Category Archives: Awards

Brooke USA Recognized as the 2020 Humanitarian Award Recipient

The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) came together in 2009 to establish the Humanitarian Award to recognize the accomplishments of an individual or group of individuals in improving the health and welfare of the horse and promoting and expanding the general public’s appreciation and respect of the diverse role of horses.

Brooke USA received the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the virtual USEF Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration on Saturday evening, January 17, 2021. Brooke USA, the sister organization to Brooke and a leading funder of its work in the developing world, is best known for improving and advocating for the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Caribbean by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. Less widely known is Brooke USA’s commitment to America’s horses.

The Work of Brooke USA Worldwide

Over 100 million working horses, donkeys, and mules provide invaluable support to daily life for an estimated 600 million people (eight percent of the world’s population) in some of the poorest places in the world through haulage, transportation, and production.

Healthy working horses, donkeys, and mules help to put food on their tables, send their children to school, and build better futures for themselves and their families.

Brooke USA strategically invests in solution-oriented, community-based partner organizations that address the root causes of problems affecting vulnerable communities around the globe.

Working directly with animals, owners, health services agencies, and governments, Brooke USA supports growths in infrastructure, education, veterinary care, and funding for projects and causes positively benefitting and sustaining working humans and animals in the developing world.

The Work of Brooke USA in the US

Sadly, in the United States, many of America’s horses who empower and heal us face an uncertain future. Tens of thousands become at-risk for abuse and neglect each year. Over 65,000 were shipped across our borders to be slaughtered in 2019.

Since 2016, Brooke USA has stepped up to fund US-based organizations during natural disasters and other emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic was no exception. Brooke USA came to the rescue in the United States by supporting the relief efforts of national equine welfare organizations, including the EQUUS Foundation, the Foundation for the Horse, the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), and the Humane Society of the United States. Brooke USA also supported the disaster relief efforts of the United States Equestrian Foundation and the Equestrian Aid Foundation as well as other regionally based organizations.

“Brooke USA is thrilled to be recognized for our work in the United States. We have been building up our support of US-based organizations over the past few years, and COVID-19 made our national emergency our very own priority. To date, we have delivered micro-grants 24 fellow nonprofits. It has been about supporting day-to-day operations, providing feed, ensuring vet care, and helping owners. We thank the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation for the honor of serving as the 2020 the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award recipient,” said John Nicholson, Immediate Past Chair of Brooke USA.

“During this time of extreme hardship, one thing is certain. We are grateful to our first responders and to the individuals and organizations that rise above their own priorities to work for the common good. Brooke USA is one such organization and is most deserving to be recognized as the recipient of the Humanitarian Award,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Unprecedented Year for International Para-Dressage Athlete Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall for the USPEA.

Wellington, Florida – January 21, 2021 – Paralympian and Para-Dressage World Equestrian Games Athlete Roxanne Trunnell had a fantastic finish to the 2020 calendar year. United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation awarded Roxanne Trunnell the 2021 Whitney Stone Cup and US Equestrian Federation awarded Dolton, owned by Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint, the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award.

The duo of Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton started the 2020 year as the first para-dressage pair to break the 80th percentile in the team or individual test since Sophie Christansen (GBR) in the 2012 London Paralympics. Trunnell and Dolton accomplished this at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* with a Grade I team test score of 81.131%, an individual score of 81.964%, and a freestyle of 83.167%. The pair would go on to earn top scores in the following Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and further national shows. With the duo’s outstanding scores in 2019 and 2020, Dolton and Trunnell helped lead Team USA to #1 in the world in Para-Dressage. Dolton was also individually ranked #1 in the World in all grades of Para-Dressage. This was the first time in history a U.S. athlete or Team held a world #1 position in Para-Dressage. The pair remained undefeated in 2020.

The 2012 Hanoverian Dolton (by Danone I x Lady, Londonderry) was purchased by international para-dressage athlete Kate Shoemaker as a two-year-old in Germany and later licensed as a Stallion by the German Oldenburg Verband. As a 3-year-old, Shoemaker elected to pursue his sport career, gelded him, and imported him to the United States. His first dressage show as a 4 year-old he won open high point with Shoemaker riding. By the end of his fourth year, he began being groomed as a Grade One Para-Dressage horse. At the beginning of his sixth year, Shoemaker brought him to Wellington to be evaluated by Michel Assouline, USEF Head of Coach Development & Para Dressage Technical Advisor. Roxanne Trunnell was invited to ride him the following day where the perfect combination was made. Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint then joined as a sponsor to give Roxanne and Dolton an opportunity towards the World Equestrian Games team. Two months later, in April, Roxanne and Dolton entered their first CPEDI3* and FEI World Equestrian Games test event where they finished with the overall high score. After scoring the high score at the final mandatory outing in July they secured an individual spot on the team for the 2018 FEI Longines World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon. At the WEG, after helping the team reach their highest placing in history, 5th, Dolton then brought home a medal for the USA in the Freestyle Test putting him among the first U.S. horses to medal in the Para-Dressage freestyle at a championship. He was the youngest para-dressage horse to win a medal at a major international championship. Following his medal win at the 2018 WEG, Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint purchased Dolton.

With very successful 2018, 2019, and 2020 years Trunnell and Dolton aimed at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. In March 2020, the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee officially announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics would be postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the Paralympics has been postponed. The pair will have the next six months before the June 17-20, 2021 Tryon CPEDI and final Paralympic Observation Event which takes place before the Tokyo Paralympic Games August 24 – September 5, 2021.

Roxanne Trunnell was honored to receive the Whitney Stone Cup. “It was such a surprise to win the Whitney Stone Cup; I hadn’t even expected it. I am always cheering on my teammates because I know how hard all of this is especially as a para-dressage athlete. It is an honor to be recognized among so many great equestrians.”

Trunnell also was thankful for the 2020 International Horse of Honor Award. “I was very proud of Dolton. It takes a special horse to become an outstanding Para-Dressage horse and Dolton at only eight years old has proved to be a very special horse. I would like to thank my parents Sid and Josette Trunnell for moving from Washington to Texas (where Trunnell trained with former Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt) and finally to Florida for me to be able to pursue this horse adventure. Thank you to the owner of Dolton, Karin Flint, for trusting me to pilot her special boy to become a superstar in the Para-Dressage world. Thank you to Anna Forbes, Dolton’s groom, for taking the best care of him and my trainer Andrea Woodard for helping me and Dolton to become great partners. I also want to give a big thank you to the USDF, USEF, USET Foundation, and USPEA for working together to help get USA Para-Dressage into the spotlight. Let’s show the world what the USA Para Dressage Team is made of.”

Hope Hand added, “Both awards were quite an honor to a well deserving pair. We also want to thank US Equestrian President Murray Kessler and his wife Sarah Kessler for their continued support of Para Dressage. This support helped us secure Gold medal coach Michel Assouline and provide competition opportunities for elite riders. These factors made USA Para-Dressage successful at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.”

Hand continued, “I also want to thank Laureen Johnson USEF Director of Para Dressage and Vaulting for her efforts in nominating Roxanne Trunnell for this award.”

Trunnell is the first para dressage rider and only the eighth dressage rider to receive the Whitney Stone Cup in its 40-year history.

The Whitney Stone Cup is awarded annually by the USET Foundation Executive Committee to an active competitor whose consistent excellence in international competition and whose standard for sportsmanlike conduct and contributions as an ambassador for the sport and for the USET Foundation exemplify the Team’s highest ideals and traditions. Roxanne Trunnell joins a long list of outstanding competitors who were previously recognized with this honor.

The Whitney Stone Cup, which was presented to the Team by the Officers and Directors of the USET Foundation, is given in honor of the late Whitney Stone who served as President and Chairman of the Board of the USET, and who was instrumental in the creation of a civilian team when the Army retired from competitive horse sports after 1948.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Robb Report’s Horsepower Gala to Honor Champions of Equine Protection

Honoring Kevin Babington, Mayisha Akbar, Nacho Figueras, Peder Fredricson, Margie Goldstein Engle, Danny Robertshaw, and Ron Danta in a Virtual Award Show

Robb Report, the leading voice in global luxury, is hosting its second annual Horsepower Gala. Frank and Monica McCourt will co-host the virtual celebration on Thursday, February 18, along with Robb Report‘s editor in chief, Paul Croughton. The virtual attendees will participate in a live auction and award show featuring a special musical performance by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Gloria Gaynor. Auction proceeds will benefit the EQUUS Foundation, America’s foremost equine-welfare organization. The Horsepower Gala raises funds for, and increases awareness of, the issues of horse abuse, neglect, and slaughter.

Robb Report established the Horsepower Gala in 2019 to benefit the EQUUS Foundation, and we are delighted to continue that partnership in 2021. Despite the challenges of the last year, I’m looking forward to our new virtual format to highlight exceptional and inspiring figures within the equestrian community,” said Croughton.

For information about the 2021 event, or to attend, visit RR1.COM/HORSEPOWER-GALA. Press Contact: Brooke Jaffe at Bjaffe@pmc.com.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Racing Special Achievement Winners

Each year, the American Quarter Horse Association recognizes the hard work of several individuals in the racing industry. For 2020, the John Andreini Special Recognition Award goes to Dr. Charles Graham of Elgin, Texas; the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award to Betty Raper of Norman, Oklahoma; and the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award to Matt Vance of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Dr. Charles Graham is a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The respected Texas horseman is known as a veterinarian, a horseman, and an influential voice in governance and political matters that benefit the horse industry.

He founded the Elgin Veterinary Clinic and Southwest Stallion Station, is a co-owner of Heritage Place Sale Co., and has numerous other businesses, including a 30,000-head feedyard. He was influential in getting Texas pari-mutual legislation passed, and in 2019 was instrumental in assisting with the passage of Texas legislation that boosted purses and significantly benefitted Quarter Horse racing in the state.

Dr. Graham is an AQHA director-at-large and has served on the AQHA Equine Research Committee.

Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement winner Betty Raper has dedicated herself to the industry and is best known as the co-owner of Belle Mere Farm at Norman, Oklahoma. She and husband Dee stood legendary stallions Easy Jet, Mr Eye Opener, and Bully Bullion. Belle Mere was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2019.

As the vice president of racing operations at Remington Park, Matt Vance was instrumental in helping the Oklahoma City racetrack operate during the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic. For that, Vance earns the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award. The racetrack not only operated through its season; it also shattered records with a 271.8 increase in pari-mutual handle and helped introduce people all over the world to American Quarter Horse racing.

For more information on AQHA racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

FEI Awards 2020: Fans Elect Ultimate Best from a Decade of Excellence

Winners in the FEI Awards 2020 five categories were revealed, with multi-medalled young Dressage star Semmieke Rothenberger claiming the Longines FEI Rising Star Award for the second year in a row, and Eventing legend Ingrid Klimke also taking back-to-back wins as Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete.

This year the task of choosing the best of the best from the past decade’s previous awards winners was entirely in the hands of the public who cast their votes for the 55 nominees from 19 nations. Over 70,000 votes were cast on FEI.org and on the Chinese social media platform WeChat. Podiums in each of the five categories were occupied by a global spread from Germany, Great Britain, Australia, China, Ireland, Palestine, South Africa, The Netherlands, and Zambia.

With the FEI Awards Gala cancelled this year due to the pandemic, the winners were revealed to their online audience in a moving video narrated by British Paralympic champion Natasha Baker.

Semmieke Rothenberger, winner of the Longines FEI Rising Star Award, was overcome with emotion when her family held a surprise presentation of the award at their home in Germany.

“I’m very grateful that so many people voted for me and that there is such a big fan base of people that support me,” Semmieke Rothenberger said. “It is also quite surreal because there were so many good athletes in this category, including my brother Sönke, so I didn’t really expect that I would win it again.”

The 21-year-old, winner of 22 FEI European Championship medals through all the youth categories right up to Young Riders, has even bigger goals for the future.

“My parents have always taught me to dream big and reach for my goals and I would really like to canter on that centre line of the Olympic Games one day. I’ve been to the Olympic Games in Rio with my brother and I would love to see myself there with one of my horses and feel the atmosphere of representing my country at the Olympics!”

Along with other individual FEI Award winners, Semmieke Rothenberger received an elegant timepiece from FEI Top Partner Longines, the Swiss watch brand which attaches great importance to encouraging young people to practice sports.

“This Longines FEI Rising Star Award was created to recognise young athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent,” Longines Vice President of Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner said. “We are delighted to once again celebrate Semmieke Rothenberger’s dedication to equestrian sport and we applaud her determination, passion and energy, which we are confident will take her to the very top in her sporting career.”

Double Olympic Eventing team gold medallist and five-time Olympian Ingrid Klimke (GER) was delighted to win a second Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award, together with a horse transport voucher from title sponsor and Official FEI Equine Logistics Partner, Peden Bloodstock.

“This is all still a little bit unreal but I’m so thrilled and happy,” she said. The 52-year-old, who was also nominated for the Award in 2015 and 2017, going on to win in 2019, is only the second person in history to win back-to-back European titles on the same horse, claiming individual gold with SAP Hale Bob OLD at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships in 2017 and 2019. This year she took her fifth German National Championship, having won previously in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2009, sharing the spotlight with her daughter Greta Busacker, who was crowned German National Junior Champion on the same day.

Although Ingrid Klimke has set her sights on winning her first individual gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, she is not shy of stating her longer-term ambitions. “I’m already thinking of Paris 2024 which is not so far away. I love to ride, I love to compete, and I love to keep going.”

There was further cause for celebration at the Klimke stables when Carmen Thiemann, head groom for more than two decades, won the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award and a voucher from title sponsor and FEI Official Nutrition Partner, Cavalor.

“It’s the trust between us and the fun we have with the horses,” Carmen Thiemann said when asked about the longevity of her professional partnership with Ingrid Klimke. “I try to make the horses happy and healthy so that they are ready to work with Ingrid.”

Carmen Thiemann, who won the FEI Best Groom Award in 2013, has a special bond with the Klimke family having started her career as a groom for Ingrid’s father Dr Reiner Klimke, an Olympic Dressage legend for Germany.

“Everyone who knows Carmen knows how valuable she is as a person and especially in her job with the horses,” a delighted Ingrid Klimke said.

“We have been successful as a team for many years and I would never go to a show or a Championship without Carmen. She is a best friend to the horses, and I can totally focus on my job, either in Cross Country or in Dressage, knowing that Carmen brings them out as happy and healthy as possible.”

It is also interesting to note that the runners-up in these two respective categories – Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete and Cavalor FEI Best Groom – went to another dynamic duo: Great Britain’s superstar Charlotte Dujardin and Alan Davies, the experienced and highly respected “Super Groom” to Carl Hester’s horses, and also a key member of the FEI Grooms Working Group.

Ten years after winning their first award, the Ebony Horse Club (GBR) was once again the recipient of the FEI Solidarity Award.

“This award, coming at the end of a really challenging year, just validates everything that we’re working for,” General Manager of the Ebony Horse Club Naomi Howgate said. “To be recognised as the best of the decade is such a huge accolade and has made us extremely proud of the work that we do here.

“Ebony is a youth club with horses, rather than a riding centre, because our ethos is all about helping our young people be the best they can be both on and off the horses.”

The organisation, which is based in Brixton, South London, provides young people from low income families with the opportunity to ride horses and take part in a variety of sporting and educational activities.

The FEI has provided the 2020 FEI Solidarity Award winner with a financial donation to support the Ebony Horse Club projects. “We are a small club and we don’t have lots of resources,” Naomi Howgate said. “Donations are everything, as it is how we can provide the work we are doing. We support about 400 young people in a year and we can only do that with donations of money that allow us to run our services. So receiving this from the FEI is really fantastic!”

This year’s FEI Against All Odds Award goes to German Paralympian Dr Angelika Trabert. Born without legs and only three fingers on her right hand, Angelika is well known in the equestrian community for her indefatigable spirit and her motto, “It’s ability, not disability, that counts.”

She had just won individual gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 when she picked up her first FEI Against All Odds award, given to the person who has pursued their equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

Dr Trabert, an anaesthetist by profession, was inspired to be an athlete and coach in the years after tragically losing her long-time partner in 2005. She has won six Paralympic medals and four at the FEI World Equestrian Games™. She is also the current Para Athlete representative on the FEI Athletes’ Committee and a member of the FEI Para Equestrian Committee.

“I feel this is an award and a reward for the work I’ve been doing and what I feel is important for our sport,” Angelika Trabert said. “You should always look on the positive side, especially in these times. It’s very hard for a lot of people and it counts more than ever to look upon the possibilities and abilities that we have. And there are many.”

“Our global and diverse community is built on our shared passion for horsemanship and the team spirit, which is so present in all five of our winners, is replicated around the world and at every level of the sport, both on and off the field,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Passion and resilience define our community, and these values are echoed in the stories of each of our FEI Awards winners for 2020. Congratulations to all the nominees and especially to our winners, thank you for your commitment to the sport and the values which make the equestrian world so rewarding and inspiring.”

Full information on the FEI Awards 2020 and past winners are available here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Vote for Your Favorite US Groom and Athletes in the 2020 FEI Awards

Photo: Nina Lamsam Ligon.

This year, the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Awards will be fully online and virtual. 55 winners from previous FEI Awards are open for your nominations in each of the five categories. Throughout the voting period until November 22, nominees have the opportunity to promote themselves in order to obtain a maximum number of votes. The results of the public vote count for 100% of the votes. The winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on December 11.

Cast your votes for your favorite U.S. groom and athletes by November 22!

Cavalor FEI Best Groom

Since 2009, the FEI Awards have celebrated great grooms and their dedication to their horses and their athletes. From famous partnerships to successful and long-term careers, who should be crowned best of the decade?

  • Lee McKeever
    Jumping (Groom to McLain Ward)
  • Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna
    Dressage (Groom to Steffen Peters)

FEI Against All Odds

Resilience and determination barely scratch the surface when you look back at our FEI Against All Odds winners since 2009. They all deserve our respect and admiration, but who should be adding a second FEI Awards trophy to their collection?

  • Sydney Collier
    Para Dressage
  • Courtney King-Dye
    Dressage

Longines FEI Rising Star

This category has celebrated outstanding performances and dedication by the next generation of athletes – all aged 14-21 at the time of their Awards win – with many going on to become household names. Who is your ultimate rising star?

  • Reed Kessler
    Jumping
  • Caroline Roffman
    Dressage
  • Nina Lamsam Ligon
    Eventing

© 2020 United States Equestrian Federation

FEI Awards 2020 Celebrate a Decade of Equestrian Excellence

If you had the chance to choose, who would be your favourites from the winners over the past decade of FEI Awards?

Well now you have that opportunity! In a year when our sport has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic, we are looking back through the years and giving YOU the chance to pick the best of the best from the five FEI Awards categories.

And the public vote for the special edition FEI Awards 2020 is now open!

This year the winners in each of the five categories will be chosen entirely by the public and votes can be cast on FEI.org from today until 22 November. Winners will be announced the second week of December.

There are 55 nominees representing 19 nations across the five Awards categories: Longines FEI Rising Star; Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete; Cavalor FEI Best Groom; FEI Against All Odds; and FEI Solidarity. The complete list of nominees can be found here.

“These Awards are a way to honour the heroes of our sport through their amazing stories of resilience, horsemanship, determination, and passion,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Equestrian is not just a sport, but a way of life for many people, and this has been a desperately difficult year for the equestrian community, just as it has been for everyone, in every sector. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the positives that our sport has to offer and celebrate the fantastic ambassadors that we have, both on the field of play and behind the scenes making a difference.”

Since their launch in 2009, the FEI Awards have become a key addition to the annual equestrian calendar and have grown in size and stature over the last decade. The FEI Best Athlete and FEI Rising Star Award categories have featured a high calibre of nominees from around the world with numerous Olympic, Paralympic, and FEI World Equestrian Games™ honours among them.

With nine awards in total, Germany has the greatest number of winners and also tops the leader board in the FEI Best Athlete category, with five wins in 11 years.

German athletes in different Olympic disciplines have won the FEI Best Athlete category three years in a row. 2019 winner Ingrid Klimke, one of the world’s most successful Eventing riders, was the third German female to win the FEI Best Athlete award, following in the footsteps of FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping champion Simone Blum in 2018 and six-time Dressage Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth in 2017.

Germany has also been to the fore in the FEI Rising Star Award, with the Rothenberger family claiming it twice, with Sönke winning in 2016 and his sister Semmieke taking home the honours last year.

Alongside the recognition of individual sporting accomplishments, the FEI Best Groom award highlights the important work of grooms, often the unsung heroes of equestrian sport, and the British have dominated this category. There was a double celebration in 2016 when Olympic champion Nick Skelton and his long-time groom Mark Beever were crowned Best Athlete and Best Groom. Career groom Jackie Potts won in 2014 for her long collaboration with Eventing legend William Fox-Pitt while Alan Davies, head groom to Dressage superstars Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, won the title in 2017.

The FEI Solidarity Award has raised the profile of a number of equestrian development projects, individuals, and organisations that have benefitted the sport and communities in countries such as Haiti, South Africa, Singapore, Uruguay, Zambia, and Great Britain.

At the 2018 FEI Awards Gala in Manama (BRN), the FEI Solidarity Award was given to The Horsemanship Movement, founded by Chinese Eventing star Alex Hua Tian and his friend Philip Wong. The programme aims to improve the lives of migrant children through building a positive partnership with horses, as well as to reposition equestrian sports as a value-led activity, rich with character education for children.

Following his win in 2018, Alex Hua Tian became the only individual to have secured two accolades at the FEI Awards having also won FEI Rising Star at the inaugural FEI Awards Gala in 2009 in Copenhagen (DEN). The FEI Rising Star recognition came on the back of his Olympic debut at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing at the age of 18, where he became China’s first equestrian Olympian and the youngest ever Eventer in Olympic history.

Perhaps the most inspiring of all the categories is the FEI Against All Odds Award, which has brought equestrian stories of courage, hope, and faith to the forefront. The Award, given to a person who has pursued his or her equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances, has been won by athletes from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Haiti, Palestine, Uruguay, and the USA.

“This year, more than ever, I invite you all to show your support for the multiple nominees in the different categories,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The equestrian community has been pushed to the limit this year but has come out stronger and this is our chance to unite and celebrate our community’s resilience in the face of adversity.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to Still Offer Bonus for 2020 Hagyard Challenge Series

Lexington, Ky. – September 10, 2020 – Hagyard Equine Medical Institute announced it will still offer a “Leading Rider Award” as part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenges Series even with the further reduction of events as a result of COVID-19.

On August 4, 2020 Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC and US Equestrian announced the cancellation of Bluegrass Festival (Aug. 11-16), KHJA (Aug. 19-23), and USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast (Aug. 23-24) scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Bluegrass Festival and KHJA were to be part of the 2020 Hagyard Challenge Series Events. With the changes, the events comprising The Series now will be as follows:

  • Kentucky Summer Horse Show – July 23rd
  • Kentucky Summer Classic – July 30th
  • Kentucky National Horse Show/The Betsy Grand Prix – September 20th

Because the Series is being further reduced to three events from its usual seven, Hagyard announced that the “Leading Rider Award” will be reduced, proportionately, to $15,000. Hagyard had announced a similar reduction in the prize when the Series was originally reduced from seven to five events.

“We’re just rolling with the changes,” said Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator for Hagyard. “The competitors are being flexible and bringing their best to the events that are able to be held, and we believe they should be rewarded for Going the Distance. We’re just scaling the award to reflect the number of events that are ultimately included.”

In the Hagyard Challenge Series, competitors Claire McKean and Shane Sweetnam are battling closely in the standings, but several others are not far behind.

Previously, Hagyard announced that the theme for the 2020 event would be Going the Distance. “We have worked with the Kentucky Horse Park to go the extra mile this year and find ways to put on the event in spite of some challenges,” Jackson had explained. “These new changes won’t deter us.”

One other group has also been willing to “Go the Distance” this year, the Hagyard Challenge Series sponsors. In a year marked by changes an economic uncertainty, title sponsor MWI Animal Health, Audi of Lexington, Central Kentucky Ag Credit, and Hagyard Pharmacy continued to honor their commitment.

“As we’ve mentioned before, the Leading Rider Award money is tied to our sponsors,” said Jackson. “This year, it would have been easy – and very understandable – if they had dropped out. We can’t thank them enough.”

For more information regarding the Leading Rider Award, please contact:

Elise Jackson, Tour Experience & Event Coordinator
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
ejackston@hagyard.com
859.255.8741

Amy Pitts Awarded IHSA Senior Academic Achievement Essay Honors

Amy Pitts at an IHSA show at Crosswinds Equestrian Center, Lagrangeville, New York. Photo courtesy of Amy Pitts.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – June 8, 2020 –The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) recognizes students through the Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation (IEF) with scholarships and academic awards. The IHSA Senior Academic Award is granted to seniors who have earned a 3.5 grade-point average or higher. To win the Senior Academic Achievement Essay Award, they must first meet Senior Award requirements. Then, they must submit a 500-word essay about how their IHSA and academic experience have prepared them for a future career. Amy Pitts (New Haven, Vermont), a member of the Marist College team, exceeded the criteria and submitted the winning essay.

“Amy has been an invaluable member of our equestrian team since she joined in 2016,” said Clare Knapp-Englehart, IHSA board member and coach of the Marist College team. “For four years, she has worked tirelessly to serve the team in any capacity possible and was the only candidate we considered for treasurer. Amy is highly intelligent, incredibly disciplined, amazingly organized, and a complete team player.”

Pitts, a double major in applied mathematicians and data science with a minor in computer science, qualified for Regionals in the World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation on the Flat division.

“Our region adjusted the schedule to accommodate Amy so she could rush back to school to present the keynote address for the Honor Society induction that evening,” Knapp-Englehart said. “Sadly, Regionals were canceled due to COVID-19.”

In addition to serving on the Marist College Equestrian Team executive board as treasurer, Pitts was president of both Pi Mu Epsilon (a math honors society) and the Association for Women in Mathematics. She also served as the vice president of Marist Math Club and for two years ran the Marist math lab. Pitts also participated in research with Marist faculty during the academic year and over the summers.

Pitts has accepted a fellowship at Columbia University to study in their Ph.D. biostatistics program.

“Amy has been an unsung hero for a Marist Equestrian Team, and is a great representation of the IHSA,” Knapp-Englehart said. “I cannot think of a more fitting student-athlete for this award.”

Read Amy Pitts’ Essay

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Eric Lamaze and Hickstead to Be Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead. Photo by ClixPhoto.com.

Calgary, Alberta – 2008 Beijing Olympic show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead will be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020/21. The announcement was made in Calgary, AB on May 27, 2020.

Together, Lamaze and Hickstead wrote show jumping history. Their crowning achievement was claiming the individual gold and team silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Lamaze and Hickstead also earned an individual bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships where Hickstead was awarded the title of “Best Horse.” They won team silver and individual bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games as well as several major grand prix show jumping titles, including Calgary (2007 and 2011); Geneva (2008); Aachen (2010); La Baule (2011); and Rome (2011).

“It is an honour for me and Hickstead to be recognized for our achievements by Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame,” said Lamaze, 52. “I’m especially happy for Hickstead. In our sport, it takes two athletes, one human and one equine, working together and in Hickstead I found a true partner. It’s wonderful that his accomplishments are being recognized for the great athletic feats that they were.

“Together, we were proud to represent Canada on the world stage,” continued Lamaze. “My sincerest thanks to all who supported this nomination and made it possible. I gratefully accept this honour on behalf of all of our supporters, our fans, and our great nation.”

In addition to being inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Lamaze will receive the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, traditionally held each October in Toronto, ON, will not take place in 2020. Rather, it will be deferred for one year, making Lamaze and Hickstead part of the class of 2020/21.

Lamaze and Hickstead will be the second horse-rider combination ever inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, following Ian Millar and Big Ben’s induction in 1996.

Hickstead (Hamlet – Jomara x Ekstein) was bred in The Netherlands by Jan van Schijndel and born on March 2, 1996. Lamaze purchased the Dutch Warmblood stallion in 2004 through Stephex Stables in Belgium and owned him in partnership with John Fleischhacker’s Ashland Stables of the United States. Prior to his tragic death during competition in Italy in 2011, Hickstead earned more than $3 million in prize money during his career with Lamaze and was widely considered to be the best show jumping horse of his era.

Having competed at the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio Olympics, Lamaze is now focused on representing Canada at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He owns and operates Torrey Pines Stable, a large show jumping training and sales business with bases in Wellington, Florida and Brussels, Belgium, where he trains many students from various nationalities at the elite level. For more information, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

For more information on Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the class of 2020/21, visit www.sportshall.ca.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca