Feb 23, 2017

Trophy Tales: A History of U.S. Eventing Awards - Rider of the Year

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
Bruce Davidson, who has been named rider of the year a record 14 times. Photo USEA Archives.

This article was updated in December 2020

The Windy Acres Trophy has been awarded 59 times to the USEA/USCTA Rider of the Year but only to 16 different people in the history of the Association. The Trophy is synonymous with repeat winners and the base is filled with the same names inscribed multiple times. Bruce Davidson is the record holder for most wins – having earned the Rider of the Year title a whopping 14 times. However, Phillip Dutton isn’t too far behind with 13 titles to his name, and as an active rider he could still surpass the record. J. Michael Plumb has his name down 10 times in the history book as Rider of the Year.

The Windy Acres Trophy. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Presented by Mr. and Mrs. Philip B. Hofmann, the Windy Acres Farm Trophy was named for the Hofmann farm in North Branch, New Jersey. Philip Hoffman was the first president of the USEA (then USCTA) serving from 1959 to 1965. He and his family were involved in many aspects of the equestrian world, hunting with the Essex Foxhounds, eventing at GMHA and four-in-hand driving.

The Windy Acres Farm Trophy was originally given to a rider and horse pair with Denis Glaccum winning the inaugural year of 1960 aboard Kilkerry. He repeated the feat the following year aboard Camouflage. From 1963 to 1966, the winning pair won both the Windy Acres Farm Trophy and The Chronicle of the Horse Trophy for Horse of the Year, but then the awards were split off with the Rider and Horse winning separate awards based on individual performance.

Denis Glaccum featured in Sports Illustrated in 1961.

Only five women have won the Rider of the Year title, and they all did it in the first 21 years of the Trophy. The last woman to take the honor was Karen Stives in 1981. In 1977, the Lady Rider of the Year Trophy was started with Mary Ann Tauskey winning the inaugural award, however the following year she won both the Lady Rider and Rider of the Year. This was repeated by Torrance Watkins in 1980 and Karen Stives in 1981.

Curious how a rider earns the points towards winning the Windy Acres Farm Trophy? Check out the point system and follow along with the leaderboard to see who will be getting their name inscribed on the Windy Acres Farm Trophy in the future.

Past Winners of the Rider of the Year

2019 – Boyd Martin

2018 – Boyd Martin

2017 – Boyd Martin

2016 – Boyd Martin

2015 – Buck Davidson

2014 – Buck Davidson

2013 – Buck Davidson

2012 – Phillip Dutton

2011 – Buck Davidson

2010 – Phillip Dutton

2009 – Phillip Dutton

2008 – Phillip Dutton

2007 – Phillip Dutton

2006 – Phillip Dutton

2005 – Phillip Dutton

2004 – Phillip Dutton

2003 – Phillip Dutton

2002 – Phillip Dutton

2001 – Phillip Dutton

2000 – Phillip Dutton

1999 – David O’Connor

1998 – Phillip Dutton

1997 – David O’Connor

1996 – David O’Connor

1995 – Bruce Davidson

1994 – Bruce Davidson

1993 – Bruce Davidson

1992 – Bruce Davidson

1991 – Bruce Davidson

1990 – Bruce Davidson

1989 – Bruce Davidson

1987 – Bruce Davidson

1986 – Bruce Davidson

1985 – Bruce Davidson

1984 – Bruce Davidson

1983 – Bruce Davidson

1982 – Bruce Davidson

1981 – Karen Stives

1980 – Torrance Watkins

1979 – J. Michael Plumb

1978 – Mary Ann Tauskey

1977 – J. Michael Plumb

1976 – J. Michael Plumb

1975 – Bruce Davidson

1974 – J. Michael Plumb

1973 – J. Michael Plumb

1972 – Denny Emerson

1971 – J. Michael Plumb

1970 – J. Michael Plumb

1969 – M. Lockie Richards

1968 – Mason Phelps Jr.

1967 – J. Michael Plumb

1966 – J. Michael Plumb

1965 – J. Michael Plumb

1964 – Miss Lee Troup

1963 – J. Gibson Semmes

1962 – Suzanne Cove

1961 – Denis Glaccum

1960 – Denis Glaccum

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