Beezie Madden (Kit Houghton/FEI)
Lexington, Ky. – To cap off a record-setting year, jumping superstar Beezie Madden added one more record to her résumé on Friday night at the United States Equestrian Federation’s Pegasus Awards dinner, becoming the second person to ever score the USEF’s Equestrian of the Year title three times.
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.), who won the top honor in 2005 and 2006 as well, earned the 2013 USEF Equestrian of the Year title after a campaign that saw her win at nearly every turn. The dual Olympic Team Gold medalist cemented her status as one of the sport’s elite producing top finishes stateside and abroad, in addition to capturing one of the few individual titles that had eluded her.
She began her record-setting season at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival winning the $125,000 FEI W-Cup Grand Prix CSI3* presented by Spy Coast Farm with Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ before aiding in the winning U.S. effort in the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm with Wexner’s Simon. Also during the CSIO Wellington, Madden and Cortes ‘C’ teamed up for a second-place effort in the $150,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty.
In April, Madden traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to capture the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final crown for the first time. She kicked off the week with a win in the Speed Leg before jumping three more consistent rounds with Simon to force a jump-off with the reigning Olympic champion, where a clear effort saw her claim victory. Madden continued to dominate in Europe producing two impressive double clears in Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competitions and a Longines Global Champion Tours Grand Prix of Chantilly victory over the summer with Cortes ‘C’. Madden then assisted the U.S. to a win in the Consolation Round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. As a testament to her 2013 success, Madden spent three months as the second-ranked rider in the world on the Longines/FEI Rankings.
“Congratulations to all who have won awards tonight. I am honored to be Equestrian of the Year. I am thankful to my whole team,” said Madden.
Earlier, after receiving the William C. Steinkraus Trophy, the reining Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals Champion recognized all those that had helped her during her record setting year.
“There are so many people that should be up here with me. Great horses make great riders and I am very lucky to have the partners I have.”
Madden received The William C. Steinkraus Trophy, awarded to an equestrian in an Olympic discipline, for the third time. As a result, she was one of eight equestrians in the running for the USEF’s top honor.
The following awards were presented on January 10, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Lexington:
The Becky Grand Hart Trophy was presented to Four-In-Hand driver Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.). The Becky Grand Hart Trophy is presented to international-level non-Olympic athletes. Weber added to his legacy in 2013 with a campaign that saw him win at home and abroad. Always regarded for his skill on the first day, he proved his proficiency in the dressage by going undefeated in the phase throughout the year. He started off the season with victories at the Little Everglades CDE and Live Oak International CDE before traveling to Europe where he was the winner of the Saumur CAI-4A and the Caen CAI-A4. Also while in Europe, Weber produced third-place finishes at the CHIO Aachen and the CAI Beekbergen. He then finished out the season by earning a 10th USEF Four-in-Hand National Championship at the Kentucky Classic CDE.
Chris and Sonya Bickford (Sherwood, Ore.) were awarded the Bill Robinson Trophy for their success in the sport of carriage pleasure driving. The Bill Robinson Trophy is presented to an equestrian competing with horses or ponies across all the breeds in harness or for driving performance in non-international competitions. In 2013, the Bickfords once again enjoyed an extremely successful show season that had often seen them heading the field. Chris earned two Carriage Pleasure Driving National Championships in the Working and Gambler’s Choice divisions, as well as garnering four National Top 10s in Turnout, Pick Your Route, Reinmanship, and Timed Obstacles at the 2013 U.S. Arabian & Half Arabian Sport Horse National Championship Show. Additionally, he drove the second-ranked USEF National High Point Horse for Carriage Pleasure Driving Single. Sonya had a wildly successful season in her own right as well, driving to the Arabian & Half-Arabian Sport Horse National Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving Reinmanship and Arabian & Half-Arabian Sport Horse Reserve National Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving Working titles. She actively competed with the 2013 leading USEF National Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving Single and Grand National Champion Carriage Pleasure Driving horse, trained by Chris.
Liza Boyd (Camden, S.C.) earned her first Emerson Burr Trophy for her success in the hunter ring. The Emerson Burr Trophy is presented to a rider in the hunter divisions in any breed over fences. With longtime partner Brunello, Boyd scored her biggest career victory when she topped a star-studded field in the 2013 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships. This was the pair’s fifth International Hunter Derby win in as many months after topping fields in the Camden Spring International Hunter Derby, the Atlanta Spring International Hunter Derby, the Atlanta Summer International Hunter Derby, and the BRCHS International Hunter Derby.
For the second time, Jim Stachowkski (Mantua, Ohio) has had his name added to the list of equestrians to win the C. J. “June” Cronan Trophy. The C. J. “June” Cronan Trophy is presented to those excelling in under saddle show breeds. In 2013, Stachowski’s success in the show ring speaks for itself, as he earned countless top prizes throughout the year in the American Saddlebred and Arabian disciplines. At the World’s Grand Championship Show at the Kentucky State Fair, he garnered World Championship titles in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited and Three-Year-Old Park Pleasure Futurity divisions, as well as a World Reserve Grand Champion Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding Stake title. Stachowski’s storied foothold in the Arabian show arena was punctuated with top honors in the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Futurity and Country English Pleasure Championships and Reserve National Championships in the English Pleasure and the Half-Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse classes at the 2013 U.S. Arabian & Half Arabian National Championship Show.
The Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy was awarded to Rick Gervasio (Ocala, Fla.). This trophy is presented to an equestrian showing in a non-reining Western discipline. Gervasio has competed at the Morgan Grand National in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the last three years, garnering a plethora of top finishes. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, he earned multiple World and Reserve World Championships, as well as Grand National Championships in the ever-competitive Western Pleasure division. His versatility extends beyond the western pleasure division, as he continually earns top honors in Trail and Western Dressage, is a true testament to his skill and versatility.
For a second consecutive year, Bruce Griffin (Gretna, Va.) was awarded the Norman K. Dunn Trophy, presented to an equestrian competing at halter or in-hand. A notably true horseman, his results from the 2013 IFSHA World and Grand National Championship included 10 National and World Titles, eight Reserve National and World Titles, and four Top Five awards in halter and sport horse in-hand classes. Additionally this year, he won the coveted Grand Championship at the prestigious Dressage at Devon Horse Show. Adding to his accolades in 2013, Griffin trained and showed the first-ranked USEF Friesian Halter Horse.
The Vaughn Smith Trophy was awarded to Martha Rattner (Paris, Ky.) for her success with Arabians in 2013. The Vaughan Smith Trophy is presented to the best rider of any horse or pony breed shown in hunter pleasure, show hack, hunter hack, dressage hack, costume, side saddle, or Western dressage. Rattner has been a fixture in the winner’s circle of Arabian Sport Horse, Dressage, and English Trail divisions with an outstanding year in 2013 which saw her win 23 Regional Championships, nine National Top 10 titles, and a Reserve National Championship.
It was a banner year for these eight equestrians across the USEF breeds and disciplines. The USEF membership, board of directors, and designated equestrian media voted to decide the winner.
Keith Bartz (Naples, Fla.) received the Jimmy A. Williams Lifetime Achievement Trophy for his undying support and incredibly legacy in the equestrian community. Bartz has been a leading figure in the American Saddlebred industry for many years and his influence spans the entire scope of the sport, as he has served as a competitor, trainer, administrator, and leader.
Lillie Keenan (New York, N.Y.) was awarded the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2013 Junior Equestrian of the Year. With her unprecedented success in the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines, Keenan now stands among the most decorated junior riders in history.
Linda Bibbler (Woodside, Calif.), Larry Langer (Burbank, Calif.), and Dr. Armand Leone Jr. (Glen Rock, N.J.) received Pegasus Medals of Honor.
The Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy is given, at the discretion of USEF President Chrystine Tauber, to honor distinguished service in equestrian sport. The winner of this award is known only to the president until it is presented and for 2013, Tauber chose Bill Moroney.
The McDevitt Award of Merit is awarded posthumously to people who have passed away during the preceding competition year. In 2013 Marjorie “Marge” Peterson Fergusson, Howard Lewis, and Fred Nava were honored.
Sportsmanship Award and Walter B Devereux Trophy was given to Ed Young in 2013.
USEF Equus Foundation Humanitarian Award was awarded to Margo Dewkett.
James Brown, Valerie Knight, James LaHood, and Judy Richter were added to Honor Roll of Distinguished Officials for their service to equestrian competition.
Joan Lurie, an acclaimed Saddlebred breeder at Willowbank Farm, was honored with the Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Trophy.
Video, photos, news and more from the 2014 USEF Annual Meeting and Pegasus Awards are available here: http://usefnetwork.com/featured/2014USEFAnnualMeeting/.