JOAN HAMILL PASSES AWAY
USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today the passing of Joan Birnie Hamill, 84, from Wayne, Ill. on July 22, 2001. Hamill was a leading equestrian figure who served on the boards of the U.S. Pony Club, U.S. Equestrian Team and the Hooved Animal Humane Society. She founded the Wayne DuPage Hunt Pony Club in 1955 and shortly after its formation, she was elected to the USPC Board of Governors where she served until 1961 and again from 1964 - 74. Her work with the U.S. Pony Club was recognized in 1990 when she was awarded the USPC Founders Award for over 25 years involvement. The new USPC office building in the Kentucky Horse Park was named after Hamill who was also one of the first Pony Club examiners in the country.
Mary Pierson, USPC Director of Communications commented, "She was the most marvelous lady and a wonderfully supportive person."
The former Joan Birnie Smith was the granddaughter of Northern Trust Bank Founder, Byron Smith. She grew up in Chicago where she learned to ride as a schoolgirl in Lincoln Park. Her life evolved around horses and she was a keen fox-hunter who followed hounds in England, Ireland and France as well as the U.S. She specialized in eventing and also competed in long-distance rides - an interest that accompanied her role as honorary chairwoman with the Illinois Prairie Path, a 61-mile trail.
Joan Hamill is survived by her husband, a son and two daughters. A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 30th at 4 p.m. in the Little Home Church on Army Trail Road in Wayne, Ill.
U.S. Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 77,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at