Every year at the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting and Convention we recognize the hard work and achievements of our members at the Year End Awards Ceremony. MC’ed by the legendary Jimmy Wofford, the awards ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of Convention and gives eventers the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with their family, friends, and the whole eventing community.
The evening began with the USEA Classic Series drawing sponsored by SmartPak Equine and Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles. USEA President Carol Kozlowski presented the prizes to the winner of the Training Three-Day Event SmartPak Equine and Stackhouse saddle drawing, Samantha Tinney (Dallas, Tx.) riding All Heart, and the winner of the Novice Three-Day Event SmartPak Equine drawing, Angelika Beutel (Frederick, Colo.) riding SE Gin Fizz. Both Tinney and Beutel received a year’s supply of SmartPak supplements and Tinney was also awarded a custom fitted Stackhouse and Ellis saddle.
Kozlowski and Roy Burek then presented the Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards. Conceived to promote and encourage safe cross-country riding, the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is awarded 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 a helmet bag, and the overall highest scoring junior and adult amateur from all 10 events each receive a voucher towards a Charles Owen helmet at the end of the year. The highest scoring junior was Eleanor Leonard (Hayward, Calif.) riding Alvescot Moneymaker and the highest scoring adult amateur was Lauren Schoenborn (Bozeman, Mont.) riding East of Omaha.
Wofford next introduced USEA Leaderboard of Champions, presented by Bit of Britain. The leaderboard recognizes many divisions within the levels from Beginner Novice through Advanced. Each winner of the rider and horse categories will receive a pair of cross-country boots provided by Professional’s Choice 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 Courtney C. Reeves Memorial trophy is awarded to the young individual who exemplifies sportsmanship, the spirit of the sport, and who gives back to the sport. This year’s recipient was Mackenna Shea (Temecula, Calif.). Tamie Smith described Shea as a wonderful ambassador for our sport, always there to lend a helping hand whenever anyone needs one and always approachable and kind. She recently became involved with Area VI Young Rider program to help give back to the sport and has volunteered over the years in both Area VII and Area VI.
The Vintage Cup is awarded in acknowledgement of USEA members who continue to actively compete successfully in eventing at 60 years of age and older. The 2017 Vintage Cup was awarded to two recipients: Mary Sawyer (East Wenatchee, Wash.) and Kim Liddell (Kalispell, Mont.).
The Cornerstone Instructor’s Award recognizes lower level instructors for their dedications to the fundamentals of educating well-rounded eventers. This year’s Cornerstone Instructor’s Award went to Lisa Sabo (Newport Beach, Calif.), Sabrina Miller (Salinas, Calif.), and Kim Scheid (Temecula, Calif.).
John Marshall (Fresno, Calif.) was the recipient of the Andrew H. Popiel Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the role of event organizers and their commitment to the sport. Marshall is the owner and organizer of Fresno County Horse Park.
Tayler Ravenscroft (La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.) 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. Tayler Ravenscroft grooms for Bunnie Sexton of Shepherd Ranch Eventing.
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 Siobhan O’Brien (Flower Mound, Tx.), Ed Madden, Cassie Harkins (Carmel Valley, Calif.), Rod and Karen Hisken (Oregon House, Ore.), and Mary Hendricks (Flagstaff, Ariz.).
New in 2017 is the Volunteer Incentive Program sponsored by Sunsprite Warmbloods. The 2017 Volunteer of the Year is Michael Smallwood (Dickerson, Md.). Mike logged 221 volunteer hours at USEA recognized events this year on EventingVolunteers.com to top the Volunteer of the Year Leaderboard.
Michael Smallwood, 2017 USEA Volunteer of the Year, accepting his award from USEA President Carol Kozlowski. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
The Theodore O’Connor Trophy, sponsored by Point Two Air Jackets, was awarded to the USEA Pony of the Year. This year’s recipient is Meg Pellegrini’s Ganymede, a 14-year-old Connemara mare. As Ganymede’s owner, Pellegrini (Newport Beach, Calif.) received $1,000 and a Point Two ProAir Jacket. Pellegrini was also the 2017 Junior Training Rider of the Year.
Raylyn Farm’s RF Scandalous was the recipient of the 2017 USEA Mare of the Year and the Frolicsome Trophy, sponsored by Devoucoux, and will receive $1,000 and a full outfit of tack from Devoucoux. RF Scandalous is ridden by Marilyn Little and owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc.
The 2017 USEA Stallion of the Year and recipient of The Windfall Trophy and $1,000 was Sandro’s Star, a 9-year-old Oldenburg, owned by Hannah Salazar and ridden by Chris Talley.
Tom Neuman from RevitaVet presented The Linda Moore Trophy to the 2017 USEA Young Rider of the Year, Cornelia Dorr (Manchester, Mass.) riding her own Sir Patico MH and Louis M. Dorr received a RevitaVet system.
The Essie Perkins Trophy and the 2017 USEA Lady Rider of the Year award sponsored by Devoucoux was presented to Jennie Brannigan (Kennett Square, Pa.) Brannigan also received $1,000 and a Devoucoux Chiberta custom saddle.
The 2017 USEA Adult Amateur of the Year, sponsored by Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles, went to Frankie Thieriot Stutes (Occidental, Calif.) riding the Chatwin Group’s Chatwin. Although she was not present at the awards ceremony, she received the Col. Allen D. Smith Memorial Trophy and $1,000 provided by Stackhouse and Ellis Saddles.
The 2017 USEA Rider of the Year and recipient of the Windy Acres Farm Trophy was Boyd Martin (Unionville, Pa.). World Equestrian Brands, sponsor of the USEA Rider of the Year Award, presented Martin with $1,000 and an Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad.
Nina and Tim Gardner’s Cambalda, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse, ridden by Jennie Brannigan, was the 2017 USEA Horse of the Year, receiving The Casar Trophy and $1,000. Among other accomplishments this year, Cambalda and Brannigan were the winners of the 2017 Great Meadow International CCIO3*.
Nina and Tim Gardner, owners of Cambalda, the 2017 USEA Horse of the Year. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Now in its 18th year, the Worth the Trust Instructional Scholarship Program continues to provide financial assistance for young adult amateurs 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 2018 Young Adult Amateur Scholarship recipient is Melissa Baumann (South Reading, Vt.) and the recipient of the 2018 Adult Amateur Scholarship is Sara Mackenzie (Redmond, Wash.).
Former USEA President Diane Pitts presented the USEA Foundation Grants. The Essex Grant was awarded to Caroline Martin (Riegelsville, Pa.), the Amy Tryon Grant went to Avery Whisman (Versailles, Ky.), and Ryan Keefe (Sandy Spring, Md.) was awarded the Seema Sonnad Grant. The USEA Course Designer's Grants were awarded to JM Durr (Shelby, N.C.) and Jeff Kibbie (Coatesville, Pa.).
Gretchen and Robert Butts (Laytonsville, Md.) received the Wofford Cup.
USEA President Carol Kozlowski presented Kevin Baumgardner with the USEA President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Connaught Grant, now in its third year is designed for a horse competing at the CCI1* or CCI2* level who shows potential to one day be on the U.S. Team and is presented in memory of Bruce Duchossois. Lou Leslie presented this award to Jakobi, owned by Emilee and Linda Libby and ridden by Emilee.
Sarah Broussard presented Madeline Backus with the Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant and presented Erin Sylvester with the Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant.
New this year, 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. Brian Sabo presented the first Wilton Fair Grant to Madeline Backus.
About the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention
The USEA Annual Meeting and 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 eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The convention is made possible through the support of sponsors: Adequan, Devoucoux, Nutrena, Charles Owen, SmartPak, Rebecca Farm, Mountain Horse, Merck Animal Health, Standlee Hay, Auburn Laboratories, Eventing Training Online, DG Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Point Two, Professional’s Choice, Bit of Britain, Staples Inc., World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, RevitaVet, CWD, H.E. Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, and Parker Equine Insurance.
Learn more about the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention by visiting the Convention page on the USEA website.