The drinks were flowing and the mid-afternoon Friday party at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention was in full swing today at the Year End Awards Luncheon, hosted by Max Corcoran and Jim Wolf. This year’s USEA Annual Meeting is hosted in the positively lovely Savannah, GA, and while I’ll have to book another trip to see the famous green river for St. Patrick’s Day, I’m not sure there could be a better spot to cap off the year in eventing land.
The Year End Awards Luncheon is a festive event, with nearly 30 recipients given USEA Foundation Awards and the end of year leaders in each division and category honored. Development grants for horses, riders, and event support were also given, which means we’ve got a whole list of winners to celebrate. Let’s jump right in — and stay tuned for more stories on some of these award recipients in the coming weeks.
First up, please join us in congratulating the USEA Leaderboard winners from 2022:
World Equestrian Brands Rider of the Year: Boyd Martin (PA)
Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year: Tamie Smith (CA)
RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year: Cassie Sanger (CT)
Capital Square USEA Adult Amateur of the Year: Kevin Keane (SC)
Standlee Premium Western Forage Horse of the Year: Dondante/Four Star Eventing Group (FL), Team Rebecca, LLC (MT)
Bates USEA Mare of the Year: Lady Chatterley/Lesley Grant-Law (FL), Stephen Brown (FL)
SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year: Geluk HVF/Bethany Hutchins-Kristen (FL)
Pony of the Year: Coud’Poker/Donna Miller (GA)
Junior Rider: Madison Zgutowicz (GA)
Young Adult Rider: Maya Chinana (DE)
Intercollegiate: Gillian Stover (KY)
Adult Rider: Kristen Mumme (FL)
Master Rider: Carla Jimmerson (GA)
Adult Amateur Rider: Lindsay Parsley (KY)
Master Amateur Rider: Carla Jimmerson (GA)
Horse: Delilah’s Boy/Hedgerow Farm (MD)
Junior Rider: Quidley Kellermann (TX)
Young Adult Rider: Jenna Alland (TX)
Intercollegiate: Emilia Sweeny (CT)
Adult Rider: Kyla Tovar (IL)
Master Rider: Madeline Bletzacker (OH)
Adult Amateur Rider: Kyla Tovar (IL)
Master Amateur Rider: Madeline Bletzacker (OH)
Horse: Paddington/Alyssa Cairo (MI)
Junior Rider: Ella Eisenbarth (WA)
Young Adult Rider: Sarah Ross (NV)
Intercollegiate: Cora Severs (KY)
Adult Rider: Ashley Kehoe (VA)
Master Rider: Katie Malensek (FL)
Adult Amateur Rider: Amber Pearson (CA)
Master Amateur Rider: Kirsten Hiles (MN)
Horse: Daktaris/Ashley Kehoe Eventing (VA)
Junior Rider: Chloe Paddack (FL)
Young Adult Rider: Kalli Core (TX)
Intercollegiate: Dorothy Dreelin (GA)
Adult Rider: Megan Tardiff (ME)
Master Rider: Brooke Kahl (SC)
Adult Amateur Rider: Abby Foltz (VA)
Master Amateur Rider: Brooke Kahl (SC)
Horse: Nata Montada SCF/Brooke Kahl (SC)
Junior Rider: Cassie Sanger (CT)
Young Adult Rider: Kalli Core (TX)
Intercollegiate: Kiersten Miller (MI)
Adult Rider: Caroline Martin (PA)
Master Rider: Liz Halliday-Sharp (FL)
Adult Amateur Rider: Marley Stone Bourke (VA)
Master Amateur Rider: Eileen Galoostian (UT)
Adult Rider: Boyd Martin (PA)
Intercollegiate: Cosby Green (KY)
Adult Amateur Rider: Katie Lichten (MA)
Master Amateur Rider: Kevin Keane (SC)
Horse: Dondante/Four Star Eventing Group (FL), Team Rebecca, LLC (MT)
Next up were the grants given to fund development of horses and riders for future championship competition:
Connaught Grant: Caroline Martin and HSH Blake
The Connaught Grant, in honor of the late R. Bruce Duchossois, will give $25,000 to a CCI* or CCI2* horse in the U.S. that is seen as a potential candidate to represent Team USA on an international level. The Grant, which helps offset the cost of competitions, travel in relationship to competitions, training and horse care, is the brainchild of Phillip and Evie Dutton and longtime supporter Caroline Moran.
Wilton Fair Fund: Hallie Coon
The Wilton Fair Fund allows up to $100,000 in grants to be given each year for a variety of educational opportunities for riders ages 29 and under who have not yet ridden on a senior team.
Essex Horse Trials Grant: Cornelia Dorr
The Essex Horse Trials Grant is available to a developing rider aged 25 and under who is competing successfully at CCI4*-S and above and who is working towards representing the U.S. in international team competition. The grant is intended to assist the recipient develop the essential horsemanship skills required for a successful transition from the Young Rider ranks to the Senior Rider ranks. The grant may be used for expenses related to equestrian education, coaching, training, and competing.
Haller Educational Scholarships: Heather Gillette and Ashley Johnson
The USEA has established two educational scholarships in memory of the late Roger Haller and his wife Ann Haller. Designed to provide financial assistance to those licensed officials who are working towards promotion to the “R” license, the “S” license, or the FEI licenses. The Scholarship may be used to offset the costs involved in gaining the necessary education and practical experience required to attain promotion. The sport is in urgent need of well-trained and committed officials who can serve at the highest international levels of the sport.
Seema Sonad Junior Rider Grant: Julia Crandon
The Seema Sonnad Junior Rider Grant is for riders 14-18 years of age who are competing successfully at the Preliminary/two-star level and who are working towards representing his or her Area at the NAYC CCI3*-S team competition in the following year. The grant is intended to assist the recipient in developing the essential horsemanship skills required for a successful transition from the Junior Rider ranks to the Young Rider CCI3*-S level. The grant may be used for expenses related to equestrian education, coaching, training, and competing.
Mike Huber Award: John Bourgoin
Donated by friends of Mike Huber, this prize is awarded annually to any NAYC coach, chef d’equipe, or team support person who best exemplifies Huber’s enthusiasm, sportsmanship, and dedication to the youth of the sport. This special trophy was earned for the first time at the 2016 NAYC. Each winner will take home their own trophy to keep as well as have their name engraved on a plaque for a perpetual trophy.
Packy Prize: Peter Gray
An award in Packy McGaughan’s honor was established through the USEA Foundation. That award will include a beautiful bronze trophy and award recipients will be recognized at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention. 2022 is the first year this award is given.
Tremaine Cooper Cross Country Design: Derek di Grazia, John Michael Durr, Jeff Kibbe, Carsten Meyer, David O’Connor, Beth Perkins, Morgan Rowsell, John Williams
The Tremaine Cooper Fund for Cross-Country Design will be awarded annually to support the attendance of FEI Level 2 or higher course designers who are U.S. citizens at FEI Eventing Continuing Education Seminars/Clinics that are held overseas (i.e. outside of North America).
Broussard Charitable Foundation Trust Going Forward Grants: Janice Binkley, Rebecca Caulfield, Allison Eastman Lawler, Colleen Rutledge, Mallory Stiver
This educational opportunity provided the possibility to transforming members’ lives, careers, and horsemanship, along with enriching the sport of eventing. The Broussard Charitable Foundation Trust generously donated a one-time gift of $25,000 to the USEA Foundation for the Going Forward USEA Members Grant. The Grants were intended as a one-time opportunity and were offered only in 2020. However, the reception they received and the success achieved by the grant recipients inspired the Broussard family, through their Charitable Foundation Trust, to offer them each year for the next three years.
Next up were the Event Riders of North America (ERA of NA) Awards:
Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award: Jane and Tim Murray
This award is to be presented to an individual employed in a supporting career such as an event organizer, official, secretary, or other staff members who throughout the year went “above and beyond” their duties.
Amateur Impact Award: Stephanie Tassos-Reimers
This award is to be presented to an Adult Amateur that embodies a dedication to the sport of eventing, outstanding sportsmanship, and has made a direct impact on eventing in North America.
As You Like It Owner’s Award: Nancy Winter
The award is to be presented to an outstanding owner who has had a large influence on a rider’s career. Additionally, nominees will also be recognized for having made an exceptional contribution to the sport of eventing.
Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award: Hailey Burlock and Erin Jarboe (#supergrooms to Will Coleman Equestrian)
This award recognizes an outstanding groom who has had a large influence on their rider’s career and the health and well-being of the horses under their care.
Last but most certainly not least came the USEA Appreciation Awards:
Vintage Cup: John Meriweather (OR), Sally Holman (IN), Suz Roehl (CA)
The Vintage Cup is awarded to members 60 years of age and over who are competing at any level in recognized USEA competitions and who show good sportsmanship.
Ironmaster Trophy: Sandra McDonald (SC)
The Ironmaster Trophy is presented to the individual that exemplifies fortitude and courage. Open to anyone associated with the sport: volunteer, spectator, official, trainer, competitor, groom, or grounds-keeper.
Cornerstone Instructors Award: Natalie Hollis, Sue Berrill
The Cornerstone Instructors Award honors the lower level instructor who has inspired riders in the sport of eventing with their encouragement and long-term dedication teaching basic horsemanship skills.
Eventing Coaches Program Sue Hershey Award: Christian Eagles
The Sue Hershey Award honors an ICP certified instructor who exemplifies the values, commitment, and character of the ICP program and who has inspired students in the sport of eventing, with their instruction, encouragement, and long-term dedication to teaching correct horsemanship and stable management skills. Sue Hershey dedicated over 20 years to the development and continued progression of the Instructors’ Certification Program.
Posthole Digger Award: Tyson Rementer
The Posthole Digger Award is presented to a builder who has exhibited exceptional ability and dedication to the sport through their work.
Neil Ayers Course Designers’ Award: Derek di Grazia
The Neil Ayer Course Designers’ Award is presented to a cross-country course designer in recognition of their innovation and vision.
Wofford Cup: Jo Whitehouse
The Wofford Cup is presented by Jim Wofford to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to the sport.
I’m always keen to talk to some of these award recipients to find out how they feel about this recognition, so stay tuned for more stories yet to come!
For more on this year’s USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, click here.