Gladstone, NY - December 14, 2009 - The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that they have awarded the Amanda Warrington Grant to Three-Day Event rider Heather Morris of Lewisville, TX. The Amanda Warrington Grant is awarded through the Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund.
The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Amanda's family in her memory with the purpose of helping provide financial assistance to a developing event rider who has been identified as a rider with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future.
The committee for the grant selects a recipient that they believe will benefit from the opportunity of continuing their training with top coaches and competing against the world's best horse and rider combinations in three-day eventing, which is one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines.
As the recipient of the grant, Morris will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year.
Morris competes with her two top horses: Slate River, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Allison Freeman, and First Mark, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Lynne Partridge. Morris was named to the USEF Eventing High Performance's 2010 Developing Rider Program with both horses.
While Morris competed at the Kentucky Rolex Three-Day Event in 2004, 2009 has been her most successful year of competition. She and Slate River won the CIC** at the Poplar Place Farm Horse Trials in March and the CIC** at Weatherford and Greenwood Farm Horse Trials in May.
In July, the pair was second in the CCI** at the Event at Rebecca Farm, while First Mark won the Advanced class at the event. Morris returned to Poplar Place Farm in September, where she finished first on Slate River and second on First Mark in the CIC*** competition.
Morris finished her year at the Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI*** in October, where she and Slate River finished eleventh out of 66 starters. Slate River was sixth overall in the U.S. Eventing Association Horse of the Year points, while Morris finished as the seventh place rider in the USEA Nutrena Rider of the Year standings.
Morris is a professional rider at Gold Chip Stables in Bartonville, TX, for Olympic Three-Day Eventer Mike Huber. She was very excited to be named the recipient of the Amanda Warrington Grant. "I've known Danny Warrington for a couple of years," Morris remarked. "I'm honored to win an award in Amanda's memory."
"The grant is such a good thing for up and coming riders," she said, "to have that opportunity to go and get the extra help that we need. I hope to put the grant to good use in the beginning of the year. Any time that you get to further your training and look outside the box, to possibly work with different people, always ups your game. I look forward to doing that in Florida in the spring."
While Morris' plans are not confirmed, she hopes to work with grand prix rider and fellow Texan Mike McCormick on her stadium jumping skills and with a dressage trainer as well. Her goal for 2010 is to compete with Slate River in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** and with First Mark two weeks later at the Jersey Fresh CCI***.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.