Sunday, December 14, 2008

USEA Annual Meeting

This year my parents were incredibly generous to allow me to go to the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention that was held the day after my Stanford exams ended in New Orleans, LA. It was really cool to get to interact with fellow eventers outside of the gritty horse show environment (everyone's hair was so clean and not helmet- haired!! haha) and take part in the many forums and seminars that the convention hosted. Especially with the many safety concerns raised over the year, it was very special to get to be a part of this critical meeting.

The most bittersweet moment of the meeting definitely came on the last day, however, with an announcement being made during the YR forum that, next year, the FEI will stop sanctioning long format events in any way shape or form. This will deligitamize the already struggling format by making it seem inferior to a short format (and now the only internationally sanctioned of the two) event -- where in my opinion completing a long format should actually be seen as a greater accomplishment! CCI*s with steeplechse will continue as "CCN*s" - nationally preliminary three day events. The only plus side of this is that they will now be more affordable and will avoid the hassle of FEI fees and passports. However, I seriously doubt that many people will continue to support the program with their entries if it is not viewed as a legitimate equal to a short format event for qualification and prestige purposes. To say that this had me leaving the convention in a low mood would be an understatement.

With this change, the Galway Downs CCI* w/ steeplechase that Dually and I had such a wonderful time at this fall was officially the last internationally- sanctioned full format event to ever take place worldwide. I'm so happy, and sad, to have been able to partake in "true eventing"'s last day.
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