Kyra King Stuart passed away suddenly today, December 5, 2018 in Honeyoe Falls, New York at the age of 79. Stuart was born in Akron, Ohio on November 9, 1939. She graduated in 1957 from the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio and with honors in 1959 from Briarcliff College. Stuart was a former women's department member and fashion writer for The Akron Beacon Journal. She married Lynn Evans Stuart in the mid-1960s and they had a daughter, Heidi, and she was also stepmother to Sara and Barkley.
Stuart became involved in eventing after her daughter Heidi became interested in the sport as a young child at summer camp. In 1990, Stuart founded the Stuart Horse Trials in Victor, N.Y. and served as organizer from 1990 to 2005.
Stuart served as a member of the USEA Board of Governors from 1994 until 1999 and was a key member of the Executive Committee. During that period she was appointed Vice President of Membership and was a member of the USEA Strategic Planning Committee. She received a USEA Governor’s Cup award in 1999 for her services to the USEA. In the 1990s Stuart was also a member of the US Equestrian Federation’s Board of Directors and was an active member of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee.
Stuart was elected as President of the USEA in December of 2004 and served from 2005 to 2007. During her time as president she worked hard to save the classic long format, grew the USEA American Eventing Championships and Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, fostered the USEA Young Event Horse Series, and helped develop the USEA Future Event Horse Series. Stuart was a champion for the lower level riders and initiated the 2005 Strategic Planning Session which resulted in the first written strategic plan for the USEA.
Following her term as USEA President, Stuart then served on the USEA Endowment (now the USEA Foundation).
In 2013, Stuart was awarded the USEA’s President Lifetime Achievement Award – only the third person to have the honor in the history of the Association.
Jo Whitehouse, former CEO of the USEA and close friend wrote a tribute to her in 2008. She said: “[Stuart’s] passion for the sport and for the organization knows no limits and under her guidance both the number of members and the number of competitors in competition has consistently grown.”
“Kyra gives of herself, her time and her own funds to support the USEA and the sport she loves. Nothing is too much effort and everything is done cheerfully with a positive mindset. Kyra attracts people to her because of her personality; she inspires them to work for her wholeheartedly. Did you ever hear of a horse trials that has so many volunteers that they cannot find jobs for them? She has built an environment where her team of volunteers return year after year. Kyra has been a wonderful leader and president. She is a joy to work for and with. She is a visionary and an inspiration, but most of all she is a true friend.”
The USEA sends its sincerest condolences to Stuart’s family, friends, and connections.
US Equestrian has announced that changes are on the horizon for U.S. eventing as they roll out the first phase of a restructured and reinvented U.S. Eventing Pathway Program in 2019.
This week's USEA Podcast features the recipients of the 2019 Wilton Fair Grant and 2019 National and International Developing Rider Grants as well as the 2018 USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame recipients.
The Millbrook Horse Trials are held once a year on the first weekend in August in Millbrook, New York (Area I) and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced level horse trials for their approximately 450 starters.
The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm will be hosting a Winter Cross Derby Series in the early months of 2019. The cross derby incorporates cross-country and stadium jumps across eight acres of all-weather footing. Obstacles will include ditches, banks, water, and various portable fences.