Applications Now Being Accepted for the Rebecca Broussard International Travel Grants

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The Event at Rebecca Farm will take place July 24-28 in Kalispell, Montana. Once again riders planning to compete in the international divisions at the event are encouraged to apply for the Rebecca Broussard International Travel Grant which is intended to assist with the costs of traveling to Montana.

The Rebecca Broussard Developing International Riders Grants are designed to assist and to encourage the development of event riders at the highest level of the sport.  These grants will be awarded to offset some of the travel and training expenses in the pursuit of achieving the qualities of an international rider. These Grants are not available to any rider that has already achieved the honor of representing the United States of America at the international CCIO4* or CCI5* Eventing competitions. The Rebecca Broussard Developing International Rider Grant Fund has been separated into two types of grants.  The travel grants are awarded to multiple riders who display the potential qualities of an international rider.  The initial grants are available to offset some of the travel expenses to compete at The Event at Rebecca Farm CCI4* in July.  From this group of competing riders, as well as those who did not apply for or receive a travel grant, but who still qualified and competed at The Event at Rebecca Farm CCI4*, the larger grant will be awarded. 

You can apply online for a travel grant HERE or you may print out and mail, or email, the application HERE.


“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!

ERA of NA Accepting Nominations for Year-End Awards

 The Eventing Riders Association of North America (ERA of NA) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 ERA of NA Year End Awards. Individuals who have had an outstanding and profound effect on the sport of eventing will be recognized at the ERA of NA Awards Reception during the USEA Convention Friday, December 7, 2018. The nomination period for the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award, As You Like It Owner’s Award, Seema Sonnad Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award and Amateur Impact Award will run through November 10, 2018.

The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award recognizes an outstanding groom who has had a large influence on their rider’s career and the health and well-being of the horses under their care. Nominees should epitomize the example set forth by Liz Cochran in setting the standard for a professional groom.

The As You Like It Owner’s Award is awarded to an outstanding owner who has had a large influence on a rider’s career. Additionally, nominees will also be recognized for having made an exceptional contribution to the sport of eventing.

The Seema Sonnad Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award is offered to an event organizer, secretary, volunteer or other staff members who throughout the year went “above and beyond”. Nominees will have carried out their work in a manner that notably improved the experience for those attending the event as competitors, owners, grooms, sponsors, volunteers or spectators.

The Amateur Impact Award recognizes an Adult Amateur that embodies dedication to the sport of eventing, outstanding sportsmanship and has made a direct impact on eventing in North America. The recipient of the Amateur Impact Award is an individual that is highly respected by their peers, has demonstrated leadership within the sport and seeks to see eventing continue to grow and flourish.

Please send a detailed submission, including examples, regarding why an individual should receive an award to Helen Murray at hmurray@eraofna.com by November 10, 2018.

Additionally, the ERA of NA continues to fundraise to endow the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award and those wishing to contribute may donate via check made out to the USEA Foundation with “Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award” noted in the memo line. Please mail your gift to ERA of NA, 129 Delmont Dr, Lexington, KY 40504. For those looking to contribute online, a donation can be made here.

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2018 Eventing Officials’ Scholarship Now Open for Applications

The USEA has established an educational scholarship in memory of the late Roger Haller. Designed to provide financial assistance to a licensed official who is working towards promotion to the “R” license, the “S” license or the FEI licenses. The Roger Haller Scholarship may be used to offset the costs involved in attending the necessary seminars and obtaining the practical experience required to attain promotion to the next level of licensing. The USEA will award a scholarship of $5,000 to a qualified individual in 2018. The sport is in urgent need of well trained and committed officials who can serve at the highest international levels of the sport, a need that Roger was aware of and one that concerned him greatly. Increasing the pool of eventing officials was one of the reasons he devoted so much of his time to addressing the shortfall by developing the USEA’s educational programs for officials. We sincerely hope that this annual scholarship bearing Roger Haller’s name will help increase the number of eventing judges and technical delegates qualified to officiate internationally and so ensure the health of the sport for the future.

All those who meet the eligibility requirements listed below are invited to complete the scholarship application.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE USEA Eventing Officials Scholarship
1. Applicants must be current members in good standing with the USEA & USEF.
2. Applicants must be current USEF Licensed Officials and at a minimum hold the “r” Status as an Eventing Judge or Technical Delegate.
3. Applicants should demonstrate their commitment and plans to upgrade their license to USEF “R”, USEF “S” or FEI 1/2*, FEI 3/4*

The deadline for applications is November 12th and the successful applicant will be awarded the scholarship at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in December in New Orleans, Louisiana. Click here to apply.