The Captain Mendívil-Yucupicio Award was presented by the USEA Foundation for the first time at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. This new award, generously donated by Pam Duffy of Temecula, California, honors an international rider competing in the United States who has demonstrated integrity and good sportsmanship. Australian rider Ryan Wood was the inaugural recipient.
Manuel Mendívil-Yucupicio was born in Huatabampo, Sonora in Mexico in 1935. At the age of 17, Mendívil-Yucupicio entered the Heroico Colegio Militar in Popotla, Mexico City, where he showed prowess riding in the cavalry.
He first represented Mexico in international competition in Brazil in 1963, going on compete in eventing for Mexico at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. In 1967, Mendívil-Yucupicio rode for Mexico in the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, bringing home the individual bronze medal in show jumping.
Mendívil-Yucupicio returned to the Pan American Games in 1971 in Cali, Colombia, this time taking home the individual gold medal in eventing. Following his success, he was named to the Mexican team for the 1972 Munich Olympics. He competed at the Pan American Games a third time in 1975 in Mexico City, Mexico, contributing to an eventing team bronze medal.
Mendívil-Yucupicio retired from his role as a Captain in the Mexican Military after the 1975 Pan American Games and moved to Europe to continue training. In 1980, he won the team bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in Moscow.
After the Moscow Olympics, Mendívil-Yucupicio returned to Mexico to train the next generation of horses and riders, including his son, Escipion Mendívil, who would go on to represent Mexico in international competition.
Following Mendívil-Yucupicio’s death in 2015, Pam Duffy wanted to find a way to honor his legacy. “He never actually coached me,” Duffy explained, “but I moved my horses to the place where he was training and coaching and got to know him that way. I think we’re both introverts, so it wasn’t like, ‘Hi, it’s so nice to meet you!’ but I started to really respect him.”
“He was a horse whisperer type of person – very Zen – and at that time I wasn’t quite as Zen,” she continued. “It was a quiet admiration. He was a role model for a lot of people. He was determined, and consistent, and disciplined, and I think young people these days need to appreciate the importance of those traits.”
Duffy’s hope is that the award will both honor Mendívil-Yucupicio’s memory while rewarding riders that demonstrate the traits he possessed. “It’s about grace under pressure and it’s about doggedly continuing on, even under difficult circumstances,” Duffy concluded. “Just because things are history doesn’t mean there aren’t far-reaching tendrils to the future.”
Wood, who has ridden at the highest level of the sport since he was just 19 years old and in 2018 finished in eighth place in the CCI4* at Les Etoiles de Pau, said he was thrilled to have been named as the inaugural recipient. “Mendivil-Yucupicio was a great horseman, winning a bronze medal at the Moscow Olympic Games, and it was an honor to be named for this award in 2018,” he said. “Thank you to Pamala Duffy for bringing this award to the United States.”
The $5,000 Captain Mendivil-Yucupicio Award is presented annually at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention to a deserving individual selected by the Review Committee based on the following selection criteria:
Please visit the USEA Foundation website for additional information.
A relentless rain didn’t put a damper on the first horse inspection at the 2019 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Three-Day Event in Elkton, Md. The CCI3*-L presented first in front of the ground jury of Helen Brettell (GBR) and Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride (USA) and all 62 horses were accepted to start the competition. C Me Fly ridden by Colleen Rutledge and Jos UFO De Quidam ridden by Heather Jane Morris were both sent to the hold, but were accepted upon reinspection. Lasse 73 ridden by Jennifer Salinger was asked to jog twice, but was accepted after the second pass down the lane.
The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East and West Coast Championships will take place this weekend on opposite sides of the country. On Thursday and Friday, October 17 and 18, the East Coast Championships will take place at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. Then on Sunday, October 20, the West Coast Championships will run at the Fresno County Horse Park (FCHP) in Fresno, California.
Rutledge Farm is thrilled to welcome back two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton to host his second eventing clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Since 2017, Rutledge Farm has been dedicated to bringing premier educational opportunities to Middleburg, Virginia to support the development of the sport at all levels and for multiple disciplines, including eventing, show jumping, dressage, and equitation.
Experience the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships through the judge's eyes! The USEA will be hosting YEH judging seminars during the 2019 USEA YEH Championships. The seminars will be led by the world-renowned judge and co-chair of the YEH Committee Marilyn Payne. All interested parties are welcome to attend.