When Col. Allen D. Smith passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 64, Area V wanted to figure out a way to honor his legacy and decided to start an award for the Adult Amateur of the Year. Smith was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but after being commissioned into the Army Corps of Engineers he attended Texas A&M University and earned his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After marrying his wife, Christine, in 1966 Smith was introduced to horses and began a lifelong tradition of competing in eventing and fox hunting. Smith was the Chair of Area V from 1991 to 1993 and in 1996 was elected to the USEA Board of Governors and was in the middle of his second term when he passed away.
Vicky Koss was the inaugural recipient of the Col. Allen D. Smith Memorial Trophy. Based out of Idaho, Koss competed all over the country aboard two horses to earn her place at the top of the Adult Amateur standings in 2000. She won the Advanced divisions at the Trojan Horse Horse Trials and the Galway Downs Horse Trials aboard Goldmill and capped off her season with a fifth place in the Fair Hill International CCI3*. Koss also earned points from competing Courting Danger at the CCI2* level – earning a third place finish at the Galway Downs CCI2* that fall.
Corinne Ashton became the first two-time winner when she clinched the title in 2004 and then repeated it again in 2007. Most all of Ashton’s points were earned riding Dobbin, a Thoroughbred gelding who should bought as an unbroken 3-year-old out of a field in Massachusetts. Ashton brought Dobbin (Lyphelius x Deal Debbie Deal) up through the levels and the pair ended up competing for over a decade together at 90 events including the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Fair Hill CCI3*, the USEA American Eventing Championships and many more. At the age of 19, Dobbin made his debut at the Grand Prix level of pure dressage. Ashton worked for Dover Saddlery while competing as an amateur rider.
Women dominated the Amateur of the Year for the first seven years of its existence, but in 2008 Ronald Zabala-Goetschel became the first male Amateur of the Year. A native of Ecuador, Zabala-Goetschel competed both in the U.S. and South America, and in 2008 he finished third at the Rio de Janeiro CCI3* with Wise Equestrian's Mr. Wiseguy (Jolie x Noblesse) earning quite a few points towards his standings. Mr. Wiseguy would go on to finish second in the Stuart CIC2* and at the Poplar Place Farm CIC3* – securing Zabala-Goetschel’s place on top of the amateur leaderboard. Mr. Wiseguy meant so much to Zabala-Goetschel, that he would end up cloning him and those three colts are currently 7-year-olds. While Zabala-Goetschel was competing at the highest levels, he was also busy investing and running several companies with a diversified portfolio that includes life insurance, real estate, electric power generation, engineered diamonds and a saddle and riding boot company among others.
Kevin Keane, DVM, always had to work hard to balance his full-time career as a vet to some of the top riders in the sport including Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin, but he didn’t let that stop him from being the first to take back-to-back Amateur of the Year titles in 2011 and 2012. All of his points those years came from riding his longtime partner, Fernhill Flutter, who he would go on to compete at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. The pair finished sixth at the Bromont CCI2* and 14th at the Fair Hill CCI2* in 2011 and moved up a level the following year to finish third at the Fair Hill CIC3* and third at the Bromont CCI3*.
When Frankie Thieriot Stutes won the Adult Amateur of the Year in 2017, she became the first three-time winner of the award, having also earned the title in 2013 and 2016. Thieriot Stutes works full time running her company, Athletux, and competed just six times in 2017, but never finished outside of the top five.
Past winners of the Col. Allen D. Smith Memorial Trophy Donated by Area V:
2017 – Frankie Thieriot Stutes
2016 – Frankie Thieriot Stutes
2015 – Arden Wildasin
2014 – Bonner Carpenter
2013 – Bonner Carpenter/Frankie Thieriot
2012 – Kevin Keane
2011 – Kevin Keane
2010 – Nate Chambers
2009 – Kelly Sult
2008 – Ronald Zabala-Goetschel
2007 – Corinne Ashton
2006 – Fanny Lee
2005 – Julia Steinberg
2004 – Corinne Ashton
2003 – Amy Smith
2002 – Jessica Moore
2001 – Julie Anne Boyer
2000 – Vicky Koss
US Equestrian has announced the nomination of the following athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Eventing Team, as well as the Reserves for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Three direct reserve horses have also been named. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement should the original horse on which an athlete was named need to be substituted.
A combination that can be found on almost every cross-country course starting at the Novice level is the coffin combination. As the levels go up, so does the difficulty of the coffin question. The distances become shorter, coffins become bigger, and the terrain becomes steeper - even the name itself sounds intimidating.
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.