Every year the eventing community comes together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of its members at the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. Led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Wofford, the awards ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of Convention and gives eventers the opportunity to celebrate their successes with their family and friends.
The evening’s presentation began with the USEA Classic Series drawing sponsored by DG Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles. USEA President Max Corcoran and Lesley Ellis presented the prize to the winner of the drawing, Dr. Jennifer Miller (Cave Creek, Arizona). Miller was awarded a custom fitted Stackhouse and Ellis saddle.
As the title sponsor of the USEA Classic Series, Hylofit generously provided Hylofit heart rate monitor systems to the lowest-scoring winners from each of the USEA Classic Series events. Those winners were Jackson Dillard (Port Matilda, Pennsylvania), Whitney Tucker-Billeter (Temecula, California), Elissa Gibbs (Georgetown, Kentucky), Anna Halberg (San Diego, California), Caroline Charette (Barrington, Illinois), Eileen Morgenthaler (Portola Valley, California), Lorilee Hanson (Issaquah, Washington), Christine Feaga (Ellicott City, Maryland), and Lisa Hannan (Catlett, Virginia).
Corcoran then presented the Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards. Created to encourage appropriate and effective cross-country riding, the Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards are presented to one junior and one adult amateur rider at the Training level at one event in each of the 10 USEA Areas during the year. The highest scoring junior and highest scoring adult amateur at each event are awarded a Charles Owen body protector and helmet bag, and the overall highest scoring junior and adult amateur from all 10 events of the year each receive a towards a Charles Owen body protector. The highest scoring adult amateur was Michelle Weeks (Ferndale, Michigan) and the highest scoring junior was Campbell Jones (Saline, Michigan).
Wofford next introduced 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 2019 Sunsprite Warmbloods Volunteer of the Year is Diane Bird (Aiken, South Carolina). Diane logged 292 volunteer hours at USEA recognized events this year and received $1,000, a “2019 Volunteer of the Year” embroidered jacket, and a trophy.
Tamra Smith, a RevitaVet sponsored rider, presented the Linda Moore Trophy to the 2019 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, California). Farley received a check for $1,000 and a RevitaVet system.
The 2019 DG Stackhouse and Ellis USEA Adult Amateur of the Year award went to Arden Wildasin (Aiken, South Carolina). She was presented the Col. Allen D. Smith Memorial Trophy and $1,000 by Lesley Ellis of DJ Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles.
The Essie Perkins Trophy went to the 2019 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year, Lauren Kieffer (Ocala, Florida). Kieffer received $1,000 and a voucher for a Bates saddle, which was presented by Hannah Diebold of Bates Saddles.
Hallie Coon’s Celien was the recipient of the 2019 Bates USEA Mare of the Year award and received the Frolicsome Trophy, $1,000, and a voucher for a Bates saddle, presented by Diebold of Bates Saddles. Celien (Tenerife VDL x R Quicksilver) is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned and ridden by Hallie Coon.
The 2019 SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year, presented with The Windfall Trophy, $1,000, and an embroidered show cooler provided by SmartPak, was Cassio’s Picasso (E.H. Hirtentanz x Cassio Pia), a 7-year-old Trakehner stallion owned by The Picasso Syndicate and ridden by James Alliston.
The Theodore O’Connor Trophy, $1,000, and an embroidered show cooler was awarded to the 2019 SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year, Ganymede (Ballywhim An Luan x Court Hawk), a 16-year-old Connemara mare owned and ridden by Meg Pellegrini.
The Z Partnership’s Z (Asca x Bellabouche), an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding, was named the 2019 Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year, receiving The Caser Trophy, $1,000, and a $500 Standlee Forage voucher. In 2019, Z was seventh at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*, third in the USEA American Eventing Championships $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, first in the CCI4*-S at Stable View, and seventh in the Fair Hill International CCI4*-L.
The 2019 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year and recipient of the Windy Acres Farm Trophy was Boyd Martin (Unionville, Pennsylvania). Martin earned $1,000, a set of four Equilibrium cross-country boots, and Amerigo stirrups.
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 Magdalene Meek (Portland, Maine) for her dedication to the Young Rider program by volunteering at events, fundraising for her team, and always being ready with a smile and words of encouragement.
Sally Robertson (Ocala, Florida) was awarded the Christine E. Stafford Eventing Groom Award, which salutes the individuals responsible for the well-being of our horses. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, the groom is indispensable to both the competitor and above all, the horse. Robertson grooms for Lauren Kieffer.
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 Susan Wainwright (Pike Road, Alabama), Meredith Scarlet (Groton, Massachusetts), and Denise Goyea (Groton, Massachusetts).
Ann Getchell (South Hamilton, Massachusetts) was the recipient of the Andrew H. Popiel Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the role of event organizers and their commitment to the sport. Getchell is the organizer of the Groton House Farm Horse Trials in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
The Governor’s Cup honors those individuals who labor tirelessly behind the scenes at the many jobs associated with running the sport and whose services have contributed significantly to eventing. This year’s recipients are Judy Thayer (Kirkwood, Pennsylvania), Louisa “Wezo” Pierson (Pittsford, New York), John and Dianne Pingree (Hamilton, Massachusetts), Annie Eldridge (Duxbury, Massachusetts), Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels (New York, New York), Henry and Janet Schurink (Shaftsbury, Vermont), and Louise Meryman (Pine Plains, New York).
This year's recipient of the Wofford Cup was Ann Haller (Chesapeake City, Maryland). Jim Wofford presents this award to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to the sport.
Now in its 20th year, the 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 2020 Adult Amateur Scholarship is Brandy Savarese (Austin, Texas).
Carol Kozlowski presented the USEA President's Lifetime Achievement Award to The Broussard Family (Kalispell, Montana).
The Connaught Grant, now in its fourth year, 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. Joanie Morris and Bobby Costello presented a check for $25,000 to Cooley Moonshine (Cobra x Kilpatrick Dutchess), a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by The Monster Partnership and ridden by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp.
Former USEA President Diane Pitts presented the USEA Foundation Grants. The $10,000 Essex Grant was awarded to Mia Farley (San Juan Capistrano, California) and Elizabeth Henry (Lafayette, Indiana) was awarded the $5,000 Seema Sonnad Junior Rider’s Grant. The $5,000 Haller Educational Grant for Eventing Officials was awarded to Amanda Miller (Clayton, North Carolina). Tim Bourke (Berryville, Virginia) won the Captain Mendivil-Yucupicio Award for $5,000.
The Wilton Fair Grant is donated by David and Cheryl Lenaburg with the goal of supporting U.S. developing riders. The Fund allows up to $100,000 in 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. Two Wilton Fair Grants were presented this year. Two grants were presented to Charlotte Babbitt (South Lake Tahoe, California) and Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Kentucky.)
Mike Huber Award was presented by Diane Pitts to Derek and Bea di Grazia.
Sarah and Rebecca Broussard and Lou Leslie presented Sara Mittleider (Kuna, Idaho) with the $10,000 Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant and Andrea Baxter (Paso Robles, California) with the $50,000 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant.
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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 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, December 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
The USEA would like to thank Adequan, Bates, Nutrena, Charles Owen, Standlee Premium Western Forage, SmartPak, Mountain Horse, Parker Equine Insurance, Rebecca Farm, Auburn Laboratories, Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Nunn Finer, World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, Revitavet, Hylofit, and Tryon International Equestrian Center for sponsoring the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The Surefire Farm Horse Trials scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 in Purcellville, Virginia has been canceled.
When introducing a horse to a new concept, it is important to make the entire learning process enjoyable. Make sure to always praise your horse so they continuously understand that they are supposed to be enjoying this time. In eventing, the skinnies have gotten so small that the sooner the horses begin to lock on and enjoy it, the better.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).