Annual USA Equestrians of Honor Announced; Equestrian of Year Voting
USA Equestrian, the
National Equestrian Federation of the United States,
today announced a re-structuring of its annual awards program for the
top equestrians, and the commencement of voting for the overall title
Equestrian of the Year.
The Federation's Executive
Committee voted for the re-structuring at its
meeting on Friday, December 21, to reflect more thoroughly the breadth
equestrian sport across all breeds and disciplines. Henceforth, several
divisional USA Equestrians of Honor will be awarded each year, for new
trophies, prior to voting which selects the overall Equestrian of the
Last year's winner of the title was David O'Connor, Olympic Gold Medallist
at the Sydney Games in Eventing.
Equestrians in the
three Olympic disciplines compete for the new William C.
Steinkraus Trophy, named for the USA's first Olympic gold medallist (1968)
and 1993 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The Executive Committee voted
this year's winner to be Todd Minikus, from the Jumping discipline, based
largely on his stellar performances throughout the year on the stallion
Competitors in the
international non-Olympic disciplines compete for the
Becky Grand Hart Trophy, named for the USA's first World Champion in that
category. This year's winner is Bryant Pace, from Reining.
In the non-FEI breeds
and disciplines, at least four annual trophies will be
awarded beginning this year. For equestrians competing with horses or
ponies across all the breeds in harness or for driving performance in
non-international competitions, the Bill Robinson Trophy (named for the
horseman who dominated pony divisions in harness for decades), is awarded
The Emerson Burr Trophy,
named for the late 1998 Lifetime Achievement Trophy
winner from the Fairfield Hunt Club, is for outstanding annual achievement
in Hunter divisions in any breed, over fences. The winner is Daniel
The C.J. "June"
Cronan, Jr. Trophy, named for the nation's patriarch of
showing all types of horses under saddle, is to be awarded in the under
saddle show breeds. For 2001, the winner is Dena Lopez, twice consecutive
winner of the Five Gaited World's Grand Championship (with CH Wild Eyed
Wicked) at the Kentucky State Fair, as well as this year's "Triple
that division: Lexington, Louisville, and Kansas City.
The Barbara Worth
Oakford Trophy, named for the winner of the Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1996, who competed at the top of all Western
disciplines for decades, is for outstanding annual achievement in
non-reining Western competition, regardless of breed. This year's winner
Bill Porcher, from the Arabian breed.
The Executive Committee
determined that a new annual award be added for
2002, dedicated to outstanding achievement for equestrians showing any
of horse in hand.
The USA Equestrians
of Honor for 2001, Minikus, Pace, Kolkman, Robertshaw,
Lopez, and Porcher are now finalists in the voting for Equestrian of the
Year, to be announced and awarded on Friday night, January 11, 2002, in
Charlotte, NC, at the Pegasus Awards Dinner. For information on attending
the dinner, contact Deborah Martin, USA Equestrian Travel and Events
USA 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 these shows.