It is time to renew your 2012 USEA Membership if you haven’t done so already. This guarantees your continuing complimentary subscription to Flying Changes.   Just go to the link on the right hand side of our home page and click on the USEA website to renew online.  You can also register any new horses you may be taking out to compete at this season’s recognized Events.  Let’s all be ready to to go for our first Event of the year in May!

March Area VII News From Your Chair, Adult Riders, and Young Riders

Most Northwest eventers are a hearty and challenge oriented bunch.  In that spirit, one hundred and twenty Area VII members braved the aftermath of our January snow and ice storm and made their way down to our annual meeting held January 21 at the quaint and beautifully restored farm complex that is home to Edgefield McMenamins inTroutdale,OR.  Jumping into Head-of-the-Lake at Rolex somehow seemed less risky than skiing down my own snowy driveway in a Subaru on my way to the meeting!

Barb Barke did a marvelous job of putting our meeting together – space accommodations, sound and video, speakers, lunch and dinner. We had a very large building all to ourselves with espresso and many pubs just a few steps out the door.  Outgoing Chairman Luigi Meneghelli kicked off the meeting and set the agenda very efficiently. I am happy to report that Adult Riders, Young Riders, and Area VII in total, were all in the black last year and everyone is already in gear for early activities in 2012.  Our invaluable and intrepid Area VII Treasurer, Lorilee Hanson, just informed me that our annual meeting was also a financial success! With the fees of our paying member attendees and the silent and live auctions, which brought in over $8600, we made a respectable profit of over $4000. I am also thrilled to report that our Washington State Horse Park is on track with it’s fundraising goals and our cross-country courses are now about to start major construction along with other competition amenities.  There is a lot of excitement out there now as a bona fide event is looming out on the horizon.

Lou Leslie and Malcolm Hook gave us an update from the national meeting on the One Fall and Elimination rule which currently stands at all levels.  There is a rule change bouncing around several committees to modify it to allow riders at Beginning Novice, Novice, and Training to get back on their horse after a fall and continue on to complete the course. Organizers appear to support the rule in place but many riders feel it is unfair, especially at the lower levels, to have a “pop off” and are eliminated for the rest of the event at quite a cost to participate.  This is a very murky area with falls in warm-up and in the barn area possibly coming into play.   Safety is of utmost importance and we will see if some version of this proposed rule change actually comes to a vote within our national and international governing bodies.

Dr. Katja Zellman and Dr. Erica McKenzie from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the latest research and options available for many types of sport horse injuries. Many of the treatments are still considered experimental and there is a curious lack of large data studies but generally positive results have come from Stem Cell, IWRAP, Platelet, and Shock Wave therapies, most notably in limb injuries. No matter what treatment is chosen, both vets felt TIME to heal is still the most significant factor for a horse to be able to come back to full work.  A well thought-out rehab program in addition to one of these treatments gives you the best shot at bringing your horse back into riding form.  Oregon State does all of these treatments as well as conducting some fascinating studies involving a horse treadmill that helps diagnose several unique kinds of injuries.  Their services are available to anyone in the horse community.

Our keynote speaker at the meeting was Buck Davidson Jr. As all of us were struggling to recover from the winter storm and get to the meeting, Buck flew in from Ocala, Florida after competing the night before in a celebrity Derby Cross, a sort of hybrid  cross-country and show jumping competition that is very spectator friendly and gaining popularity on the East coast and beyond.  His dark tan contrasted with our pasty complexions as he gave a rousing and humorous recap of the Pan American Team gold medal performance that occurred last October in Mexico.  The amount of unity and chemistry between the team, coaches, and support staff was unprecedented in Buck’s mind and might have been what was missing in our team performance at WEG in 2010, where he was a team rider as well. He strongly felt that individual honors will come along in the path of the more important great team performance.   Buck said Coach Mark Phillips was tremendously inspired by the whole preparation, performance, and victory at the Pan Am Games and is banking on this kind of cohesiveness, from the selection process on, to carry forward to the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in London later this summer. The stakes are even bigger there with the best competitors from all over the world planning to compete and this is his swan song as US Coach.  David O’Conner takes hold of the reins in 2013.

Luigi doled out year-end awards during dinner, ably assisted by Anni Grandia.  Jordan Linstedt was Champion Rider of the Year with Suzy Elliot as Reserve Champion. Jordan’smountRevitavetCapato, owned by Barbara and Gary Linstedt was Champion Horse of the Year and Karen Laidley’s Snow Globe Effect received Reserve Champion Horse of the Year.  All of the horses and riders that picked up a year-end award are listed on our Area VII website and a big congratulation to all of them.

On that note, I am excited to announce that we will have a new Area VII website debuting in March.  I have corralled a great group of volunteers to get it up and running, give it a new look, make it easy to use, and very interactive.  Luigi has toiled away and run our website for years and I now know how much work there is to do to keep it up to date. It was time to give him a break so he can focus on other things, including his growing event at Inavale. Please bear with us during the change-over as we are working quickly to have it up and running smoothly in time for competition season.

Melissa Beardsley


The Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet was a lot of  fun and anyone who missed it because of inclement weather is probably thinking about taking up dressage full time.  It is always great to catch up after such a long break and even more fun to honor all The Adult Riders End of Year Individual and Team winners.  The Individual winners and their prizes were:  1st Lou Leslie, $500 Gallops Gift Certificate;  2nd Lorilee Hanson, $400;  3rd Terese Russell and Loiuse Reulbach, $200 Gallops Gift Certificate each;  5th Dot Hamilton, Terrie Hook and Maya Black, $100 Gallops Gift Certificate each.

First place in the Meriwether Saddlery 2011 Adult Rider Teams went to Team Las Amaonas, who each received a Jeffries Padded Halter and Meriwether Saddlery Gift Certificate:  Liza Linde, Dawn White, Betsy Kunert, Kit Maret, Jessica Jimenez, Karen Hensley, and Jackie Burch.  In second place was Team Wild Women and Wine who each received two pairs of Back on Track Pillow Wraps:  Lorilee Hanson, Anni Grandia, Whitney Weston, and Erica Graff.  The winners of third place and a pair of Back on Track Polos and a Meriwether Saddlery Gift Certificate was Team Even Event Girls Get the Blues:  Chris Gianini, Lisa Eppley, Tamara Greene, Karen O’Neal, and Bridget Brewer.

Winners of the volunteer drawing for $250 Educational Bucks:  Chris Gianini, Dawn White, Kit Maret, and Becky Mathews.

Jessica Jimenez and her husband, Gorgio were honored for the wonderful spirit they both bring to our sport.  Jessica received the Robert Leyen/Large Marge Memorial as the Adult Rider who really captures what Eventing and Adult Riders is all about.  Gorgio was named Spouse of the Year for the incredible support he gave to his wife and helped her have another great year.  Only some of his exemplary contributions apparently were fit to be cited at the meeting.  I think we may have to get Jessica to open up the next time we see her.

John Meriwether


The annual meeting was a hit and many riders were awarded year end awards for 2011.  Lizzie Snow was awarded Champion at the Intermediate level and Mackenna Shea was awarded Reserve Champion.  Florence Miller was awarded Preliminary Champion and Ashlynn Meuchel received Reserve Champion.  Katherine Cole received Champion at Training level and Olivia Chandler was awarded Reserve Champion. Mara Campbell was the Novice level Champion and Ryley Sinclair was the Reserve Champion.  At the Beginner Novice level Ellen Chandler was awarded Champion and Olivia Schatz was Reserve Champion. We also awarded volunteer of the year awards to the following volunteers: the young rider adult volunteer of the year was Wendy Carpenter and the young rider volunteer of the year was Jordan Beckingham.  Thank you for all your hard work volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do it without you, and congratulations to all of the riders who received year end awards.

Some important dates are just around the corner:  April 1st:  young riders wishing to be considered for the Developing Rider Team award program at the Beginner Novice through Training levels must be members of the Area VII Young Rider Program.

On April 7th and 8th  we will have our annual spring camp at Tulipsprings.  Also June 26th-29th is the summer camp at Aspen Farm.  If you want to be a part of the exciting opportunities that the young rider program holds re-register as soon as possible.  Join our Facebook page so you don’t miss out on exciting news or important updates.  Show season is just around the corner!


Area VII February Newsletter, 2012

As your new incoming Area VII Chairman for 2012, I hope everyone had a peaceful and Happy New Year!  I have been a long time rider, competitor, trainer, and coach in our exciting and lovely sport of Eventing, and have loved riding here in the Northwest.  I have been a member of a few committees in my day but decided it was time to raise my hand and volunteer in a bit bigger way in order to give something back to the sport that has passionately consumed most of my life. So here I am as your next de facto “chief” for the next three years and I plan to be available to anyone who needs my ear concerning Area VII Eventing!

Our just released Area VII Chair Luigi Meneghelli, has graciously made the transition as smooth as possible, filling me in on current and future plans and business within the Area and I thank him for all his input concerning my new volunteer position.  First up was attending our annual national USEA meeting in the beautiful southern city of Nashville December 10 – 14th.   I mainly served as an observing shadow in many of the meetings, sitting in on the Area Affairs/Chairs Committee, Area Treasurers/Chairs Working Session, Competition Calendar and Rules Committee, Adult Riders Open Forum, and Eventing Calendar Planning for 2013 and Beyond.  Wow, a lot of information and discussion was put forward in a very short period of time.  I was amazed at the amount of civilized and productive conversations that went on between the Areas to facilitate everyone having the best possible event, from the organizers, riders, volunteers, and officials point of view – a very tall order.  Our national event calendar is now packed from February through November, with multiple events happening on the same weekends in Areas that are adjacent to each other. As much as we may grump about travel times to events, we rarely face two other events the same weekend in two other areas, all within three hours of each other.  This is happening all the time on the East coast and causing much concern for the hard working organizers who end up splitting the field of competitors and thus don’t have a full event.  We just have California, Area VI, to contend with and so far, so good, in minimizing the calendar conflicts.  I saw several informal groups of neighboring Area organizers, along with a USEA official, get together after the calendar meetings, and work out their scheduling conflicts starting in 2013.  It was pretty darn inspiring and I hope we can bring this type of open conversation to Area VII, no matter what the issues may be.  We are only as good as our individual members and the VOLUNTEERING we do!  Our annual Area VII meeting January 21st in Troutdale, Oregon should be a lot of fun and I get to do a bit of public speaking, not my strong suit.  I would rather teach a lesson on the finer points of shoulder-in!  A big Thank You, to all the Area VII members who attended the national meeting and helped steer me through the process.  We have an extraordinary number of members from Area VII that are on a number of national committees. Let me assure you that our voices are heard loud and clear from way out here in the west! I look forward to seeing all of you at many of our events this year.

Melissa Beardsley

Area VII Adult Riders
This is my first time as the Area VII Adult Rider Coordinator and I’m happy to have so many people lending their support of the continued success of AR. After attending the USEA national convention in Nashville this December, I know that Area VII has the best eventing community in the nation with more going on than any other area.  In addition to our clinics, we have Spring Fling, AR Camp, the Can/Ams, and the all-year AR Teams Competition.  There is room at the table for anyone who wants to volunteer, so don’t be shy.  Your participation is what makes eventing in Area VII so good.

Robust as our area is, and I may be dating myself when I write this, I count more ex-Area VII events than we have on the 2012 calendar.  Who doesn’t have fond memories of eventing at Lily Glen, Freeman Farms, Stanwood, Horse Haven,  Camas Meadows, Mountain Meadows, Far Hill, Scapoose, Deep Creek or Donida?   What separates those events from the ones we currently enjoy?  Perhaps only time.  As sure as taxes, we will be adding more names to the list of ex-events as the current organizers move on to other things or we lose the use of the  land.

The Washington State Horse Park is a whole new and different kind of venue for us on in Area VII, though several other states horse parks.  Although anyone can ride there, the WSHP is membership driven.  Becoming a member helps to preserve the land for riding for all, but investing in the Park Jump Building Fund is buying into the future of eventing.  To cost to build the planned 100 jumps for the 4 courses from Beginning Novice to Preliminary at the Park is about $200,000.   That’s an average of $2000 to build each jump.   This money does not come from the entry fees for the future Horse Trials there.  It must come up front from the people who want to see eventing continue to thrive in Area VII.  Think how much more enjoyment you’ll have jumping around the Park’s new Cross Country course if your contribution helped build it.  To make a donation, you can go on-line at or to participate in an Adult Rider Jump Sponsorship, feel free to contact me.

So, the things you need to do are Renew your AR membership, Join the WSHP, Donate to the Cross Country Jump Fundraiser, and Ride – That’s four.  Volunteer makes five.  Lets have a great year.

John Meriwether
Area VII Adult Rider Coordinator
Area VII Young Rider Newsletter
It is that time of year again; time to think about renewing your Young Rider membership.  Although events have not started in Area VII yet, they will be here before you know it.  This means that it is time to rejoin Area VII Young Riders, rejoining means that you will not miss out on any fun young rider activities.  To be considered as a team member at the Area VII Developing Rider Team competitions, a member must join by, no later than April 1st.  Members considering competing at NAJYRC need to join by, no later than March 1st.
We are pleased to announce that the new Area VII Young Rider co-coach for 2012 is Jessica Heidemann.  Jessica is a four star rider, ICP certified and a former Area VII rider and NAJYRC competitor.  Jessica will be working with Jonathan Elliot this year and then take over the job for 2013 and 2014.  Welcome to the program Jessica!
Join us Easter weekend as we kick off the season with our annual clinic at Tulipsprings in Eastern Washington.  Registration and all forms will be posted on the Area VII website.  The date for this camp is April 6-8, 2012.  Instructors will be announced soon.  The summer camp dates have been set and will take place at Aspen Farms, June 26-29th.  Instructors will be announced shortly and in March the forms will be posted on the web site.
Don’t forget to join our Area VII Young Rider Facebook page.  For safety this is a closed site so all viewers must be approved by the Young Rider coordinator.  This is a great place to share ideas, news and photos throughout the year! Send Piper a request to join.  Our program is always looking for Area VII parents to volunteer their time and talents.  Please contact Piper Cheney,, to volunteer.