Esmarelda visits USEF

Back on the road again, Esmarelda paid a visit to ESMA World Award winner, United States Equestrian Federation to find out what it's like to work for one of the most famous National Governing Bodies. We spoke to Andrew Minnick, USEF's E-Communications Manager to find out how she got on.

What has Esmarelda been up to while at USEF?

She’s been busy, and a big help. She’s traveled all around the Kentucky Horse Park, visiting Rolex Stadium, Alltech Arena, and three USEF Affiliates (the United States Dressage Federation, United States Hunter Jumper Association, and American Saddlebred Horse Association) along the way. Esmarelda’s pretty creative, so back at the USEF hq she’s helped us pick photos for an upcoming website re-design, and give us tips on how to make USEF Network, and Equestrian Magazine look better. She’s even volunteered to help out at Kentucky Classique Horse Trials on Sunday.

Who did she meet?

It’s been kind of a slow week, so she’s been the biggest celebrity around. She met the whole crew over here, and got acquainted Freya, the USEF Network office dog.

Hope she wasn't too much of a diva?

Well, she made some demands, but after all the hard work she put in, she deserved some rewards. She got to relax in the sun and read Equestrian Magazine, and she had plenty of food and drink. She says it was fine this time, but that when she comes back she’s going to need her own trailer ☺

Tell us about USEF

We are the National Governing Body for equestrian sport in the United States. As we say in our vision statement, our goal is to “provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of human and equine athletes.” We’ve been around since 1917 (though we were called the American Horse Shows Association back then), and we’re basically just horse people that want to see our athletes succeed, keep the competition fair, and make sure everyone stays safe.

What impact has social media had on USEF?

It would be hard to over-state its importance. We have ways of communicating with our members, but not every equestrian, or fan of the sport, is a USEF member. The various social media platforms give us a way to communicate with everyone. More importantly, they give everyone an easy way to communicate with us. Social media allows us to share in everyone’s triumphs, lets us know what the equestrian community is thinking (there’s nothing less constructive than getting hopelessly cloistered amid our own concepts and ideas), and exposes us to the vast creativity and ambition of all horse people. That inspires us. We hope it has helped us make wiser decisions, and become a more creative, dynamic organization.

What does the future hold?

That’s always hard to say, but for now we’ve got new programs, new websites, and new looks ahead of us. Now that we’re less than a year away from WEG in Normandy, we have a busy and exciting year to look forward to.

See all the images from Esmarelda's trip to USEF on the ESMA Facebook page.