The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to introduce you to the class of inductees for the 8th edition of the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame. On Saturday, December 10, 2022 during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, GA, Janie Atkinson, Harry Chamberlin, Trish Gilbert, Sally O’Connor and Eagle Lion will join an esteemed list of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the sport of eventing. Please join us in congratulating these legends of the sport as they approach their induction into the Hall of Fame!
The first inductee in this year’s class is Janie Atkinson. Atkinson is most well known for her contributions to the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, now Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, serving as the Executive Vice President of Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) and Event Director from 1984 to 2010. The success and scale of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event today are thanks in large part to Atkinson’s work. Throughout her career, Atkinson also served as Industry Liaison for the American Horse Council, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council, and Eventing Discipline Director for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.
Three-time Olympian and prolific author, Colonel Harry Chamberlin, is the next inductee into the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame. Chamberlin was a graduate of the American, French and Italian calvary schools for advanced equitation and rode in the 1920, 1928 and 1932 Olympic Games. His top accolades include a Team Gold for the Military, the predecessor to the modern form of eventing, and an individual Silver Medal for the Prix de Nations in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Col. Chamberlin also wrote two classic and still influential books: Riding and Schooling Horses (1934) and Training Hunters, Jumpers and Hacks (1937), the former a guide for developing “a good rider,” the latter for educating that rider in “breaking and training the horse.”
Trish Gilbert has worn many hats in the sport of the eventing throughout her lifetime, but perhaps the most influential was her role in bringing the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, only the second 5-star event in the US and seventh worldwide, to fruition. Gilbert has been involved with Fair Hill International, Inc., the organizers of eventing competitions at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, since the beginning as their event director. After successfully hosting the 2003 Pan American Games Eventing Championships and over 30 years of upper-level eventing competitions at the venue, Fair Hill was awarded the 5-star designation, in many ways thanks to Gilbert’s work. Gilbert also served as the director of the Blue Ridge Horse Trials, organized the spring three-day U.S. Equestrian Team Championships, was a team selector, the young rider chairman and served on many USEA boards throughout her career.
Sally O’Connor rounds out the list of human inductees into the 8th edition of the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame. O’Connor has enjoyed a lifetime of involvement in both eventing and dressage, serving in several official roles, including as an FEI Judge (USEF “I” dressage judge and an eventing “R” judge), an eventing steward, the voice of the dressage tests at the then Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event for over 15 years, and press liaison during the 2004 Olympics. Also, an accomplished writer, O’Connor has influenced riders all over the country with her works Practical Eventing and Common Sense Dressage, as well as numerous articles on both disciplines. She has served on the boards of many equestrian institutions including the United States Dressage Association, the United States Pony Club, and as Vice President of Education for the United States Eventing Association.
The lone equine inductee that will join the Hall of Fame this year is Eagle Lion, who was piloted by Bruce Davidson, Sr. throughout his astonishing career. A horse who only stood at 16.1 hh tall, Eagle Lion was the first of only two American horses to ever win the Badminton Horse Trials, and one of few, if not the only, to complete the 4-star cross-country course at Badminton double clear four times. Davidson and Eagle Lion collected top 5 placings at Fair Hill, Burghley and other attempts at Badminton throughout their partnership and are now memorialized as a bronze statue at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the artist depicted the pair jumping the “Head of the Lake” obstacle of at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day.
To learn more about the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame, click here. If you are interested in registering for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention and purchasing tickets to the 8th edition of the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame dinner, click here. If you have any other questions or suggestions, please contact Jennifer Hardwick by email at [email protected] or by phone at (703) 779-0440, ext. 3003.
The USEA would like to thank the support of the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention sponsors: Adequan, Bates Saddles, Mountain Horse, Nutrena Feeds, Parker Equine Insurance, Standlee Premium Products, SmartPak, Kerrits, Capital Square, Nunn Finer, RevitaVet, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis, World Equestrian Brands, Rebecca Farm, Gallops Saddlery and more.
About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention
The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia on December 7-11, 2022. This year will be special as the USEA honors new inductees into the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
It was a busy day at Stable View Oktoberfest in Aiken, South Carolina as all FEI divisions and a few national divisions kicked off their competition weekend, including the 2023 USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships. Both the 6-year-olds and 7-year-olds got their chance to shine down the centerline at the start of the day, with the 7-year-olds also giving their best effort across Michael Vallaincourt’s show jumping track later this afternoon.
The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) has initiated a renewed focus on the diverse challenges coaches in various regions of the country may be facing. To this end, the program is in the process of enlisting representatives in each of the 10 USEA areas to help guide the program as warranted for the unique needs of each specific area.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has opened nominations for the annual appreciation awards through Oct. 29. This is an opportunity for the sport to recognize those horses and riders who excelled in eventing throughout the year. It is also an opportunity to recognize and honor the very important people who have served the sport tirelessly both in a non-riding capacity and riding capacity during their golden years.
Anticipation for the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship and inaugural USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Championship is growing, and the host venue, Stable View, is up for the task of making both events an unforgettable experience for all involved. For the first time, the Intercollegiate and IEL program championships will be hosted on the same weekend at the Stable View H.T. in Aiken, South Carolina, on May 4-5, 2024, creating greater unity between the programs and demonstrating a clear pipeline of participation in the sport from grade school through college and beyond.