Message from Your Club President
Please read below for messages from your club president, Todd Smyrl!
January 20th, 2014:
2013 is officially in the books as we christened it with the yearend banquet. I want to again say congratulations to all of the year end winners and a huge thank you to all those who made the party a great success. We will try to post all of the award recipients on the results tab of the WREAutah.com web site in the near future. If you were unable to attend, highlights of the banquet included:
A record attendance of WREA members and their families
An absolutely awesome photo montage created by Zoe Smith which we hope to post on the Website
A very informative area IX update from Erin Hoffman
An overview of the many upcoming 2014 events
A call for volunteers at this year’s many events
Charlotte Dunn’s request for assistance with a charitable event called HopeKids
Darcy Conklin’s organization of one of the best silent auctions ever
Recognition of divisional winners including Summer Peterson, Todd Smyrl, Ann Macdonald, Anika Hansen, and Dacia Chambers.
Rider of the Year Sussi Felleson, Rookie of the year rider Tara Miller, and Rookie Horse of the year Skyfall
Introduction of the WREA Medal Program
A special Dedicated Service Award presented to Frank and Roberta Curtis
Amy Stribakos took home the Volunteer of the year award and Sara Windley the Sportsmanship award
The Pony Of The Year was Trouble and Gemini Tiara took home Horse Of The Year Honors
As discussed in the banquet’s key note address, I am so excited for 2014. We have so much to look forward to as a club and as participants in this year’s many events. Don’t forget that the Danny Warington clinic is this next week end. There is still room to participate and/or audit. I hope to see you all there.Good luck to all in keeping the mud off.
March 30, 2014
Spring is officially here! After a winter that came at us like a thundering herd of brumbys, it was a great feeling to wipe green grass bit foam from my horse’s chest yesterday at the Pegasus Mini Event.
While looking back over my notes this morning from the last time I sat at this desk to write ya-all, I noticed in my ramblings, a general theme of desire and hope that “hey, we can turn around and create new and exciting energy locally in the sport we all love.” I also remember the annual banquet where our goal as the WREA board was to hand each of you a theoretical bag of seed to spread over our area eventing world and see what would grow, take root, and blossom.
Wow! What a promising field of flora and fauna we have produced here in the early season. To prove my point, look at these few examples of the bounteous crops we are producing.
There were an unprecedented 42 entries yesterday in the Pegasus Mini Event. The field was made up of some of our usual cast members and a whole slew of great newcomers. All were well mounted as they frolicked and danced on the green.
The Danny Warrington Clinic last week was very well attended as riders and auditors alike improved their skills. Please note that people at this clinic were encouraged to stand and cheer for their fellow riders as the chairs were being used for “other purposes”.
The upcoming Eric Smiley, Wayne Quarles and Lucinda Green Clinics in April are filling well as they provide WREA members and other Utah equestrians a chance to ride and learn from these world class legendary instructors. There is still room on the sidelines to audit. I encourage each and every one of you to do so. Don’t be too shy to bring a friend who may want to try our out eventing disciplines.
The Area IV Banquet is this next weekend right here in Utah. Everyone has the opportunity to see what is in store for our region. Awards and a special address from Eric Smiley are on tap as well. Reserve your seat now by signing up at www.wreautah.com.
Dates are set and locked in for what we anticipate as very well attended mini and major events schedule giving each and every one of us multiple local chances to display and test what we have practiced. If you and your mount are not quite ready, volunteer! Nothing gives you a better front seat to all the action.
We also have an opportunity in April to join the Wasatch Pony Club and other area horse groups to give back as we are all invited to be involved in the Hope Kids charity event to be held at Universal Equestrian center. Look again to the WREA website for information currently being posted.
With all this to do, throw on a bright colored polo, get off your duffer, and go roll in the grass like a Lynnleigh Farm Corgi. See you soon and thank you to all for continuing to water and nurture our eventing passion.
February 2, 2014
Well, it looks like we all made it through another month of winter. Only one more to go and then out comes the shedding blade and the serious fun begins. Hope you all don’t mind reading on a bit here as I ramble through my rather groggy thought process at 5am on Super Bowl Sunday. Let me just start off by saying go Bronco’s and how cute is the Budweiser commercial for this year?
Our first WREA sponsored clinic of 2014 was crazy good. We tried someone new to Utah. The general consensus was that Danny Warrington brought his A game. Right hand up, now left hand up, for those that agree that we all had a blast! “Danny’s teaching approach was solid and easy to grasp.” As a current top professional and competitor, he presented a very full bucket of knowledge which allowed him to provide multiple strategies to improve upon each participant’s current strengths and weaknesses. “Instead of telling a rider specifically what they need to fix, I present an activity or exercise that allows the rider to explore their own solution” said Danny. And explore we did. Special thanks to Eileen Galoostian, Lani Homan, Sarah Ellington, Keystone Equestrian, and the many riders and auditors that made this event so enjoyable. We look forward to Danny’s return.
Have you had a chance to sit down and work up a 2014 horse activity schedule yet? Adrienne and I started to put one together this week and were just completely amazed at all of the opportunities there are for this year. Between clinics, two-three phases, in and out of state rated events, fun days, and Utah’s diverse horse club events, we had to sharpen the pencil twice to put it all in the calendar. What a great time to be involved. That said, if you are sponsoring an event or have a suggestion for an adder, please let Sarah Ellington know so that it can be placed on the web site calendar. The sooner the date is known the better chance your event will be penned in.
We have had many inquiries about the upcoming Lucinda Green Clinic, where Area IX 2014 championships will be, and when and where the Area IX 2013 banquet will be held. I ask that you all be a little patient as Erin Hoffman and the Area IX committee work through some final details. We look forward to posting updates as soon as they are made available. As a side note, keep your fingers crossed that the WREA is awarded the grant for the Lucinda Green Clinic which will lower the participant cost on this highly anticipated event at Equine Pavilion.
In other news, Libby Stokes, the new president of the Mountain States Eventing Association (MSEA) reached out to me as your representative to open up the lines of communication between the MSEA, WREA, and other area IX eventing groups. During the conversation, she communicated openly about her concerns as they pertained to scheduling, participation, and current ridership within the region. She made several points worth noting. First, she referenced the area IX USEA rated events peak participation several years ago at 15 horse trials with over 1500 starts to that of 2013 which had 9 rated events with 750 starts. She also stated that scheduling of events for 2014 has been difficult due to the delays of the FEI in putting out their schedule and lastly, she was generally interested and encouraging about staying abreast of what the WREA is up to. I was more than happy to brighten up the conversation by stating that our club is growing, we are building from within, and have some awesome up and comer’s that will be filling local sponsored events as well as IX rated trials. Please note that the WREA is currently not an active chapter of the MSEA but perhaps we should consider giving them an infusion of our great energy in the near future?
Now to prove that all the WREA horses are Bronco’s fans, please conduct the following experiment. In one hand place a large juicy ORANGE carrot, in the other hand and any GREEN vegetable, say lima beans, broccoli, brussel sprout, etc. See which one they pick first. You can also have your horse predict the score by how many carrots they eat vs heads of broccoli.
Take care all----Todd
January 1st, 2014
JUMPING INTO 2014
Happy New Years to WREA members new and old. 2014 is here and along with it, a fun and exciting upcoming season. Already there is so much planned for the year ahead so keep enduring the cold and practice up. Highlighting the kickoff of the New Year is the annual banquet on Saturday January 11th at the University Park Marriot. All the 2013 results have been tallied with some exciting outcomes. The gala event will also be a great opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow equestrians, be involved with plans for the 2014 season, and get a leg up on the new schedule of events. From clinics to socials and events, there is something for everyone who loves eventing and our equine partners as members of the WREA. If you have not already done so, please RSVP and get your tickets from the WREA website or contact Adrienne at for assistance. Many thanks in advance to those volunteers who are working so hard to make this a great time for all.
As teasers for the upcoming season, did you know that there are already 5 major clinicians scheduled to be here along the Wasatch Front in 2014 including National, International, and Olympic competitors. The local event schedule is already filling up with tentative dates including 5 three phases, 5 two phases, a possible derby, along with showjumping and dressage schooling shows. The WREA has partnered up once again with the Wasatch Pony Club for the keystone Pumpkin and Chicken events along with the Golden Spike Horse Trials. Holy Half Halt, I am excited. See you all at the banquet!
March 23, 2015
We all had faith and as such, spring has arrived. I am not sure as to where winter was? Too bad for those of us who ski, but when it comes to eventing, I think we have all been able to get a head start. Several of us were able to prove that by venturing to the California circuit for a couple of early season competitions. We have also had opportunities to display some early season skills at local venues like the Pegasus jumper series and the season opener at Skyline. If you have started to place all of the possible activities and events associated with the WREA for this season on your calendar, it is easy to see that you most certainly can get those all-important show miles right here close to home.
Many of you have inquired as to the result of the 2015 WREA scholarship winner. I am very happy to report here as to the outcome. Thank you to everyone who contributed essays. We have some great writers and exciting goals out there within our club. As you all recall, the WREA scholarship awards $500.00 to one active and contributing WREA member each year who submits an essay as to how best he or she could utilize the fund to improve within their own talents, contribute to the local horse community, and/or better themselves through the WREA. Because there were so many amazing essays this year, the WREA board called upon several of their foundation members to select the winner. Darcy Conklin and Robin Sundeen were this year’s judges. Through much deliberation, they chose the following as this year’s winner. Read on the right for the winning essay.
On behalf of your WREA board, we say congratulations Adrienne. As stated in your essay, we look to learning from your new gained knowledge and following along on your journey by benefitting in the years to come with some very exciting and fun courses on tap for 2015 and beyond. Adrienne will be asked also to provide an update to us all at the WREA yearend banquet which is being held in November 2015. I will be excited to see the submittals for next year’s scholarship.
Utah eventers, get the tack cleaned up, brush out those last bits of stubborn winter coat and come participate in an activity. See you there.
ADRIENNE SMYRL- WREA Scholarship Essay 2015
Hello. My name is Adrienne Smyrl. It is stated with great pride that I am a member of the Wasatch Range Eventing Association (WREA). There are many unique and special reasons why I love being an integral part of the WREA and the local Utah sport horse community. Perhaps, upon reflection, the most of which is the amazing dynamic of the WREA organization being one which gives so much more than it takes from our local riding and eventing world. It is with this perspective of giving back that I am requesting that you, the reader, consider my application for the annual WREA scholarship program.
If awarded the WREA Scholarship, it is my goal to continue my journey towards becoming a USEF certified Show Jumping course designer. I love the dynamics of course design. As a volunteer with the WREA, I have enjoyed creating many successful show jumping courses for our local participants. As an active and current area USEA-USEF certified course designer, I would be able to help greatly with the continued improvement of our local and regional two and three phase events in a highly professional and courteous manner.
Noel Lambert, the famous Irish course designer may have stated it best. “The Course Designer's job is a most important one, on which the success or failure of the show relies upon.”
Show Jumping course design and its implementation is indeed a heavily weighted aspect of any eventing venue. The specific jumping track should most certainly be fun, exciting, safe, fair, and challenging to the horse and rider teams it is presented to. Accomplish this while adhering to the rules and regulations depicted and enforced by the USEA, USHJA, or other USEF sanctioning body and wow, you just pulled off a great event.
Show jumping courses have always intrigued me. It is so satisfying to see a particular designer’s style come through on a great course. By the same token, it is so frustrating and perhaps even alarming when designers do not set a course that is attainable for the riders and horses. It is to this end that I have realized that course design is something that I want to pursue. To create fun, yet challenging courses that set the horse and rider up for success at a specified level is a goal I believe in. As a member of the WREA, I most certainly do not want to just harness this knowledge within myself. I look forward to sharing these new skills with any of our area members, event coordinators, and trainers who show interest.
The road to USEF certification is a long and expensive one, but one that I am truly passionate and excited about completing. In order for me to be a USEF licensed course designer, I must travel to several out of area clinics and events where I can apprentice under already licensed course designers. Substantial travel time, accommodations, and other hard costs are expected.
I am excited to document every step of this certification journey. In the end I hope to be involved with many local venues and shows in the future. I plan to attend my first certification clinic April 10th in Reno, NV. and have plans to shadow several course designers during the 2015 season. Once completed, I look forward to being involved as an asset which the WREA can always pull from. Thank you so much for considering me for the great WREA scholarship opportunity. “Blessed are we that have found a true love with horses.”