USA Equestrians Of Honor Named
2002 USA Equestrians of Honor, finalists for the overall USA Equestrian
of the Year, have been selected by the USA Equestrian Honors Committee.
For the second year several divisional trophies will be awarded
prior to the voting which selects the overall Equestrian of the
O'Connor, of the Plains, VA, and Peter Wylde, based in The Netherlands,
are co-recipients of the William C. Steinkraus Trophy awarded
to an equestrian competing in the Olympic disciplines of dressage,
eventing and show jumping. O'Connor was a member of the Gold medal-winning
team at the World Equestrian Games and finished first at Radnor
CCI** and Fair Hill CCI***. Wylde won the Bronze medal in show
jumping at the World Equestrian Games, leading the U.S. team to
a 6th place finish. In the final round of the individual competition,
Wylde's horse, Fein Cera, topped the competition by ending the
day with only three faults. The pair also competed as members
of the 5th place team at the Nation's Cup Final.
Becky Grand Hart Trophy, given to an equestrian competing in international
driving, endurance, reining or vaulting competitions, will go
to Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT, the USA National Combined Driving
Singles Champion and Bronze medal winner in the World Singles
Championship in Conty, France. Merriam finished in 5th place overall
on the 2002 FEI Top Driver Award for Singles Drivers.
Gaylord McClean of Simpsonville, KY, will be awarded the Bill
Robinson Trophy, given to an equestrian competing in harness or
for driving performance in non-international competitions. Among
her many accomplishments in 2002 are: 1st Roadster Pony Open,
Roadster Pony Championship, Harness Pony Ladies at the American
Royal, 1st Roadster Pony Championship at the Lexington Jr. League
Horse Show, 1st Roadster Pony Kentucky Country Fair Championship
and 1st Roadster Pony Grand Championship at the Kentucky State
Fair World's Championship Horse Show as well as 1st at the $10,000
Hackney Pony UPHA Classic Grand Championship held at the American
Emerson Burr Trophy for an equestrian competing in hunter classes
over fences will go to Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX, the 2002
Chronicle of the Horse Professional Rider of the Year. He was
also Champion in the First and Second-year Green Hunter division
at Blowing Rock Charity, Champion Green Hunter at HITS Tahoe III
and Champion of the First Year Greens at the Kentucky Spring Show.
Ratliff of Lamont, FL, topped the list in the performance in pleasure
under saddle division and will receive the C.J. "June"
Cronan, Jr. Trophy. Included in her many accomplishments are four
National Championships, two Reserve Grand National Championships
and two Reserve National Championships at the Paso Fino Grand
National Championship Show. She trained 16 horses to be exhibited
with 14 of them placing and won five National High Point Class
Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy, awarded to an equestrian showing
in a non-reining western discipline, will go to Eitan Beth-Halachamy
of Grass Valley, CA. Among many other accomplishments Beth-Halachamy
was the unanimous winner in World Champion Morgan Western Pleasure
as well as the Champion in Senior National Champion Western Pleasure,
Four-Year-Old and Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure.
Wheeler of Keswick, VA, will be the recipient of the Norman K.
Dunn Trophy, a new award for 2002, awarded to those competing
in-hand or at halter. Wheeler was the handler of the Best Young
Horse at Devon, Best Young Horse at the Middleburg Classic and
Handler of the Best Young Horse and Handler of the Day at the
Sallie B. Wheeler/USA National Hunter Breeding Championship.
2002 Equestrians of Honor, O'Connor, Wylde, Merriam, McClean,
Pletcher, Ratliff, Beth-Halachamy and Wheeler are now finalists
in the voting for Equestrian of the Year, to be announced and
awarded at the Pegasus Awards Dinner during the USA Equestrian
Annual Meeting being held January 15-19, at the Marriott Griffin
Gate in Lexington, KY. For information on attending the awards
dinner, contact Deborah Martin, USA Equestrian Travel and Events
Manager at 859-225-6961 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 80,000 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.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian
sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of
excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on
a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its
horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian
federation in the world.