Category Archives: Awards

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

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

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

Victoria Colvin Honored as National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year

Colvin piloted Private Practice to victory in the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular in 2019 and 2020.

Wellington, Fla. – May 20, 2020 – One of the most prominent hunter riders in the United States today, Victoria Colvin has once again been recognized for her talent in the ring. Voted on by the trainers of champions at the top ten shows of the year, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards recognize the accomplishments of one rider, one owner, and seven horses for their success in the hunter ring. Thanks to her astounding collection of winning performances throughout all of 2019, Colvin has been named the Rider of the Year. Originally scheduled for May 26, 2020, The Hall of Fame’s Annual Awards and induction ceremony will now be held June 1, 2021, at The Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pennsylvania in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Throughout 2019, Colvin topped a multitude of scorecards and continued to add to her lengthy list of accomplishments. Beginning the year with a rapid succession of class and division wins during the Winter Equestrian Festival, the young professional rider and trainer was ultimately honored as the WEF Overall Hunter Rider and also emerged victorious in both the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. In the summer, Colvin made history as a three-time winner of the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, topping the leaderboard by nearly 25 points in the 2019 installment aboard El Primero. The fall saw more success as she came out on top in the $10,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Finals during the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

“I am so thrilled and humbled to be named the Rider of the Year as part of the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame’s Trainers Choice Annual Awards! The fact that fellow trainers and riders voted on this and recognized me as one of their peers makes it even more special. This is an incredible privilege, and I have to thank my team and supporters for all of their dedication and hard work that allowed me to reach this milestone. I’d also like to congratulate Bryan Baldwin and Brad Wolf on their awards!” commented Colvin.

In addition to Colvin’s recognition as Rider of the Year, two of her connections also received annual honors. Bryan Baldwin, the owner of El Primero, was named the Owner of the Year. Colvin piloted El Primero to victory in August 2019 in the $256,640 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, among other derby and division championship honors throughout the year. Honored as the High Performance Horse of the Year, Private Practice is owned by Brad Wolf. “Peter” is another of Colvin’s equine partners that she has ridden to consistent success, and in 2019 the duo won the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular, later winning again in 2020 for the second time in a row.

Colvin will aim to maintain her winning ways in 2020 when horse shows resume in both the hunter and jumper rings. Although the schedule is subject to change, the original calendar included Colvin’s participation from July to the end of the year at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Hampton Classic Horse Show, Kentucky National Horse Show, and a series of indoors shows.

For more information, please visit www.victoriacolvin.com.

FEI Vice President Mark Samuel to Receive Equestrian Canada Gold Medal Award

Equestrian Canada has named FEI Vice President Mark Samuel the recipient of the 2019 Gold Medal Award, the highest and most prestigious of the governing body’s national honours.

The award is only given when the Equestrian Canada President and Executive believe a recipient has exceeded expectations in providing long and exceptional service to the organisation as a builder of the sport both nationally and internationally.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award and I wish to thank Equestrian Canada for this recognition,” Mark Samuel said.

“I am blessed that my passion, experience and abilities have found purpose in service to my sport, my country, and now, the FEI. Contributing to making a sustainable, meaningful difference is its own reward.

“I share this award with all of my fellow tireless volunteers who contribute their time, talents, and energy in support of our great industry and in service to our incredible equine partners. It is my hope to continue to be a deserving recipient of this award and an ambassador for horse sport locally and globally.”

Having first been elected Chair of FEI Regional Group IV in 2012 and then re-elected for a further four years in 2016, Mark Samuel has played a key role in helping to direct the development of equestrian sport in 11 North American and Caribbean countries.

He was unanimously elected FEI 2nd Vice President at the General Assembly 2017 and was subsequently elected Vice-President in 2018 in Manama (BRN).

Mark Samuel has been an invaluable member of multiple FEI working groups and committees, including chairing the FEI Officials Working Group, which was tasked with providing analysis and discussion on all issues related to Officials, from education to age limits.

He played an important role in the Temporary Endurance Committee, facilitating communication between the Committee and the FEI Board during a comprehensive review of the discipline’s Rules aimed at bringing the sport back to its roots. Along with the Chair Sarah Coombs and the rest of the Committee, he welcomed the overwhelming support for the Rule changes at last year’s General Assembly in Moscow (RUS).

Most recently, he was called on to join the FEI’s Covid-19 task forces, sitting on each of the discipline-specific groups to help evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the FEI Calendar and make specific recommendations to counter negative effects.

“We are delighted to hear that Equestrian Canada is to give Mark Samuel this award and I cannot think of a better qualified recipient,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Mark has dedicated an inordinate amount of time and expertise to international equestrian sport over the years. He is well respected by all who know him for his remarkable intellect, charisma, and ability to always find the right words in any situation.

“His depth of knowledge of sport, business, and governance is matched by his generosity and willingness to help people during difficult times. We saw this determination in action in 2017 when he co-founded the Caribbean Equine Relief Fund to raise funds for relief efforts for equines and equestrians in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“I am proud to call him my friend and can only hope that this is first of many accolades to come his way.”

As a Jumping athlete, Mark Samuel represented Canada at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2002 in Jerez (ESP) and the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo (DOM).

He co-founded Jump Canada (JC) in 2004, and remained a key member of the Jump Canada Board and the subsequent Equestrian Canada Jumping Committee for over 15 years. During this time, he spearheaded many key initiatives, including the Jump Canada Hall of Fame and Bursary, and helped to build and support Equestrian Canada programmes and initiatives for Jumping athletes across Canada.

He has also been instrumental to the sport on a provincial level as a co-founder of the Ontario Hunter Jumper Association (OHJA) and past Director of Ontario Equestrian (OE).

FEI contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

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

USET Foundation Awards Mia Farley with Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant

Mia Farley and BGS Firecracker (Photo courtesy of Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Gladstone, NJ – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has awarded the 2020 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Mia Farley, a current member of the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program.

As the recipient of the grant, Farley, who trains with the O’Connor Event Team, will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year. Note: the grant is valid for this year or next, if necessary, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is an honor [to receive this grant],” said Farley, of San Clemente, Calif. “The fact that they recognized me and what [I accomplished] last year is huge. This is a big deal for me and really special. I have talked to a couple people [about how to use it], and the most beneficial thing would be to possibly go overseas and get some experience and see how it all works.”

Farley received this select distinction following a solid 2019 competition season. In her first year competing at CCI3-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-S, and CCI4-L level events, she placed in the top 15 in eight of the 12 FEI competitions entered. Most notably, she placed second in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI4*-L with BGS Firecracker, the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare she owns with Paddy Byrne.

In their debut CCI4*-L, they finished on their dressage score of 38.30. Earlier in the year, they jumped double clear, picking up only 4.4. time penalties to place fifth in the Jersey Fresh International CCI3*-S. US Equestrian named Farley to the Emerging Athlete Eventing 18 Program in 2014. She advanced to the Emerging Athlete Eventing Athlete 25 Program in 2019. In addition, she was part of the bronze medal-winning Area VI team at the 2016 FEI North American Youth Championships.

The USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund allocates the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant annually. Pirie’s family established the fund in her memory for the purpose of providing financial assistance to an eventing athlete identified with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future. It is intended for a recipient that will benefit most from the opportunity to continue their training with top coaches and to compete against the world’s best in eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines.

Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Farley can continue to focus on her training and prepare for competitions, helping to reach her goal of representing the United States on the international stage.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Winter Equestrian Festival Celebrates 2020 Circuit Champions

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2020 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate the Circuit Champions for the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Featuring 10 weeks of world-class jumper, hunter, and equitation competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, this year’s circuit was a great success despite its early finale due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards go to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money or points won.

ESP would like to congratulate all riders, trainers, grooms, and owners on a fantastic 2020 circuit, and wish them a safe and healthy year. Circuit Champion Award winners are encouraged to pick up their prizes from the horse show office.

Click here for a full list of Circuit Champion Award Winners. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Jessica Springsteen Clinches Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award

Jessica Springsteen aboard Volage du Val Henry. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Jessica Springsteen was named the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) that concluded on Sunday, March 15, in Wellington, FL.

The Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horsewoman Dale Lawler, was presented weekly during WEF to the high-score female rider based on performances in that week’s WEF Challenge Cup and featured grand prix events. Consistent throughout 10 weeks of competition, Springsteen claimed the weekly Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady title during week four and, riding Volage du Val Henry, won the $137,000 CSI3* Grand Prix during week six.

“I’m honored to receive the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider award this year,” said Springsteen, 28, of Colts Neck, NJ. “My horses jumped so well all season, and I couldn’t be happier with them. It’s a great way to end the circuit!

“This sport is so unique in that we compete with women and men in the same competitions,” continued Springsteen. “I think it’s really special in that way, and it’s always so nice that there is an opportunity to win the Leading Lady award every week.”

In recognition of her achievement, Springsteen will receive with a custom-built jump of her choice from Jolicoeur.

“The Leading Lady Award was always the one that I aimed to win when I was competing because it is a testament to consistent top performances,” said Jolicoeur, who began presenting the award in 2010 as a way of recognizing female accomplishments in one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete as equals. “To experience how horses have brought us all together is something special for me. It was an honor to watch Jessica and all of this year’s weekly winners find so much success this season.”

While Springsteen scored the week four title on her way to winning the Overall Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Award, other weekly winners this year included U.S. riders Lillie Keenan, Beezie Madden, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Kirsten VanderVeen; Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Alexandra Thornton; and Canada’s Vanessa Mannix.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Beezie Madden Dominates Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Standings During WEF Nine

Beezie Madden riding Darry Lou. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Beezie Madden won her first Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award of the season on Saturday night, March 7, during week nine, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

A four-time U.S. Olympic medalist, Madden led the week-nine standings from wire to wire after finishing second in the $137,000 Equinimity WEF CSI5* Challenge Cup Round 9, and placing fourth in the $401,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate CSI5* Grand Prix. Both finishes came aboard Darry Lou, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Nabab de Reve) owned by Abigail Wexner.

“It’s always great to be recognized for consistency throughout the week, and the prizes are super,” said Madden, who also won a Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award during week three of the 2019 WEF season. “It’s nice to have a unique award to keep things interesting, and I’ve always loved winning it.

“[Darry Lou] had a great week,” continued Madden, 56, of Cazenovia, NY. “This was the first week where I expected him to be fit enough and had enough competitions under his belt to be able to produce some good rounds. I’m really pleased with what he did; he tried really hard tonight and was fabulous all week.”

Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horseman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series and grand prix events. During the 12th and final week of competition, the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the season. So far this season, Lillie Keenan, Jessica Springsteen, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Kirsten Vanderveen of the United States, as well as Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Alexandra Thornton, and Canada’s Vanessa Mannix, have won the weekly award. These talented female riders are now joined by Madden in contention for the overall title.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Jessica Springsteen Wins Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award at WEF Week Four

Jessica Springsteen riding Volage du Val Henry. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Jessica Springsteen of the United States claimed the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award on Saturday, February 1, during week four of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Having placed sixth in the $73,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 held Thursday, January 30, on the Derby Field, Springsteen returned to Equestrian Village on Saturday for the $214,000 CSI4* Marshall & Sterling / Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix. Riding Volage du Val Henry, Springsteen once again contested the jump-off, eventually placing third and securing her first Leading Lady title of the 2020 season.

“I’m so happy with her; she jumped amazing,” said Springsteen of Volage du Val Henry, an 11-year-old Selle Français mare (Quidam de Revel x Cassini I) owned by Stone Hill Farm. “She’s just been in such good shape these past couple months. She was great on Thursday, and I thought I was pretty quick. In the grand prix, I wanted to go for it a little bit more. We still weren’t quite fast enough, but she’s such a talented horse. I love riding her.”

In recognition of claiming the title, Springsteen was presented with a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, and a gift certificate for a shopping spree at Hunt, Ltd. by sponsor Martha W. Jolicoeur, who was joined for the presentation by her fiancé, Dr. Stephen Norton.

“This sport is so unique in that we compete with women and men in the same competitions,” said Springsteen, 28, of Colts Neck, NJ. “I think it’s really special in that way, and it’s always so nice that they give the Leading Lady award every week. I was really excited to win.”

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com