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2017 Landkamer Competition Management Development Fund Grant Recipient: Jennifer Rawlinson

I am grateful to the Lloyd Landkamer Show Management Development Fund for contributing to my competition management education. I very much enjoyed not only the sessions at the USDF Convention last week, but also networking in Lexington with other managers, licensed officials, and GMO leaders to learn best practices.

When I arrived at the convention center Thursday afternoon, I was able to attend the combined Technical Delegates/Competition Management Committee Meetings which, as I understand it, replaced the Competition Management training offered in 2016 and, this year, included introductions to the USEF and USDF staff involved with competition management. There was helpful discussion about the role of TDs, new safety requirements, freestyle sound checks and troubleshooting, and prizelist advice. I was also able to participate in the Instructor/Trainer Committee Meeting plus the “Equine Gastric Ulcers Featured Education” program. 

Friday morning began with my Region 4 Meeting, then the Medium Size Group Member Organization (GMO) Roundtable and the Board of Governors (BOG) General Assembly which included really helpful reports from USDF and USEF. I was able to sit in on part of Dr. Hilary Clayton’s presentation “Show and Tell: The Horse’s Spine” before dinner. Saturday included the final BOG meeting and then I was free to listen to the second half of the Youth Education session about maximizing clinic investments, then learned a lot in the afternoon “What’s New in the Treatment of Lameness, Prohibited Substances in Feed and Supplements,” and “Joint Health Featured Education” seminars before leaving for the airport. I wanted to make the most of this opportunity and, while some sessions didn’t have direct competition management topics, I found something that overlapped with show management in every session.

I sincerely hope other competition managers (or show volunteers that are interested in taking on a larger role) will consider applying for this important grant in future years. As a fairly new show manager, I am fortunate to have learned from those with more experience. The landscape of show marketing, rules requirement, and competitor needs continues to change, so it’s important to keep up-to-date.