The USEA Annual Awards Dinner is always a much-anticipated event as Master of Ceremonies Jim Wofford presents well-deserving USEA members with their year-end awards in style.
The awards began with the presentation of the SmartPak Equine USEA Classic Series winners. The winners of the Fleeceworks Sweepstakes for the Beginner Novice Three-Day and Preliminary Three-Day were Rosemarie Albrizio and Ian Roberts respectively. Alyssa Peterson took home the SmartPak and Fleeceworks Sweepstakes for the Novice Three-Day and the winner of the Stackhouse Saddles and SmartPak Sweepstakes for the Training Three-Day was Cornelia Dorr.
Roy Burek of Charles Owen then presented the highest scoring Charles Owen Technical Merit Award Winners with a brand new Charles Owen helmet. Shelby Brost and Emily DiMaria were the junior and senior winners, respectively.
For the second year in a row, Melissa Fox was awarded with a $500 Dover gift certificate for winning the Dover Saddlery Eventing Challenge.
The recipients of the 2015 Worth the Trust Scholarships were then congratulated. Rebecca Barber of Charlottesville, VA was the Young Adult Scholarship Recipient and Kate Vane of Ann Arbor, MI earned the Adult Amateur prize.
USEA CEO Jo Whitehouse presented Sarah Braun with the Christine E. Stafford Eventing Groom Award. Sarah has worked for Hawley Bennett-Awad since August 2011 and became her full time groom in August 2012.
The ceremony then moved into the leaderboard award winners for all the levels Beginner Novice through Advanced. It is always an honor to give recognition to the success of these hardworking riders. All of the leaderboard winners can be viewed here: http://useventing.com/competitions/leaderboard
The USEA was grateful to present Janet Taylor, a local from Fort Worth, Texas, with the Vintage Cup, which is given to a USEA member who continues to actively compete successful in Eventing at 60 years of age or older. Janet has participated in a Training or Novice Three-Day every year for the last 5 years and is an ardent supporter of the Classic Series.
The Andrew H. Popiel Memorial Trophy was given to the USEA by the Popiel Family of the Trojan Horse Trials to acknowledge the role of the Event Organizer and their commitment to Eventing. This year the USEA was pleased to present the Trophy to Kay and Bob Willmarth of Richland Horse Trials.
Two very deserving instructors were the recipients of the Cornerstone Instructor’s Awards for their long-term dedication as lower level instructors. The 2014 winners were Nadeem Noon of Bloomington, IN and Alice Sarno of Phoenix, AZ.
The winner of the Ironmaster Trophy, which was donated on behalf of Neil Ayer and his mount Ironmaster, was announced to a rousing round of applause as Desiree Bruce of Richland, Washington made her way to the stage. Desiree is a two-time breast cancer survivor and is working to raise awareness and funds through her campaign “Jump for the Cure”.
The next honors were for those who generously give their time and support for the betterment of the sport and the USEA. The 2014 Governors Cups were awarded to: Patricia Gilbert, Jonathan Holling, Candace Rice, Brian Sabo, and Cathy Wieschhoff.
Jimmy presented Robert Costello with his favorite award of the evening, The Wofford Cup, which is an award chosen by past recipients for their dedication to the sport.
The following segment of the evening honored the overall champions for 2014. The following were this year’s well-deserving winners: Point Two Young Rider of the Year - Caroline Martin; Stackhouse Saddles Adult Amateur of the Year - Bonner Carpenter; Devoucoux Lady Rider of the Year - Lauren Kieffer; CWD Mare of the Year - Veronica; World Equestrian Brands Rider of the Year - Buck Davidson; Pony of the Year - Bento Box; SmartPak Horse of the Year - No Boundaries.
For eight years, Winsome Adante has maintained the crown as the all-time high point horse, but this year Carl and Cassie Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM was honored as the new leader of the career high point horse in the USEA.
Louise Leslie, USEA Endowment Trust Chair, then took to the stage to announce the winners of four amazing grants. The Beacon Charm Grant was awarded to Alexa Aho, the Essex Grant to Libby Head, the Rebecca Broussard Developing National Rider Grant to Jen McFall, and the Rebecca Broussard Developing International Rider Grant to Matt Brown.
USEF Managing Director of Eventing, Joanie Morris, honored the owners of the 2014 World Equestrian Games’ horses, and the evening concluded with a very exciting announcement from Phillip Dutton. Phillip, along with his longtime supporter, Caroline Moran, have set up the Connaught Grant in honor of R. Bruce Duchossois. The Grant will give $25,000 to a CCI* or CCI2* horse in the U.S. that has proven to be a potential candidate to represent Team USA on an international level.
The USEA would like to thank the 300 members who joined us in Fort Worth, Texas for a wonderful evening.