It was a sweet moment for the eventing community as we were able to come together once again after a one-year gap due to COVID-19 to celebrate the many accomplishments of United States Eventing Association (USEA) members and eventing enthusiasts during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. The evening’s ceremony was led by Jim Wofford and Jim Wolf and recognized riders, horses, and game-changers in the sport of eventing with over 80 awards and grants.
The evening’s presentation began with the USEA Classic Series drawing sponsored by D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles. The winner of the drawing was Barbara Slaughter (Danville, California). Slaughter will receive a custom-fitted D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis Saddle
Wolf next introduced the USEA Leaderboard of Champions presented by Nunn Finer. The leaderboard recognizes many divisions within the levels from Beginner Novice through Advanced. Each winner of the rider categories will receive a beautiful keeper trophy and winners of the horse categories will receive an original champion stall plaque, commissioned by Indian Creek Farm of Spring Branch, Texas. The USEA is always honored to recognize the achievements of these hardworking riders and horses. Click here for the complete leaderboards.
The 2021 Sunsprite Warmbloods Volunteer of the Year is Cynthia Smith (Georgia). Smith is a silver medalist of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program and has logged a total of 1,045 hours of service in total, with an impressive 536 volunteer hours having been accumulated at USEA recognized events this year. Smith received $1,000, a “2020 Volunteer of the Year'' embroidered jacket, a trophy, and a custom embroidered stadium blanket from Saratoga Horseworks.
Tom Neuman, owner of RevitaVet, presented the Linda Moore Trophy to the 2021 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Kentucky). Baugh received a check for $1,000, a RevitaVet system, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler.
The USEA Adult Amateur of the Year award went to Katie Lichten (Hamilton, Massachusetts). Lichten was awarded the Col. Allen D. Smith Memorial Trophy, $1,000, a personalized USEA Adult Amateur of the Year jacket, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler.
The 2021 SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year, presented with The Windfall Trophy, $1,000, a SmartPak Stallion of the Year embroidered fleece blanket provided by SmartPak, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler, was Isselhook’s First Sight TSF (Lossow x Fuenflinden), a 7-year-old Trakehner stallion owned by Janine Shoffner (Louisville, Tennessee) and ridden by Alexandra Green (Loudon, Tennessee).
The Theodore O’Connor Trophy, $1,000, a SmartPak Pony of the Year fleece blanket, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler was awarded to the 2021 SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year, My Valentine, a 17-year-old Welsh mare owned and ridden by Sidnee Milner (Canton, Georgia).
After a remarkable competition year, the 16-year-old Selle Francais mare On Cue (Cabri de Elle x On High) was the recipient of not one, but two top honors during the 2021 Awards Ceremony. Firstly, On Cue was awarded the title of 2021 Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year. For this recognition, On Cue was presented with the Caser Trophy, $1,000, a $500 Standlee Premium Products certificate, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler. On Cue was also the recipient of the Frolicsome Trophy as the 2021 Bates USEA Mare of the Year winner and will receive an additional $1,000, another custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler, and a Bates saddle.
One of One Cue’s owners, Christine Turner (San Antonio, Texas), delivered a heartfelt thank you to her husband and silent partners TJ Turner for supporting her passion for horses and making this year possible. Turner also was proud to acknowledge Tommie Turner and Boyd Martin as part-owners of On Cue this evening.
The Essie Perkins Trophy went to the 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year, Tamra Smith (Murrieta, California). Smith served as a traveling reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Olympics team and had over a dozen top-three placings at the Intermediate level and above during the 2021 season. Smith received $1,000, a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler, and a Bates saddle.
This year’s World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year and recipient of the Windy Acres Farm Trophy was the first rider to break a 13-year-long drought for an American to win a five-star event Boyd Martin (Unionville, Pennsylvania). This is Martin’s fifth time earning this title, and he received $1,000, a pair of Amerigo Safety Stirrups and leathers provided by World Equestrian Brands, and a custom embroidered Saratoga Horseworks show cooler.
Following the presentation of the leaderboard winners, the night turned to awarding of grants. The USET Connaught Grant is designed for a horse competing at the CCI2* or CCI3* level who shows potential to one day be on the U.S. Team and is presented in memory of Bruce Duchossois. This year’s USET Connaught Grant was awarded to Chin Tonic (Chin Champ x Wildera), a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Hyperion Stud and ridden by William Coleman.
The Wilton Fair Fund is donated by David and Cheryl Lenaburg with the goal of supporting U.S. developing riders. The Fund allows grants to be given each year for a variety of educational opportunities for riders 29 and under who have not yet ridden for a senior team. This year’s grant recipient is Caroline Martin (Riegisville, Pennsylvania) for a total of $60,000.
The long-standing Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship Program continues to provide financial assistance for young adults and adult amateurs to hone their horsemanship skills training with the country’s top competitors in the sport. This scholarship is generously sponsored by Joan Iversen Goswell, in tribute to her champion horse, “Worth the Trust”. The recipient of the 2022 Adult Amateur Scholarship is Heather Thomas (Lexington, Kentucky).
Former USEA President and current Chair of the USEA Foundation Diane Pitts presented the USEA Foundation Grants. The $10,000 Essex Grant was awarded to Cole Horn (Long Valley, New Jersey) and Rebecca Roth (Malone, Wisconsin) was awarded the $5,000 Seema Sonnad Junior Rider’s Grant. The $5,000 Haller Educational Grants for Eventing Officials were awarded to Sharyn Antico (Southwick, Massachusetts) and Beth Perkins (Rutherfordton, North Carolina). Rebecca Braitling (Paso Robles, California) won both the Captain Mendivil-Yucupicio Award for $5,000, as well as the Mike Huber Award.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Rebecca Broussard Developing Rider Grants within the USEA Foundation and bestowed by the Broussard family in honor of Rebecca Chaney Broussard. The Broussard family presented Marc Grandia (Duvall, Washington) with the $10,000 Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant and Maya Black (Clinton, Washington) with the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant. Following the presentation of the 2021 grants, it was announced that the Rebecca Broussard Developing Rider Grants, which were set to expire in 2021, and Going Forward Grants, which were initially created to be a one-time grant to support continued education during downtime as a result of COVID-19, would both continue on for three more years.
Wolf had the honors of presenting the five ERAofNA awards this year which included the Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award, the Amateur Impact Award, the As You Like It Owner’s Award, and the Liz Cochran Memorial Grooms Award. Susan Watson (Indian Trail, North Carolina) was the first recipient to be recognized as the winner of the Above & Beyond Event Personnel Award.
The Amateur Impact Award is presented to an Adult Amateur that embodies a dedication to the sport of eventing and shares outstanding sportsmanship. The 2021 recipient of this award is Liz Messaglia from Brownsburg, Indiana.
Presented to outstanding owners who make exceptional influences on the careers of riders and their horses, the As You Like It Owner’s Award was presented to Jacqueline B. Mars (Middleburg, Virginia).
The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award salutes the well-earned recognition of the individuals responsible for the wellbeing of eventing horses. The 2021 honors of the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom Award were presented to Stephanie Simpson (Cochranville, Pennsylvania), groom to five-star event rider Boyd Martin.
The Courtney C. Reeves Memorial Trophy is awarded to a young individual who exemplifies sportsmanship and the spirit of the sport and who gives back to the sport. This year, that award was presented to Tawnie Anderson (Groveland, Florida) for her dedication to eventing in Area III and her countless volunteer hours and efforts. The full-time working student attends virtual school online and still successfully competes as a C-level Pony Clubber.
Recognizing members 60 years of age and over who are competing at any level in USEA recognized competitions and show great sportsmanship, the Vintage Cup is a unique award. This year’s recipient is Holly Covey of Greenwood, Delaware, who was nominated for her ability to manage a full-time job, care for her multiple horses at home, serve as the Area II Volunteer Coordinator and Young Rider advisor, and provide exceptional care for her husband Brian who is battling cancer.
Similar to the Vintage Cup, the Ironmaster Trophy is awarded to individuals in the sport who exemplify fortitude and courage. This year’s recipient, Mellisa Warden (Williston, South Carolina), wears many hats as wife, mother, groom, technical delegate, and judge. She survived a tragic accident in 2019 which left her leg severely injured, later leading to the difficult decision to pursue amputation. Mellisa never let it hinder her spirit and was back on her horse, judging at events, and cheering everyone on just three months following her operation.
The Cornerstone Instructor’s Award recognizes lower-level instructors for their dedication to the fundamentals of educating well-rounded eventers. This year’s Cornerstone Instructor’s Awards went to Andrea Pfeiffer (Petaluma, California) and Alison Eastman-Lawler (Nashua, New Hampshire).
The Sue Hershey Award, in honor of Sue Hershey for her time and dedicated efforts to the development of the USEA Instructor’s Certification Program, recognizes an ICP Instructor who exemplifies the values and commitment of the program as well as inspiring students to achieve their goals. This year’s recipient from Moriarty, New Mexico is Kathleen Russell (Moriarty, New Mexico).
This year's recipient of the Wofford Cup is Jacqueline B, Mars (Middleburg, Virginia). Jim Wofford presents this award to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to the sport.
Alice Sarno (Phoenix, Arizona) is the recipient of the Andrew H. Popiel Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the role of event organizers and their commitment to the sport. Sarno has been an active part of the equestrian community for over 40 years, is a certified Level III instructor, and assembled a team of committed individuals that work hard to organize the equestrian activities in Area X.
Max Corcoran presented the USEA President's Lifetime Achievement Award to Dougie Hannum. Hannum’s career began as a groom in the 1960’s and later transitioned to the care of horses and opened an equine rehabilitation center. The careers of countless grooms across the country have been impacted by Hannum’s influence. Corcoran closed out her remarks by quoting several individuals who have worked closely with Hannum over the years.
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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 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 9-12, 2021. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
The USEA would like to thank the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Sponsors: Adequan, Bates Saddles, Gallops Saddlery, Mountain Horse USA, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Parker Equine Insurance, RevitaVet, Rebecca Farm, SmartPak Equine, Standlee Premium Western Forage, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Sunsprite Warmbloods, World Equestrian Brands, Area X, and Saratoga Horseworks.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.
Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.
The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.