“America Participates in the 2023 Youth and Young Riders Working Equitation World Championship” by Summer Star
This last week I had the privilege of representing the United States of America at the 2023 Junior and Young Riders Working Equitation World Championship in Ponte de Lima, Portugal. As the American representative, I competed in all four phases of the event – Dressage, Ease of Handling, Speed and Cattle – against nine other countries, which included Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
My journey to the Young Riders W.E. World Championship began when I made my qualifying score on my 10-year-old Lusitano stallion, Humbug. After qualifying and being nominated by the United States of America Working Equitation (USAWE) association to represent America, I worked to raise money to fund my trip. Thankfully, as a result of the generous support from individuals and especially from the Arizona Working Equitation Club (AZWEC), we were able to fund my show clothes and expenses, making it possible for me to go to the event. The USAWE competition outfit was very appropriate and I was blessed to be able to ship my personal western saddle and ride on it as an American cowboy at the World Championship.
Friends around the world, including Señor Juan José of Mexico, helped arranged for me to lease a horse to ride and also arranged a week of lessons with world champion, Señor Pedro Torres. The leased horse’s name was Especial. He is a Lusitano stallion who was bred and trained in Portugal, and he had been ridden by a Mexican rider in the (adult) 2022 World Championships in 2022. Especial’s breeder, Señor Filipe Trindade, owner of Coudelaria Casal Dos Rios, was generous enough to provide coaching for me throughout the competition. Especial is a seasoned competitor, but we were a new combination, and I was reminded again that showing horses is all about adjusting.
Looking forward, I want to share with other aspiring riders in the United States how important having friends and support from fellow competitors truly is to our success as athletes. In the US, my largest support came from people who I show against almost monthly, who without hesitation, donated money, goods and services to help me finance my trip. I would like to honor the kindness of those who helped me by encouraging more riders, especially youth, to seek a greater level of riding in Working Equitation, the sport we all love.
At the World Championship, I was determined that American team would be the most social and outgoing of any team there. The companionship that I found among the other Young Riders demonstrated the quality of individuals that Working Equitation attracts. The friendships I made in the first two days extended throughout the competition, including when I was placed on the French team for the cattle phase. Despite the fact that I have no knowledge of French, and the French girls were not practiced in English, our team was successful. I will never forget the efforts that the young girls on the French team made to include me in their team achievement.
I truly believe that helping to generate excitement through friendly interactions is more of an accomplishment than anything else I did while in Portugal. Youth riding at any level is about making friends and growing a sport. May we all make more friends and support each other as Working Equitation in the United States grows and more World Championships are attended!
NOTE: USAWE nominated and entered Miss Star into the 2023 WAWE Youth and Young Riders Championship as our representative for the USA. Along with underwriting her entry fees, the association provided horse and tack stall fees and entry into all of the official events included with the Championship. Additionally, USAWE provided branded shirts and caps for both our rider and manager, Amy Star, to wear at the event.
By: Summer Star and International Committee Members
Total Members as of 07/14/23: 1020 (+21 from last month)
Members by Region
- Region 1 – 265 (+6)
- Region 2 – 241 (+8)
- Region 3 – 71 (-1?)
- Region 4 – 74 (+0)
- Region 5 – 118 (+3)
- Region 6 – 141 (+1)
- Region 7 – 100 (+4)
- International – 10 (9 Canada, 1 Germany) (+0)
Members by Competition Status
- Amateur 632 (+17)
- Junior 98 (-1?)
- Open 290 (+5)
By: Kate Steffes, Membership Committee Chair
Update on Zone Championships
Congratulations to the 244 horse/rider pairs who have already qualified to compete in the 2023 USAWE Zone Championships and the additional 517 horse/rider pairs who have earned one of the two required scores to qualify for the big shows this year!
|Level||# of Qualified Horse/Rider Pairs|
These numbers include scores from 57 competitions licensed in 2023 and 104 competitions licensed in 2022. This year, riders can carry over one score from the 2022 season to count toward qualifying for the championships. Starting next year, however, both scores will need to be earned in the same season.
To find out who has qualified, visit the USAWE.org Competitions page, and look under Championships: https://usawe.org/competitions/championships/. The USAWE Competitions Committee updates the list after every show.
On that same page, you will also find contact information for each of the three 2023 Zone Championships.
Remember, qualified horse/rider pairs are eligible to compete in any (or all!) of the Zone Championships. In fact, this year the three big events are scheduled in such a way that enterprising members could actually attend all three.
The 2023 Eastern Zone Championship will lead off, taking place from September 21 to 24 at the Diamond 7 Ranch and Arena in Dillsburg, PA.
The 2023 Central Zone Championship will follow on its heels, from September 28 to October 2 at the Elkhorn Equestrian Center in Elkhorn, WI.
The 2023 Western Zone Championship will round out the season, taking place from October 4 to 8 at the Big Sky Horse Park in Missoula, MT.
If you are not able to attend in person but would still like to support these events, please consider reaching out to event organizers to offer your help as a sponsor or volunteer. It definitely takes a village to make great events happen, and all support is appreciated.
By: Competitions Committee Members
Affiliate Organizations Committee
New Affiliate Organizations added since April
Region 1 – Working Equitation East of the Cascades
Region 2 – California Central Coast Working Equitation
Region 2 – Bay Area Working Equitation
Region 3 – Black Hills Working Equitation
Region 4 – Red Hill Ranch
Region 4 – Working Equitation Green Country Oklahoma
Region 6 – Equanimity Farm
USAWE Affiliate Organization Leaders
It’s time for another Quarterly AO Networking Hour. I hope to see you at our virtual get-together Monday, July 24th at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
At this meeting, we will share ideas on getting Sponsors and creative ways to approach sponsorships. Sponsorships can be toward your AO or can be your AO sponsoring participation in your events. Please come and join the discussion. Share what you have done to promote your AO’s growth through sponsorships.
This meeting is open to all current and prospective AO Leaders and their core leadership team. Meeting invites have already been emailed to the AO Leaders. A reminder invite will be sent again on the 24th.
If you are considering becoming an AO and would like to attend this one-hour meeting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Welcome & Introductions (20 minutes)
- Topic Presentation – Growing your AO through Sponsors and Sponsorships – Kristine Strasburger (5 minutes)
- Group Discussion on Topic (30 minutes)
- AO Program Announcements (5 minutes)
At your service!
USAWE Affiliate Organization Program Coordinator
(208) 818-0400 (Central time zone)
By: Kristine Strasburger, Affiliate Organizations Committee Chair
Youth Development Committee
USA Working Equitation Youth Club Facebook Group is now ACTIVE. This private group is open to all USAWE youth and parents of youth. This community is designed for our youth riders to network and share milestones, as well as help parents stay informed about upcoming opportunities that are available. Licenced officials are welcome to join to encourage youth riders. Youth may use their parents/guardians facebook account and this page will be a safe and closely monitored space.
Zone Championship SCHOLARSHIPS available for Youth
Please remember there are SCHOLARSHIPS available for the qualified YOUTH that covers your ENTRY to any Zone Championship show (entry fee only). These funds are LIMITED.
DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 1st!
If you have two qualifying scores, and plan on attending a Zone Championship show, please apply for this scholarship ASAP so that we can process your application. Applications can be found on the usawe.org under COMPETITIONS > CHAMPIONSHIPS > YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP or https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeMulVAmvHQaMIsj5cKL2Oes7CU943ifPqfm9vPYxJKcOB2ig/viewform?pli=1
Youth Logo Design
We need help developing a logo design. This logo will be used to represent our YOUTH, the youth club, apparel, gifts, awards, and various other fun items. Get your creative brains flowing!!!!!
We will have other fundraising efforts using YOUTH only drawings in the future, but this LOGO should be geared towards a design that can be used as a VECTOR file. Even if you don’t have the capabilities of digitizing your idea, PLEASE submit your hand drawn design. We envision a logo that represents youth and working equitation.
The Youth Committee will narrow down the ideas to the TOP THREE CHOICES and we will let ALL MEMBERSHIP vote on their favorite!
Please have ideas turned into email@example.com or posted on the USA Working Equitation Youth Club Facebook Group BY SEPTEMBER 1st!
As always, please feel free to offer ideas, thoughts and ask questions freely to firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Kasey Riddle, Youth Development Committee Chair
Licensed Officials Committee
Last month the Licensed Officials Committee along with Karmik Acres in Woodstock, Illinois had the honor of hosting WAWE Judge José Benito to lead our Ease of Handling seminar and judge the Karmik Acres. We spent two days in the classroom assisted by S judge, Polly Limond, learning about judging the obstacles in the EOH phase. The participants were ultimately tested by having to score rides in real-time via video. For Saturday and Sunday, we moved on to the competition where the participants had the opportunity to listen to José judging in real time using our one-way transmitter system which we call, Remote Shadow Judging. The judges and judge candidates then silent judged the EOH phase.
Many thanks to José and his lovely partner, Merchy, who were so generous with their time even after long hours of teaching or judging, always making themselves available to talk to all of the seminar participants. And much appreciation to Karen and Mike Boso who put on a beautiful and well-run competition to help us assess our judges and soon-to-be judges.
The classroom sessions will be made available for a fee on our educational website, weerc.org.