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.
At the end of 2018 the United States Eventing Association (USEA) launched a new website and with this update came a new process for the USEA’s online competition calendar. This change was not a result of the new website, but because of the USEA Omnibus no longer being offered in a printed version.
US Equestrian (USEF) has released the selection procedures for the 2019 Pan American Games taking place August 1-4, 2019 in Lima, Peru. The United States did not secure the necessary Olympic qualifying placing at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018, so the 2019 Pan American Games are the U.S.’s next chance to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
This week on the USEA Podcast, USEA Classic Series Task Force member Mary Fike comes on the show to talk about the USEA Classic Series and the work the Task Force has done over the last year. Marcia Kulak returns to the show to talk about fitness programs for long format events.
The final day of the 2019 USEA Educational Symposium gave judges and auditors the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) program. Demo horses were brought in for a full day of every aspect of the FEH Championships from yearlings to 4-year-olds.