Name Changes for Social Change


by : 
Rachael V.


Back in September of 2020 Eventing Nation released an article on the recent call for a name change of the Plantation field horse trials venue in Pennsylvania. The issue arose from the recent conversation with the affiliation the name “plantation” alone has to slavery. The venue name and location have no affiliation to slavery but Eventing Nation brought the issue to the United States Eventing Association (USEA) in hopes to start creating more awareness of names such as these and the lack of diversity within the equestrian sport. Due to the naming issue, USEA has lost the venue to host horse trials. While many eventers around the country are unhappy with the loss of such a high end venue, something much more important has come out of the loss of Plantation Fields: conversation about equity and privilege, especially in respect to the lack of diversity within the equestrian sport. We have seen similar name changes within the Palo Alto Unified School District and the National Football League that publicly show how representations with negative connotations, racism, and inequalities need to be addressed in our country. This project is about the effects of naming a venue based on negative connotations and how powerful backgrounds and meaning can we do our part to create understanding in the important conversation of not repeating history through changing big organizational names?