Apr 05, 2018

2018 USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame: Karen O'Connor

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Karen O'Connor and Biko competing at the 1995 European Championships. Brant Gamma Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is very pleased to announce the new inductees that will join the 40 other members of the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame in 2018. This year, we will honor six inductees whose accomplishments and contributions have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. The inductees will be formally inducted during the Hall of Fame Gala at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana this December. We will be releasing the names of the six inductees over the coming month.

Karen Lende O’Connor has competed in five Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games, and two Pan American Games. In 1993, O’Connor was the number one ranked lady rider in the world and she has been named U.S. Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year 10 times.

O’Connor began competing internationally in the late 1970s and began riding with the U.S. Equestrian Team in 1986 at the World Championships in Gawler, Australia, where she rode Lutin V. In the 1980s she won multiple CCI3* events and rode for the U.S. in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

During the 1990s, O’Connor and her USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame partner Biko were mainstays of the U.S. team, riding to multiple top-10 finishes at major international events including the Badminton Horse Trials and Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. O’Connor rode Biko at the 1994 World Equestrian Games and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where they were part of the silver medal team. O’Connor went on to ride Prince Panache at the 1998 World Equestrian Games, where the U.S. team won the bronze medal. Shortly after that, the pair won the 1999 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, O’Connor and Prince Panache were members of the bronze medal team.

Karen O'Connor and Theodore O’Connor at the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. USEA Photo.

In the early 2000s, O’Connor found international success with her mount Joker’s Wild, winning the individual silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games, and with Upstage, whom she competed with at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. O’Connor also found success aboard the 14.1 hand Sport Pony Theodore O’Connor, finishing third at the 2007 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and sixth there again in 2008. At the 2007 Pan American Games, O’Connor and Teddy won individual gold and team gold. O’Connor piloted Mandiba through the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, China and then together represented the U.S. at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kenucky in 2010.

In 2011, O’Connor triumphed in many events with her mounts Veronica and Mr. Medicott. She finished ninth at the 2012 Olympics in London, England with Mr. Medicott, where O’Connor was the highest-ranking U.S. rider at the Games that year. O’Connor was also noted as the oldest Olympian to represent the U.S. in any sport at the London Games, paying tribute to her lifetime fitness programs and dedication to the sport.

On October 6, 2012, O’Connor fell while competing Veronica, suffering burst and compression fractures in her vertebra and later undergoing surgery that would input two permanent titanium rods to support her spine. Fighting all odds, she made a strong recovery and in 2015 was appointed the Team Coach to the Mexican Eventing Team. O’Connor now spends her time teaching students, commentating at international events, and inspiring others through motivational speaking.

Out and About, Nina and Tim Gardner, and Captain Mark Phillips have been announced as 2018 USEA's Hall of Fame inductees. Stay tuned for the announcements of the remaining inductees!

Feb 28, 2021 Profile

Now on Course: Heartbeats and Hoofbeats

My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.

Feb 27, 2021 Association News

Beware of Phishing Attempts and Other Types of Fraud

Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.

Feb 27, 2021 Education

Top 10 Tips for Leather Care with Bates Saddles

Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.

Feb 26, 2021 Rules

Update on Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal

Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA