The USEA Board of Governors has approved the creation of the USEA Roger Haller Education Fund to honor the memory of Roger Haller, who passed away March 31st. Roger made immense contributions to the development and implementation of the USEA’s Education Programs over the last forty years and this fund is designed as a lasting legacy to his invaluable work.
The USEA Foundation has commenced a fund raising campaign with the goal of securing $250,000 to develop its educational programs for judges, technical delegates, course designers, instructors and volunteers. One hundred percent (100%) of the members of the USEA Development Committee and the USEA Board of Governors have pledged financial support for the fund. These are people who appreciate and value the impact Roger Haller has had on the sport of Eventing and who want to make his vision a reality.
The Fund will encompass the Roger Haller Scholarship for the Education of Eventing Officials, the USEA’s Course Designer’s Scholarship, the introduction and implementation of the Officials’ Advancement Program which will be part of the Training Program for Eventing Officials (TPEO), the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) and other programs that are currently in the conceptual stages.
During the last few years, Roger stressed the importance and urgency of encouraging the next generation of eventers to step-up and assume the responsibility as officials and instructors as he and his peers had done some forty years ago. He observed that the dwindling pool of US “R” “S” and FEI officials was reaching a crisis point of having an insufficient number of qualified officials to satisfy the growing number of competitions. He devoted much of his time working to address this crisis, and there was no one in the world more qualified to ask the eventing community to step up than Roger.
Since the 1960’s Roger has been a major force in our sport. He served as an Area Chair in his early twenties, as a young board member he served as the volunteer editor of the then USCTA News (now Eventing USA) working tirelessly to nurture the newly created association and grow it into the organization it is today. He served on almost every one of the USEA committees responsible for the training and education of judges, technical delegates and course designers, but he did not stop there. His strong belief that horses and riders would be safer if they received quality education in the correct principles of riding and in particular, cross-country riding resulted in him being a big supporter of the USEA’s Instructors’ Certification Program.
Some years ago, Roger identified a need to bring new officials into the pipeline. His recommendation was that the USEA and the USEF produce 15 “r” officials, six or seven “R” officials and four FEI Eventing Officials on a regular basis to replace those who were ageing out of the system. He believed the USEA’s educational programs would be the means by which this would be accomplished. Sadly, those numbers were never achieved even though the USEA’s Training Program for Eventing Officials has been recognized internationally as one of the best in the world. With Roger’s passing we now have one less FEI official leaving only two U.S. FEI 3*/4* Technical Delegates.
The USA is honored to have had American officials represent us at several Olympic Games: Brian Ross in 2000, Marilyn Payne in 2008 and now again as President of the Ground Jury in Rio to name just two. Derek di Grazia is following in Roger’s footsteps as he has been named course designer for the 2018 World Equestrian Games and the 2020 Olympic Games. The question facing the sport now is who will step up to replace Brian, Marilyn and Derek? To solve this dilemma, Roger believed the USEA must urgently work on producing the next generation of officials – NOW! That goal will be accomplished through The Roger Haller Education Fund. We are asking that you pledge your support for that goal and join us by making a donation. Every single donation, no matter the amount, will make a huge difference in our efforts to fulfill Roger’s dream.
Donations can be made to the USEA Roger Haller Educational Fund, c/o USEA, INC., 525 Old Waterford Road, Leesburg, Virginia 20176, or you may make a donation online at www.useafoundation.org and clicking on the “Donate” button in the top right hand corner. All donations are fully tax deductible.
Thank you for supporting the USEA Roger Haller Education Fund. Just as we are all thankful for the work done by Roger Haller and his peers forty years ago, future generations of eventers will be equally thankful for the work we all do today.