2008 USEA Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA | United States Eventing Association, Inc. - US National Combined Training, Horse Trials: Dressage, Cross Country, Show Jumping

2008 USEA Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA

Presenting Sponsor

Reception Sponsors


Additional Sponsors



New Orleans, LA
December 10-14, 2008

Presented by Nutrena

Convention Details

We vowed we’d head down south to New Orleans when the time was right.  Well the wait is over…New Orleans, here we come!  Now’s your chance to book your tickets for the 2008 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention presented by Nutrena and hosted by Area III, taking place from December 10 – 14, 2008 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the home of jazz music and Mardi Gras.

The 2008 Meeting and Convention is sure to be one of the best yet.  You definitely won’t want to miss the annual Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses, with Master of Ceremonies, Jimmy Wofford or the presentation by Lucinda Green, this year’s keynote speaker. 

And our own Gina Miles silver medalist from the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as the entire US Olympic Eventing Team will be there to sign autographs. You'll also get the chance to participate in the open forums and committee meetings that will be taking place there, such as the Adult Riders Forum, the Organizers Forum, the Professional Horseman's Council, the JR / Young Rider Forum, Jump Builders Forum and the Board of Governors Meeting among others.  And of course, don't miss out on the exciting and education seminars and panels being featured at this year's convention: 'Back and Neck Problems in the Event Horse' presented by Dr. Kent Allen, DVM; 'Training Solutions from Top Riders' with the 2008 Olympic Event Team and Lucinda Green, 'The Olympics: A Groom's Point of View' featuring Olympic grooms Max Corcoran and Emma Ford; and 'Dressage Judging for Dummies' presented by The Chums of Talisman Farm, just to name a few!

For more information on the exciting and educational seminars being presented, click here.

Convention Schedule

Book Your Hotel Today!

The Meeting and Convention will be taking place at the luxurious Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is located where Canal Street meets Bourbon Street: the “Gateway to the French Quarter”.  For more information about the Astor Crowne Plaza and the amenities they offer, visit their website at www.astorneworleans.com.

We have secured a special room rate for USEA Convention attendees of $125 for single or double occupancy. The cut-off date for the USEA rate is November 18, 2008. Reservations may be made by phone at (888) 233-9527 or online by clicking here to secure your special rate

For directions to the hotel and information on airport shuttles, click here.

A Word About Our Sponsors

A big thank you to all of our convention sponsors! This convention depends upon their generosity, and you are encouraged to support them in return. In particular, our Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena; Reception Sponsors: Area IIIMaui Jim Sunglasses, Bit of Britain, and Rebecca Farm; Additional Sponsors: Adequan, Amerigo, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Charles Owen, Cover-All Building Systems, DG Stackhouse Saddles, Horse Quencher, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Plastic Source, Practical Horseman, Safer Building  Materials, SmartPak Equine, SUCCEED, and Wellpride.

Convention Highlights

Trade Fair - This year's trade fair will spotlight several of our annual meeting sponsors, including Nutrena, Plastic Source, Wellpride, Stackhouse Saddle and Succeed among others.  Stop by for an afternoon cup of coffee, courtesy of Horse Quencher, and browse the booths for Christmas gifts for friends, family, and of course your horse!  Trade fair hours:  Thursday: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Friday and Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast - Don't forget to grab a bite to eat before your morning meetings from Thursday to Sunday.  Coffee, tea, fresh fruit, pastries, and other delicious treats will be available in the Trade Fair area from 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. 
Sponsored by Rebecca Farm

USEA Board of Governors' Reception - In the true eventing spirit of good times, good food, and good friends, the Board of Governors will be hosting a welcome reception for all Convention attendees on Thursday evening to kick off the festivities in style.  Everyone is invited to enjoy tasty hors d' oeuvres and drinks, meet members of the USEA's Board of Governors, and catch up with friends before heading out to enjoy the fabulous sights and sounds of New Orleans.  
Thursday, December 11, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Area III Presents "The Masked Event" No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a touch of Mardi Gras, so get ready for some masked fun at the Area III Welcome Reception; "The Masked Event"!  So grab a Mardi Gras mask and get ready to enjoy some delicious hors d'oeuvres and drinks as you mingle with the masked crowd...you never know who you may end up talking with!
Friday, December 12, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Carl Bouckeart & Chattahoochee Hills Eventing
Area III Adult Riders and Area III Young Riders

USEA Year-End Awards Luncheon. Saturday's Awards Luncheon is sure to be one to remember, as eventing legend Jimmy Wofford takes to the stage as Master of Ceremonies for this year's year-end awards. Come accept your award or cheer on your friends and fellow riders who've achieved high accolades this year.
Saturday, December 13, Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses

Olympic Review - Take a trip down memory lane with members of the U.S. Eventing Squad as they recall their once in a lifetime experience in Hong Kong. Notable photographer Shannon Brinkman will entertain us with her fabulous photos of the Olympics paired with wonderful music – you don't want to miss this! Joining our team on stage to give a behind-the-scenes view on the highs and lows of the Hong Kong Olympics will be the team's Chef d' Equipe, Captain Mark Phillips, USEF Executive Director Sports Programs Jim Wolf, USEF Managing Director of Eventing Sara Ike and Marilyn Payne, 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Judge. 
Saturday, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Nutrena

USEA Auction ReceptionTo Benefit USEA Equine Welfare Research.
Master of Ceremonies, John Nunn.

Here's your chance to help out a great cause and get some fabulous merchandise!  Don't miss our live auction with the always-entertaining John Nunn hosting the proceedings.  This is the perfect opportunity to get some last minute holiday gifts for friends and family (and yourself!), all while supporting a great cause.  All proceeds will benefit USEA Equine Welfare Research.  Saturday, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Bit of Britain

Sights, Sounds, and Flavors of New Orleans  

New Orleans is one of the most exciting places in the country to visit!  It's chock full of fun and excitement for people of all ages.  Not to mention it is home to some of the finest and most diverse cuisine around.  There's no doubt that you'll be plenty busy with all the excitement at the Convention, but there's always time for some sight-seeing and fine dining.  For suggestions on some terrific places to visit and places to get some grub, check out our list of great places to visit and delicious food to eat! 

Things To Do...

Headed to New Orleans for this year’s USEA Annual Meeting and Convention?  Here are a few places you might want to sneak a peek at if you’re taking a break from the festivities.

Magazine Street – If shopping is your thing, Magazine Street is a must.  Known as the “Street of Dreams” by the locals, Magazine Street features six miles of boutiques, art galleries, local shops, spas, art studios, restaurants and more – sure to keep you busy for hours.  And the shopping isn’t the only thing that will impress you…the buildings themselves are uniquely New Orleans as well.  You’ll go through renovated warehouses, Victorian cottages, and ‘row houses’, all while making your way from Canal Street – near the famed French Quarter – to Audubon Park.  For more information about Magazine Street, head over to www.magazinestreet.com for a complete listing of what shops you’ll find there during your visit.

The Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots – New Orleans is home to one of the oldest race tracks in the United States and if you’re a horse lover, you can’t leave without visiting The Fair Grounds.  An affiliate of the famed home of the Kentucky Derby,  Churchill Downs, The Fair Grounds features live Thoroughbred racing from November to March, as well as simulcast horse racing from around the country year round.  And this November, The Fair Grounds is slated to open its newly expanded home of its 245 brand new slot machines.  So give your feet a break and kick back and watch some live Thoroughbred racing…you never know what horses you’ll see run (a future Triple Crown winner, maybe?)  Visit www.fairgroundsracecourse.com for more information.

Swamp Tours – Okay, okay…it might not sound like much, but don’t say no to taking a Swamp Tour just yet.  There is no place in the world like the Louisiana bayou and all the wildlife that it is home to.  Where else can you float (on a boat of course!) through Cyprus trees and marsh reeds, all while encountering alligators, turtles, and stunning birds that call the swamps and marshes home?  And since you have to be at least a little bit of an ‘adrenaline junkie’ to be a three-day eventer, here’s your chance to float across the surface of the water at 50 mph aboard one of the many airboats that will be glad to take you out on the bayou.  To find the perfect host for your Swamp Tour, visit www.neworleanscvb.com and click on ‘Tours’.

Jazz Clubs – New Orleans is famous for the jazz music that got its start in the Deep South.  If you love music, or are looking for the inspiration to love music, make it a point to check out one of the many jazz restaurants, clubs, and bistros scattered throughout the city.  One of these restaurants, Palm Court Jazz Café, has been steadily gaining popularity as of late and features the musical styling’s of Topsy Chapman and Lars Edegran nightly.  Plus, they give you the chance to sample traditional Creole food in the “unique, casually elegant atmosphere of old New Orleans”.  For more information on Palm Court Jazz Café or one of the many other jazz clubs in New Orleans, head over to www.neworleanscvb.com and click on ‘Music and All That Jazz’.

New Orleans Nightlife – Finally, for the 21+ crowd, don’t miss the chance to unwind with a drink at one of New Orleans’ famed night life attractions.  From bars and taverns, breweries and brew pubs, to cocktail lounges and wine barns, you’re sure to find a place that’s just right for you.  It’s Mardi Gras all year long in New Orleans and this is your chance to be a part of the action.  You never know who you might see enjoying the nightlife, so enjoy yourself.  It is New Orleans after all!  Pay a visit to www.neworleanscvb.com and click on the ‘Nightlife’ tab for a list of fabulous locations to choose from.

Sample Some Southern Cookin'...

Looking for somewhere great to eat while you’re enjoying the USEA Annual Meeting and Conference?  Here are ten of the most popular – and most highly recommended! – restaurants in New Orleans:

Emeril’s New Orleans – You knew it was bound to be on the list, but Emeril’s really is one of the most popular restaurants in New Orleans and for good reason!  Executive Chef Emeril Lagasse and his staff bring you a lunch and a dinner menu full of delicious options that will leave you wanting more.
The official website describes the food as being “somewhat eclectic, but leans more toward what Chef Emeril calls "New" New Orleans cuisine. Although the menu often abounds with a pastiche of tempting dishes in the style of Southwestern, West Coast Oriental, or New England cooking, the roots of each - as well as some of the ingredients - are usually in the Creole genre”.
A lunch entrée at Emeril’s will cost you about $18 - $25 and you can expect to spend $25 - $40 on a dinner entrée.
Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.  Dinner is served Monday through Sunday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  As you may have guessed, reservations are recommended and can be made on the website.
Emeril’s requires smart / business casual attire.  Jackets and ties are optional, however no shorts or hats or sleeveless shirts on gentlemen are allowed.
Emeril’s is located at 800 Tchoupitoulas Street, which is just a short walk of about 1.2 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza.

Commander’s PalaceCommander’s Palace has been a New Orleans land mark since 1880 and continues to be one of the most popular restaurants in the city today.  Executive Chef Tory McPhail has been with Commander’s Palace since 2000 and is proud to say that about 90 percent of the ingredients he uses in his food come from within 100 miles of New Orleans…talk about fresh!
Commander’s Palace has been serving up traditional Creole food since it first opened its doors and continues to carry on the tradition today without both indoor and outdoor dining available.
A 2-course lunch starts at $16, a 3-course dinner starts at $36, and a 3-course brunch starts at $27.
The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on weekdays and dinner is served from 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm daily.  On Saturday and Sunday, Commander’s Palace opens its doors at 11:30 am and 10:30 am respectively for Jazz Brunch with Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio.  Reservations are recommended.
Dress at Commander’s Palace is upscale and jackets are preferred at diner.  No shorts are allowed. Commander’s Palace is located just 2.5 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza at 1403 Washington Avenue.

Acme Oyster House – Looking for some good seafood and some good times?  Acme Oyster House has been serving up delicious seafood for generations and is a favorite among locals.
Of course, seafood is the main type of food served at Acme Oyster House, but they also feature Po-Boys Sandwiches, some of which have no fish of any kind for those people who would prefer not to try catfish, crawfish, or another New Orleans tradition.
Both lunch and dinner start at $11 and go up to about $20, depending on market price.
Acme Oyster House is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday until 11:00 pm.  Reservations are not accepted.
The dress at Acme Oyster House is casual…this is a great place to take the kids!
Acme Oyster House is located well within walking distance (just .2 miles!) of the Astor Crowne Plaza at 724 Iberville Street.

Ralph’s on the Park – What started in 1860as a French immigrant’s coffee shop has grown into a restaurant that has been recognized by Bon Appétit, New York Times, and The Washington Post for serving fine cuisine?  The answer is easy…it’s Ralph’s on the Park.
Not only does Ralph’s on the Park boast award winning contemporary Louisiana and Creole cuisine from Executive Chef Haley Gabel, it also treats its visitors to spectacular views of New Orleans’ City Park with both indoor and outdoor dining.
Both lunch and brunch range in price from $11 - $20, and dinner prices range from $21 to $30.  Lunch at Ralph’s is served on Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm and upon booking.  Dinner is served nightly from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.  Sunday brunch is from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended.
The dress code at Ralph’s on the Park is smart casual, and it is a non-smoking establishment. Ralph’s on the Park is located about 3.5 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza at 900 City Park Avenue.

Gumbo Shop – If you’re looking for a traditional New Orleans restaurant in a traditional New Orleans location, then look no further than the multiple award winning Gumbo Shop.  Located in the famed French Quarter, the Gumbo Shop, open since the 1920s, features a historic building that will take you back to old time New Orleans.
A true Southern restaurant, the Gumbo Shop has all the classic types of food you can think of: Creole, Cajun, Seafood, and Soul food.  And of course, their specialty dish is gumbo.
Lunches at the Gumbo shop are a steal at $10 or less, and dinners aren’t too shabby either, ranging in price from $11 - $20. 
Eat at the Gumbo Shop any day from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.  And best of all, you don’t even need a reservation.
There is no dress code at the Gumbo shop.
Located at 630 Saint Peter Street, the Gumbo Shop is just over .5 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza.

Jacques-Imo’s Café – In the mood for some “real Nawlin’ food” (i.e., New Orleans, for us non-locals)?  Then Jacques-Imo’s Café is the place for you.  This fun and funky restaurant is a favorite for locals and tourists alike.
Featuring an “eclectic mix of Creole and Cajun specialties”, founder and chef Jacques Leonardi has created some one of a kind dishes unique to his restaurant including shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake (Really!  I can’t make this stuff up…). 
Dinners at Jacques-Imo’s are reasonably priced at $21 - $30.
Jacques-Imo’s Café opens nightly at 5:30 pm.  The doors close at 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday and at 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday.  The Café is not open on Sunday.  Reservations are accepted for parties of five or more only.
It’s a casual dress code at Jacques-Imo’s.  In fact, Leonardi himself is often spotted in the kitchen with his chef’s coat on over a pair of shorts and clogs.
It’s just a short 5.5 mile drive to Jacques-Imo’s Café’s home, at 8324 Oak Street, from the Astor Crowne Plaza.

LaCôte Brasserie – How can you pass up a restaurant with a very similar name to Karin Donckers’ amazing Olympic mount, Gazelle de la Brasserie…especially when it is home to award winning dining!  Be sure to make a stop at LaCôte Brasserie for a delicious meal.LaCôte Brasserie is home to Executive Chef Chuck Subra Jr. and is famous for its contemporary French cooking and its oyster buffet.  Come and enjoy ‘Alfresco’ dining with huge picture windows that provide a great view of New Orleans.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $5 - $20 on breakfast at LaCôte Brasserie, $10 - $20 on lunch, and $15 - $40 on dinner.  A 3-course Sunday brunch will cost $25 - $30.  Finally, LaCôte Brasserie’s oyster bar will cost anywhere from $10 - $40, depending upon what you choose from the menu.
Breakfast is served at daily at LaCôte Brasserie from 6:30 am to 11:00 am.  Lunch is from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and dinner opens nightly at 6:00 pm.  The restaurant is open until 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday.  Sunday Brunch is from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.  Reservations aren’t required, but they are suggested and can be made on LaCôte Brasserie’s website.
The dress code is business casual at LaCôte Brasserie.
Just 1 mile from the Astor Crown Plaza, LaCôte Brasserie is located at 700 Tchoupitoulas Street.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company – Bringing your kids to the Convention?  Then the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is a must for you!  Inspired by the movie Forrest Gump, this family friendly restaurant provides a fun and entertaining dining experience for all.
Of course, seafood is the main focus at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but they also have other great options for those of us who may not be seafood lovers.  Plus, this restaurant has one of the best “Kids’ Menus” in New Orleans.  As an added bonus, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. features an in house store filled with Bubba Gump merchandise sure to make you reach for your wallet.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is very affordable and prices range from $12 to $20 for a meal, lunch or dinner!
Doors open daily at 11:00 am for lunch and don’t close again until 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday…no reservations required!
It’s casual and family friendly at Bubba Gump, so bring the whole clan.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is located just over .5 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza at 492 Decatur Street.

Sun Ray Grill – Anyone up for the beach?  Then head over to Sun Ray Grill for a dining experience unlike any other in New Orleans.
The Sun Ray Grill has been serving up “contemporary beach cuisine in an atmosphere that’s refined but funky” since opening their doors in 1996.  And what exactly is ‘beach cuisine’?  Well, it’s basically anything you can think of from seafood to steaks.
Prices start at $7 at Sun Ray Grill and go all the way up to about $30, so there is something for everyone at this eclectic restaurant.
The atmosphere is casual at the Sun Ray Grill, so dress is casual as well.
The Sun Ray Grill is just a short 1.5 mile walk from the Astor Crowne Plaza at 1051 Annunciation Street.

Igor’s Bar-B-Que Mama’s – How about a traditional Southern barbeque?  Sound good?  They head over to Igor’s Bar-B-Que Mama’s…a local hotspot known for its barbeque as well as the friendly home style atmosphere it provides.
As you may have guessed by the name, this place is all about the barbeque and serves up everything barbecue daily.
As an added bonus, prices are very reasonable at Igor’s…about $12 will get you some of the best barbeque in New Orleans.
Igor’s is open for both lunch and dinner, but call ahead for hours -- (504) 522-6602.  The dress and atmosphere is casual at Igor’s, so get ready to get your fingers saucy with some great barbecue!
It’s less than 2 miles from the Astor Crowne Plaza to Igor’s at 2135 St. Charles Avenue.

Red Fish Grill Fishing for New Orleans' deFINitive seafood dining? Fish no further than Red Fish Grill, a triumph of cuisine, style and design. Casual New Orleans seafood created by Executive Chef Gregg Collier dominates a menu peppered with Big Easy favorites like Pecan Crusted Catfish, Alligator Sausage & Seafood Gumbo, Bananas Foster 'Up' and at least seven types of Gulf Fish available every night! Located at the gateway to Bourbon Street, Red Fish Grill sets the tone for your entire French Quarter experience.
The restaurant's decor features a sea colored etched floor, hand-painted tables, oyster mirrors with large pearls, sculptured palms surrounding tall columns, photographs of Louisiana bayous and bayou residents and a sea of metal fish in neon swimming overhead.
115 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 539-5508
Reservation: (504) 598-1200
Fax: (504) 539-5538
Website: www.redfishgrill.com
Hours of Operation
Lunch Daily 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Dinner (Monday - Sunday) 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Oyster Bar (Monday - Sunday) 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Pricing is moderate with entrees at lunch in the $7 - $12 dollar range and at dinner in the $13 - $22 dollar range.
A full wine list, wine by the glass and a full bar are available throughout the day. A bar menu is also available from 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Bacco Known for redefining "Italian Cooking" in New Orleans, BACCO has won over many a guest with its stunning use of local and regional ingredients prepared using traditional Italian cooking methods. The results of the marriage of the best of Creole and the best of Italian cooking are nothing short of Spectacular (Local's favorites include Lobster Ravioli and Crabmeat Lasagna).
Simple gutsy food. Food with the intrinsic taste of superior fresh ingredients. Such is the demand of New Orleanians and Italians alike. This is what we strive to deliver at BACCO, along with caring service and easy comfort.
Our restaurant is 3 blocks off Canal Street between Bienville and Conti Street in The French Quarter
310 Chartres Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Phone #: (504) 522-2426
Fax #: (504) 521-8323
Hours of Operation:
Daily: 11:30 a.m-2:30 p.m.
Sunday - Thursday: 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Lunch Description:    $11-$20
Dinner Description:   $21-$30
Nothing here tickled your fancy?  Not to worry…the good folks at Epicurious.com (a GREAT website for people who have a passion for food) have compiled a Guide to Where to Eat in New Orleans, and the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau also have a Restaurant Guide filled with dozens of incredible places to grab some grub.

Area III promises a weekend welcoming USEA members to the southern lifestyle in the Bayou, celebrating New Orleans art and culture and sampling the culinary delights of Louisiana. Listen to some of the most influential jazz players in the world while dining on tasty New Orleans dishes such as Po-Boys, hearty gumbo, or extra-spicy jambalaya. New Orleans is a "kid friendly" town, so invite the whole family and take a stroll through Jackson Square and spend an afternoon enjoying an old fashioned buggy ride, the multi-talented street performers, and the thriving art community.  Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to listen to and speak with some of the most influential people in the world of eventing!  So what are you waiting for?  Book your flight and hotel, pack your bags, and come party in the Bayou with us!

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