Proud to call New Jersey its home, the USET is the non-profit organization which represents the United States in international equestrian sports. For over four decades, the USET has proudly carried the responsibility of selecting, training, equipping, and financing teams of the highest possible standards to represent the U.S. in Pan American and Olympic Games, World Championships, and other international competitions. It is an exciting task considering a 1997 study performed by the American Horse Council Federation which determined the U.S. economy is currently spurred by 6.9 million horses and driven by the 7.1 million equestrian participants associated with horses. Participants in the equestrian industry generate an economic impact of $23.3 billion per year based on partnerships formed between Americans and their horses.
As in any other sport, only a handful of those cross-species partnerships will ever be selected to represent the U.S. in international team and individual competition, after demonstrating a consistent pattern of success at the toughest level of their sport. Unlike participants in any other sport, male and female equestrian athletes compete as equals, unabridged by age. (And they are permitted to bring their pets to the Games.) Bringing an accomplished horse to a world class competition-and winning- requires another unique element to equestrian sports: a symbiotic and spectacular partnership between human and animal. In order to get the job done, both must have acquired the skills necessary to win internationally and remain in constant communication.
Competitive members of the USET have repeatedly teamed up with their horses over the last 46 years to win an impressive 27 Olympic and 54 Pan American Games Medals in Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing. The USET first sent a team to compete at a World Driving Championship in 1980, and has competed at every World Championship since. The USET reached new heights in driving in 1991 when it won the Pairs World Championship in Zwettl, Austria. That win was a key factor in the naming of Gladstone, New Jersey, as the host of the 1993 Pairs World Championship!
Adding to the driving boom were victories in 1992, when U.S. drivers won the Masters Trophy at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England for the second time in four years, and in 1994, when Lisa Singer became the first lady driver to win the National Pairs Driving Championship. Singer took her place in history again in 1997 when she became the first driver to win the Pairs Division EquiSilk Triple Crown.
In 1992, the USET added Endurance Riding to its roster, bringing its number of equestrian disciplines for which it oversees in international competition to five. Endurance Riding is best described as a mounted marathon covering distances from 50 to 100 miles. U.S. Endurance riders have had tremendous success demonstrating the fittest horse and rider combinations as demonstrated by the Team's three World Championships in 1988, 1990 and 1992. The U.S. also won individual Gold Medals in 1986,1994 and 1996 and also won the team Gold Medal in 1988.
The future shines like gold as more and more public riding facilities are opening across the country and horse shows in the U.S. are at an all time high.
Additional horsepower was added at the 1998 annual meeting when the USET Board of Trustees voted to assume responsibility for the international riding discipline of Reining. According to USET Executive Director Robert C. Standish, "This is an exciting opportunity for the USET because the level of interest in Reining is staggering. Reiners going to international events will now be representing the USET and this is sure to have a significant impact on our membership and donor support."
Individual visitors and groups are encouraged to visit the USET Olympic Training Center and Headquarters in Gladstone at any time! Once at USET Headquarters you will walk into a stable built in 1916 which has been described as one of the largest and most lavish in the United States. Built with brick and concrete, reinforced with steel, the ornate interior includes carriage rooms (which have become USET executive offices) corridors and harness rooms with tile walls, terrazo floors, and brass fittings. The original layout included 40 rooms, including 10 sleeping rooms for the staff, an apartment for the manager, eight bathrooms, and recreation rooms.
See just how far the Team has come since the days prior to 1949 when the United States Cavalry both furnished and subsidized the equestrian teams that officially represented our country. With the mechanization of the Cavalry, we were left with no equestrian representation at all for either our own international events or the Olympic Games. So, in 1950, the USET was organized by a group of interested sportsmen to fill this breach. Today, the USET is wholly financed through tax deductible contributions made by individual, corporate and organizational supporters.
US Equestrian Team headquarters is located at Hamilton Farm on Pottersville Rd. in Gladstone, just west of Route 206. Excluding events on weekends, office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. For more information on how you can be a part of the gold medal action and family fun or to schedule a guided tour call (908)234-1251 or visit the USET website.