Aug 25, 2021

USEA Introduces the AEC Modified Trophy In Remembrance of Ashley Stout

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Left: The AEC Modified Trophy In Remembrance of Ashley Stout. Trophy by Jean Clagett. Right: Ashley Stout and Avant Garde. Brant Gamma Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to introduce the new Modified Trophy, in Remembrance of Ashley Stout. The perpetual trophy will be presented to the Modified Champion at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) this year, and each year moving forward. Artist Jean Clagett produced a bronze trophy replica of Ashley Stout and her mount Avant Garde that will remain as a perpetual trophy at the USEA headquarters in Leesburg, Va. and each year’s AEC Modified Champions will be engraved onto brass plates and mounted on the trophy base.

Ashley Stout. Susan Stout Photo

Ashley Stout and her Westphalian gelding Avant Garde both passed away in a tragic cross-country schooling accident in July 2019 when Ashley was just 13 years old. Stout had been a member of the USEA since 2016 and quickly earned success in 2017 when she won the Junior Beginner Novice Under 14 division at the USEA American Eventing Championships at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), riding her horse at the time Deo Volente, finishing on their dressage score of 19.8. Stout then began riding Avant Garde in the spring of 2018 and the pair had zero cross-country penalties in their 15 USEA starts together.

Avant Garde, also known as Grady, was a 7-year-old (A la Carte x Mensa) who evented through the Training level with Holly Payne Caravella before Stout purchased him. Stout was an Area II Champion and had been selected to ride Avant Garde on the Area II Young Rider Training Three-Day team traveling to The Event at Rebecca Farm later that summer in 2019, where she also planned to groom for the Area II North American Youth Championships (NAYC) team. Additionally, Stout was very passionate about dressage and was just 0.1 point away from earning her dressage bronze medal.

“Ashley made her accomplishments possible through her unconditional love for her family, friends, trainer, passion for the sport, and most all, LOVE for her horse,” said her mother, Susan Stout. “Ashley was a very talented girl who was always wanting to learn and improve. We have always said that we have to constantly pull the reins back on her, otherwise, she would gallop away and jump the clouds. That is what made Ashley so spectacular and shine just a little brighter.”

Born on January 15, 2006, in State College, Pa., Ashley was the daughter of Craig and Susan D. Moscone Stout of Port Matilda. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her brother, Alex C. Stout of Port Matilda, her paternal grandparents, Cyrus (deceased) & Kathleen Stout, of Scranton, Pa; maternal grandparents, Ken & Kitty Moscone, of Sarasota, Fla. In addition, Ashley has a paternal sibling, Ty Cerino of Wilmington, N.C., and many aunts & uncles she loved dearly; Jan Moscone, Kim and Jim Kramer, Kelly and Mike Radzicki, Chris and Tammy Stout, Charlie and Sarah Stout, Karen and Joe Beveridge, Brian and Kathy Noviskis, Kenny and Sheila Moscone, and too many cousins to list.

Ashley Stout on the cover of Eventing USA in 2017.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with the USEA on this lifetime remembrance award for Ashley and her beloved horse, Avant Garde at the AEC,” Susan Stout explained. “Ashley and “Grady” were to finish 2019 in the Modified division as their next step. This award means a lot to our family knowing that someone who works hard, has passion, grit, patience and understanding can continue on Ashley and Grady’s legacy. We hope that you hold this award high and are so proud of your accomplishments through all of the hard work it took to get you right here, right now. YOU GOT THIS.”

“You Got This” was Susan Stout’s saying to Ashley all through the 2017 USEA AEC, and it stuck. The saying became a constant after she won her division at the AEC, and has become the slogan of the family and her beloved friends. The USEA Young Rider program in Area II also promotes the use of the hashtag #ride4Ashley in Stout’s memory.

The USEA continues to express heartfelt condolences to Stout’s parents Susan and Craig, family, friends and all connections to Ashley, and looks forward to honoring her memory at the AEC each year. Susan Stout will be in attendance at the 2021 AEC, and will present the trophy in the awards ceremony to the inaugural winner of the Modified Trophy in Remembrance of Ashley Stout, on Friday, September 3, 2021.

Ashley Stout’s full obituary may be found here.

About the USEA American Eventing Championships

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is the pinnacle of the sport for the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of horses and riders from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. In fact, the 2019 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and took place with 925 starters, now standing as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held August 31 – September 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

The USEA would like to thank presenting sponsor Nutrena Feeds, Advanced Final Title sponsor, Adequan, Platinum level sponsor Bates Saddles and Vetoquinol, Gold level sponsors Parker Equine Insurance, SmartPak, Standlee Hay, Silver level sponsors Auburn Laboratories, Mountain Horse, Park Equine, The Jockey Club, and Saratoga Horseworks. The USEA would like to thank all other sponsors supporting the 2021 AEC as well.

About the Artist of the Trophy, Jean Clagett

Jean first fell in love with horses at age 4 on a trail ride in Glacier National Park. She fell in love with sculpture when she saw the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre at age 14. She combined these loves with her first sculpture of Desert Wine, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby in 1985. Since then her sculpture and equestrian career has led her around the world doing portrait sculptures of equine and human champions of all breeds and disciplines along with trophies for major equestrian events worldwide. Her most recognizable piece is the life size sculpture of Bruce Davidson riding Eagle Lion outside the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. Donated to the KHP in 2007 by friends and followers, this was a joint effort honoring the individual champions, the horse park and the sport of eventing. Relocating back to Colorado last year, Clagett is setting up a finishing facility at her home where she will not only do her equestrian portrait and wildlife sculptures but will set up Equus Awards for equestrian events of all competition and budget levels.

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