The first USEA Pony of the Year award was presented in 2007 to the legendary Theodore O’Connor (Witty Boy x Chelsea’s Melody), a Thoroughbred/Anglo-Arab gelding ridden by Karen O’Connor and owned by the Theodore O’Connor Syndicate. Now, a trophy bearing his name is presented each year to the Pony of the Year.
It’s been a big year for Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp. Not only did she take home the World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year and Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year titles, she also piloted Cooley Stormwater (Camillo VDL x Thornfield Calypso), The Stormwater Group’s 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, to the title of 2020 USEA 7-Year-Old Horse of the Year.
In 2019, the USEA introduced two new national leaderboards: the 6-year-old horse and 7-year-old horse leaderboards. The 6-year-old horse leaderboard ranks 6-year-old horses at the Preliminary, CCI2*-S, and CCI2*-L levels and the 7-year-old horse leaderboard ranks 7-year-old horses at the Intermediate, CCI3*-S, and CCI3*-L levels.
The USEA has launched a new system for tabulating points for the year-end leaderboards which will begin with the 2021 competition season. Previously, leaderboard points were awarded based on placing and further determined by the number of starters in a division, often giving the focus to the quantity of rides a competitor could complete in a given competition season.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The Linda Moore Trophy was introduced in 1979 and awarded to the leading Young Rider in the country. After a strong showing during the 2020 season, 16-year-old Benjamin Noonan of Ballwin, Missouri was named the 2020 RevitaVet Young Rider of the Year.
The Windfall Trophy has been presented each year since 2015 to the stallion who accumulates the most points on the USEA leaderboard in that year. Halimey Go (Askar AA x Hamamelis Go), Christine Turner’s Trakehner stallion, was the first to win the title in 2015 and took it for a second year in 2016 with Buck Davidson in the irons.
In a difficult year for the sport of eventing, it was volunteers like James (Jim) Newman who helped many events stay afloat. Through www.eventingvolunteers.com, Newman recorded a total of 292 hours and 51 minutes of volunteer service in 2020. Newman’s dedication to the sport amidst a pandemic earned him the top spot on the USEA Volunteer of the Year Presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods leaderboard.
The USEA Year-End Awards Ceremony is held annually during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in December. This year, with the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention being held virtually, the decision was made to host a special virtual Year-End Awards Ceremony as well. At 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 8, the eventing community gathered virtually to celebrate the accomplishments of its members in 2020.
The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has awarded the Connaught Grant to Will Faudree, and his mount, Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic x Straightaway), a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Jennifer Mosing.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime supporter World Equestrian Brands as the Title Sponsor of the USEA Rider of the Year Leaderboard and a Contributing Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.