USEA Awards Programs

Last week I got a large envelope from USEA. My first thought was that it would be something with them asking me for money as that seems to be what most of my USEA mail is. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was actually a Certificate of Horse & Rider Achievement. I didn’t even know that the USEA had awards like that and initially thought it didn’t mean that much.

After talking with Amanda a bit and doing some self reflection I realize that a lot of people would be elated to have received the same piece of paper. Maybe it is “just a piece of paper” to some but for me it signifies that my sweet baby horse and I completed 3 rated beginner novice horse trials. When I think back to our first HT in KY at MayDaze it really solidifies what an accomplishment that was for us. We didn’t win, we weren’t overly successful, but we went and did. Best of all we had a blast doing it! I really appreciate that the USEA takes the time to provide recognition of the accomplishments that riders at the lower levels of our sport reach.

The USDF medal system is more widely known or discussed from what I can tell but what a lot of people don’t realize is that USEA also has a medal program. You can read more about it here but it is essentially get x number of scores below a certain threshold at your specified level at 2-3 different venues. After that you can apply for the bronze, silver, or gold medal depending on what you qualified for.

Amanda and Henry already have a boat load of medals! If Annie and I could get our dressage under control I think we would have a chance at earning some more awards too. I am hopeful that I will be able to buckle down and iron out our flat work this winter to create a more relaxed and fluid image so that we can come out with a bang for the 2017 season!

Do any of you guys like to try to participate or earn scores/ placings through the year for specific awards? 🙂

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  1. This is one of the great, underappreciated USEA programs IMO. Sure it’s just paper and a little pin, but it’s really fun to get some kind of tangible item that signifies all the blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve put in.

  2. It’s funny a lot of people poo poo point chasing. But that is exactly what the Medals are, trying to garner qualifying scores (or points) in order to receive an award. I am for point chasing, I think when it is done thoughtfully, it is a huge benefit to horse and rider as it gets your mind clearly into planning, supporting the plan with research and training and than executing the plan. Obviously things don’t always go to plan but that’s the beauty of the process too.. using that feedback to reintegrate into the lifecycle.

    1. Interesting perspective. I have not ever considered this program a point chasing system. A lot of my friends that event didn’t even know it existed and are eligible for multiple medals so I am not sure that it affected their competition decisions. I know it didn’t impact mine when I was planning my year out. I would be curious to know how many eventers really do think about their competition schedule in relation to the USEA medal program. 🙂

    2. I don’t think of these as point chasing at all, mostly because I know literally NO ONE who plans their shows around trying to get an eventing medal. You’d have to sit there with an Omnibus and go “ok I want to run this level at this event and I’ll have to score under X so I can put that towards a medal”… in eventing that idea is borderline ludicrous, especially because the medals don’t really mean anything. Unlike with the USDF medals, these are purely for fun. Most members don’t even know about this program, much less use it. There are people that point chase for sure, but they do it for actual year end ribbons and awards, not for the medals.

  3. Oh, I would love to get a piece of paper and pin! I’ll take whatever I can get, as every little thing counts and shows some sort of accomplishment. Congrats to you and Annie!

  4. Congrats! That’s definitely an achievement 🙂
    I’ve never competed consistently enough to chase points, but I’ll be looking into it next year.

  5. I think it’s great that they do this! I ride hunter/jumpers so we get ribbons all the time. Pretty easily since often there aren’t even more horses than there are ribbons. But you bad ass eventers have it much harder. You’re lucky, even if you have the best day ever, to take home a prize. So it’s awesome that you get recognized this way. Congrats!