The excellent letter below to Eventing Nation and USEA was submitted to The Horse for publication.
Many of the phone calls and texts received by the Editor of The Horse suggested that eventers contact their sponsors to remove advertising from Eventing Nation and sponsors from USEA in an effort to have them change itheir position on the name of Plantation Field.
To: Leslie Wylie – Editor-in-Chief @ Eventing Nation
Ron Burke – CEO – USEA
Max Corcoran – President – USEA
Lady & Gentlemen ,
What a sad state of affairs, when organizations such as yours, in your rush to appear politically correct would make a unilateral decision not to use the proper name for an event without first educating yourselves as to the origins for the name.
AS IF THAT was not enough, you offended the landowner to the extent that they will no longer allow eventing to take place on the property. You have profoundly affected thousands of amateur and professional eventers that have been dutifully supporting your website and livelihood.
Mr. Walker’s family has long supported equestrian endeavors. His family has been involved for generations; his grandfather, Pluckett Steward, purchased farms to stop them from being developed and preserved them as open space. They have generously allowed use of their properties for Pony Club events, Paper chases, Point to Point Races & Fox hunting. They didn’t limit their generosity to equestrian endeavors but also included the running of the Tough Mudder event, Charity races, balloon festivals, and other uses. They allowed local boy scouts to plant trees and hedges to achieve the goal of earning a merit badge from their organization. Thereafter the area being called Plantation Fields.
Over the years, we the locals have proudly watched Denis Glaccum (whom you should know was instrumental in establishing 3 day eventing at Chesterland and Fair Hill) take a local horse trials to an International level of competition. Coaches consider this a "must" to bring their students here to learn the ropes of eventing, parents bring their children to the starter trials, professionals bring horses here to start them. Those that go on to represent our country in International & Olympic level competitions consider this an event for testing young and developing horses. We have had the pleasure of watching such professionals as Bruce Davidson, his son Buck Davidson, Jennifer Brannigan, Sarah Cousins, Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin (to name a few) bring multiple students and horses to complete at Plantation Fields. Many regional youth and adult amateur riders have had the opportunity to dip their toes into eventing at this wonderful facility.
So in your negative bias and prejudice against the word "plantation," which has more than one meaning, and I quote the first definition from Webster’s, “A group of plants or trees planted & under cultivation,” you have denied current and future riders the use of this top notch venue.
It would be a tragedy if this weekend’s International (which is run without spectators due to COVID 19) becomes the final eventing competition ever held at Plantation Fields.
And so I charge you with one task, MAKE THIS RIGHT!