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USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today that an innovative, open "Town Meeting" with the sport's leadership will be held on Monday, August 20, 2001 at 1 p.m. (ET) to brainstorm marketing and development ideas.

The nationwide conference call and webcast will be open to all members of USA Equestrian, and the public, to discuss the new directions of the sport's national federation, and to solicit ideas and input for better marketing and fund-raising. A toll-free 800 number will be available to accredited leaders and media who apply to participate because of their special interest and/or expertise. Others can monitor the conference by webcast at and submit suggestions and ideas by email, both during and after the meeting. An audio recording of the entire conference will be made available on the USA Equestrian website.

The conference will be led by USA Equestrian president Alan F. Balch, chairman of the Marketing and Development Committee Eugene R. Mische, Assistant Executive Director-Marketing of the Federation Scott Carling, and newly appointed Assistant Executive Director-Development Kevin Burns, formerly with the United States Olympic Committee.

"This is a great opportunity to brainstorm about both existing programs and new ideas," said Balch. "Since the webcast of our board meeting in early July when we changed our name, we've seen a lot of very good, open discussion about marketing and fund-raising opportunities on the Internet, and have received a number by mail and email. For years, I've felt that we have not reached out enough to the broad membership for ideas. We rely on such a small group of people for marketing and fund-raising ideas and contributions, relative to the size and diversity of the sport, that it's time we dramatically broaden our reach of information, discussion, and creativity. With Kevin Burns now joining us, this is an opportune time."

A credentials application form for media and leaders with expertise and knowledge can be obtained by contacting the Director of Communications at

USA Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 77,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.

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