Gladstone, New Jersey
March 7, 2002The United States Equestrian Team (USET) held
a highly-successful dinner in support of the USET Show Jumping Developing
Rider program on Wednesday evening, March 6 at the Equestrian Club in
The dinner, coordinated by Mason Phelps and USET Show Jumping Developing Rider program chairman Ronnie Beard, introduced about 100 people to the Developing Rider program and its importance to expanding this countrys base of show jumping talent.
The USET Show Jumping Developing Rider program was created in 1995 to provide riders who have not yet reached the Olympic or World Championship level with exposure to the highest level of European international competition. The major focus of the program is the awarding of grants, which make it possible for promising riders to compete in Europe.
The Developing Rider program is the key to our future, USET Vice President for Show Jumping George H. Morris told those in attendance. Exposure to team competition in Europe, a key element of this program, gives riders their college education on what it is like to represent your country in international competition. The success of the program over the last seven years has been outstanding and it is essential that more of our developing riders get the opportunity to have this invaluable experience.
Veterans of the USET Developing Rider program in attendance included Grand Prix riders Schuyler Riley, Francie Steinwedell-Carvin and Candice King. All have achieved great success since going on a USET Developing Rider tour and all credit the experience for helping reach their current level of success.
Riley explained how her experience on a USET Developing Rider European tour impacted her career. When I first went to Europe on a Developing Rider tour I was overwhelmed by what I saw, she said. The whole experience of competing under FEI rules, on a team situation and in a foreign setting was new to me and going through it really helped me. We were fortunate to have Francie Steinwedell with us and the chance to learn from someone who had been through this type of thing before really made a difference.
Riley achieved immediate success upon returning from her first Developing Rider tour, winning the Grand Prix de Penn National at Harrisburg. The next year, after her second tour, she placed first and second at the American Gold Cup, further underscoring the value of her experience in Europe.
USET Chief Development Officer Gary Jaworski thanked all who attended while explaining that funding support is needed in order for the USET to maintain this worthwhile program. He thanked past supporters of the program like Danni Magill and Susan Lloyd, both of whom were in attendance, and explained that contributions in support of the program go entirely to covering riders expenses with supplemental reimbursements available to riders on a basis of financial need.
This was a great evening that introduced the Show Jumping Developing Rider program to people who care about our country maintaining our show jumping success, Jaworski said. I believe this group of supporters will provide the finances we need to keep this program going.
The Show Jumping Developing Rider tour program is one of many programs that the USET has developed to assist riders in their quest for equestrian excellence. A Show Jumping Developing Rider is defined as a US citizen who has not represented the United States in Olympic, Pan American or World Championship competition, or in more than five Nations Cup either in Europe or Spruce Meadows. Alternates for the Olympic, Pan American and World Equestrian Games, as well are riders who have competed in the Show Jumping World Cup Final, are still considered Show Jumping Developing Riders.
The United States Equestrian Team is
a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians
of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of
talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides the support
and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For
more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET
ONLINE at www.uset.org