Monday, December 15, 2008

USEA Convention Recap

The USEA Convention was a huge success this year, with a lineup of fantastic seminars that offered something for everyone in attendance. The convention took place at the Astor Crowne Plaza "Hotel on Canal Street at Bourbon Street, and there was plenty of fun to be had after hours as well.

Boyd said, "We had a fantastic time hanging out and socializing with riders, sponsors, and owners, attending the awards luncheon and the forums."

Television presenter Pam Forrester and videographer Joel Silver conducted a session on Friday morning and Boyed said, "Probably the most impressive session I attended was the Media Forum where the presenter gave advice on how to give an interview under pressure - she gave examples of good and bad interview techniques and advice on how to deal with media in positive and negative situations that arise in eventing.

"The Young Event Horse forum was also productive and one of my injections into the conversation was that we need to try to score the horses that win as the potential upper level horses rather than the fancy-looking ones that will never make it to a four-star. There were a lot of productive comments during this session."

Boyd was lucky enough to secure a sponsorship agreement with helmet and body protector manufacturer Charles Owen during the weekend, and Silva enjoyed some time with her new sponsor, Back on Track. Boyd and Silva also had dinner with Bit of Britain's John Nunn, who had very romantically proposed to his girlfriend Annie over dinner the night before.

With the honor of receiving the Preliminary Rider of the Year award, Boyd had cause to celebrate at the luncheon. (Photo, left, of Boyd receiving the award from USEA President Kevin Baumgardner, Amber Heintzberger photo). Boyd was also grateful to Jimmy Wofford, who emceed the event, for announcing that Boyd will be riding for the United States from now on.

It was the hours after the convention that kept most eventers entertained...Bourbon Street may never be the same after the likes of the USEA membership swept through its bars, jazz spots, strip clubs and casinos.

"The best part was sampling the wild life on Bourbon Street," exclaimed Boyd. "The best was the saloor bar with the mechanical bull, which I tamed. Silva and I also did quite well at the casino. I loved the jazz bands and the musicians performing in the streets. In our free time we just soaked up the atmosphere."

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