019 season has been VERY WET.  My usually perfect indoor is half full of wet footing and water, and I feel like everything I own is covered in mud. The grass is so green all my older horses who live at home are on grazing time restrictions, and the beautiful place I am lucky to call home has experienced horrific flooding, unlike anything the area has seen in over 20 years. Lucky for me my gallop hill is on footing which gets better with massive amounts of rain. It is on the side of a hill with a gravel base, so I can keep going with my fitness goals as the season continues rain or shine.

Kingsley Christopher Stutes assesses the amount of the California rainfall on a daily basis.  Marion Moneymaker Photo

Kingsley Christopher Stutes assesses the amount of the California rainfall on a daily basis. Marion Moneymaker Photo

I’ve done a few jumper shows to start the year putting my Big Becky Grant to valuable use, in addition to riding in two events. I was able to get a good first cross-country in at the Intermediate level before scratching due to an incredible amount of rain at Fresno County Horse Park because I felt the show jumping footing would be a risk for Chatwin’s best interests and those are always my priority.

This past weekend I was able to get back to the Advanced level for the first time since Fair Hill, and we were fortunate that the organizers changed the schedule to accommodate everyone, making it possible for us to get the event in before yet another storm. After training sessions all week with US Team Coach Erik Duvander, I was able to squeeze out a few more points in the Dressage phase to earn our lowest score to date on the flat. I feel like Erik wants to know each horse and rider in the program and I have the utmost respect for that. The exciting part is that I am confident we still have a lot of work to do in all three phases and that we can continue to get better. This is also the overwhelming part, so I try to focus on working as hard as I can in each moment, each day I am at the barn, with the goal of continuing to get better looming always.

This week I got back to work with my dressage coach Lilo Fore, and Chatwin hit the water treadmill in addition to his gallops with the heart of the season right around the corner. It amazes me every year how I feel like the season is just starting, and before you know it, it is time for shows that require the utmost focus and hard work. 

In just a couple of weeks, it will be time to head South to train with Tamie Smith who I affectionately have come to refer to as my Miyagi (for those of you Karate Kid fans out there) and get ready for our first FEI competition of 2019 at Galway Downs. Until then I will be working hard with Chatwin each morning, catching up as much as possible on work, and enjoying every minute with my boys (which includes, of course, my kids, husband, and favorite old Advanced Horse Fric Frac who also luckily for me lives at my house with Chatwin).

With just one horse, I am working this year with a personal trainer who specializes in equestrians, trying to get as strong as I can physically to help my horse as much as I can.  It is very different working out in general and working out with riding specifically in mind. I can now be found daily with workout bands around my legs at least once a day and sometimes also while on a horse around my wrists helping to engage my leg and core. Getting better is hard I will say that, but it is nice to start seeing how the added strength I am gaining is helping me be a bit more able physically in the saddle to help my horse be the best we can together.

Here is hoping that at some point soon Mother Nature finally feels like we have had enough rain in Northern California and we can get back to some fun in the saddle. 

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Meet Frankie, Our New Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider’s Grant Recipient

 
Frankie receiving the Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider’s Grant at the USEA Annual Awards Luncheon in New Orleans in December.    L-R Sarah Broussard, Frankie Thieriot Stutes, Rebecca Broussard, and USEA President Carol Kozlowski. (Photo: RedBayStock.com)

Frankie receiving the Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider’s Grant at the USEA Annual Awards Luncheon in New Orleans in December.

L-R Sarah Broussard, Frankie Thieriot Stutes, Rebecca Broussard, and USEA President Carol Kozlowski. (Photo: RedBayStock.com)

 
 

Adult Amateur rider, Frankie Thieriot Stutes was the recipient of the 2018 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider’s Grant in December. Frankie will be sharing her Eventing adventures with us every month throughout 2019. Here is her January posting.

Hi Everyone,

 I’m Frankie Thieriot Stutes, an Amateur Three-day Event rider with a wonderful horse named Chatwin. I have been riding since age three when my mom decided her very wild child needed an activity that could assist in working off some of her exuberant energy.

 Since that time I have always ridden in some capacity, but I, unlike many upper-level riders, never dreamed of coaching and riding numerous horses per day, but instead aspired to work in sports marketing and communications. After working in the NHL, for NIKE, and as the Director of Communications for a Fitness, Media, Sports Company, and Freelancer for the USEA as an on-camera reporter, I decided it was time to start something of my own to help equestrian athletes, and in 2011, my equine marketing company Athletux was born.

 Although 2018 was an incredible year for me, I am a firm believer in that you give yourself a bit of time to be upset when things don’t go right, and you only allow yourself the same amount of time to celebrate your successes before it is time to move on and get back to work. With that said 2019 is here, my horse and I are both certainly a bit out of shape from the winter (remember I only have one horse who has been on vacation since October), and we have a lot of work to do to be as good as we dream of becoming.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Broussard Grant, I will be able to further my training under the instruction of German Dressage Hall of Famer Lilo Fore, which I have begun doing this week- and let me just say there is a lot of work to do. With a portion of the funds I received, my focus early in the season is to go to Dressage, and Jumper shows that were financially a bit daunting in addition to my necessary three-day events last year, and I am excited to get going with those at the end of January.

 I believe in being out of your comfort zone as much as possible, and I also believe you can always get better in some way both on and off your horses.  So here I am, ready for 2019 with a clean slate, bringing what I learned from last year with me, but also remembering that all that counts is what lies ahead. I have a hunger bigger than ever to make every day count because of the tremendous gift and opportunities I have been given thanks to the honor of being the 2018 “Big Becky Recipient.”

 
Frankie compares ideas with Sarah Broussard during her time as a freelance on-camera reporter with the USEA. Photo: RedBayStock.com

Frankie compares ideas with Sarah Broussard during her time as a freelance on-camera reporter with the USEA. Photo: RedBayStock.com

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Chatwin and Frankie on their way to winning the CCI3* at The Event at Rebecca Farm in July, 2018. (Photo: RedBayStock.com)

 

Thank You to Our Friends for Supporting the 2018 Silent Auction

The USEA Foundation and USEA, INC. sends grateful thanks to our friends who supported our Educational and Safety Programs by donating goods and services to our 2018 Silent Auction. The auction was a success and raised almost $9,000 which will now be used to not only improve the existing features of the programs, but also to add important new content.

DAVID O’CONNOR BRIAN MURRAY

ROB AND AMY BURK

JENNIFER HARDWICK

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David Stackhouse and Leslie Ellis of Stackhouse Saddles

David Stackhouse and Leslie Ellis of Stackhouse Saddles

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THANK YOU FRIDAY!

Thanks to you, our fellow eventers, Giving Tuesday was a success! A huge thank you to everyone. And lest you ask, we consider you an eventer whatever your involvement in the sport may be. If you love the sport you are an eventer.

At the upcoming USEA Annual Meeting and Convention the Board of Governors will be devoting some time to consideration of each program and prioritizing where your donations will be best invested to improve our education and safety initiatives. Be assured that every one of your precious dollars gifted to the USEA Foundation and the USEA will be used wisely to further the sport we all love.

Thank you to one and all. Hope to see you next week in New Orleans and on course in 2019.

TODAY IS GIVING TUESDAY - Please Consider Supporting the Programs of the USEA!

#GivingTuesday is a world-wide day of giving fueled by the power of collaboration and social media. Celebrated the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the season of giving by tuning the minds of the world community towards donating to the charities nearest and dearest to their hearts and minds.

This year, the USEA Foundation is asking for your support of the USEA Educational Programs and Safety Studies. By supporting the USEA's Educational Programs, including the Instructors' Certification Program, the Roger Haller Education Fund and Scholarship for the Education of Eventing Officials, and the USEA Young and Future Event Horse Programs, and the Safety Studies, including the Equine Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research Study and the Frangible Fence Technology Study, you help ensure the future of these programs and the sport of eventing.

Last year, you helped the USEA Foundation meet a $25,000 matching challenge set by an anonymous donor to support the continued education of eventing officials through the Roger Haller Education Scholarship for Eventing Officials. At the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, two course designers were awarded grants that have allowed them to continue their course design education and increase their knowledge and skill. Every rider in the sport will benefit from their expertise in the years to come and we thank you for supporting this important program.

A heartfelt thank you for your kindness. We hope you know how much the sport and the USEA values each and every single one of you.

USEA Foundation and ERA of NA — Building the Endowment for the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award

The USEA Foundation and The Eventing Riders Association of North America have the opportunity to guarantee the long-term future of the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award thanks to a pledge from the Lufkin Family Foundation. The late Liz Cochran spent many years ensuring that Abigail Lufkin’s horses were turned out to perfection and she became one of Abigail’s closest friends. Liz passed away far too young after a battle with illness and it was Abigail’s desire to keep her memory alive that led to the creation of the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award. All donations to the fund will be matched dollar for dollar by the Lufkin Family Foundation up to $50,000 securing the availability of the award for many years to come.

Eventing grooms are the backbone of every rider’s support team and without them the chances of success are greatly reduced. Endowing this award will guarantee that these very special professionals will continue to be recognized annually for years to come. You can show your support for Eventing’s grooms by donating to the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award fund here. Thank you!