The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced three equestrians to receive the highest awards of the year. The USEF selected Joe Fargis to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Linda Zang as the recipient of the Pegasus Medal of Honor, and Hunter Chancellor as the Junior Equestrian of the Year.
These distinguished equestrians will receive their awards during the Pegasus Awards gala on Jan. 19, at The Henry Clay, Louisville, Ky. At the gala, the USEF will announce the winner of the Equestrian of the Year Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Joe Fargis
Joe Fargis of Middleburg, Va., has been a leading figure in the sport of jumping for more than 40 years as a competitor, trainer, administrator and leader. For his undying support and incredible legacy, Fargis has been awarded the 2012 USEF Lifetime Achievement Awarded and will receive the Jimmy A. Williams Lifetime Achievement Trophy.
Fargis appeared on more than 30 FEI Nations Cup teams for the U.S. In 1975, Fargis helped the United States secure team gold at the Pan American Games in Mexico City. Nine years later at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Fargis won team and individual gold aboard Touch of Class. The pair’s epic performance set an Olympic record as they faulted only a single time throughout the competition, jumping 90 out of 91 obstacles clear. He also won team silver at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and represented the United States at the 1990 FEI World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. Additionally, he twice topped the North American East Coast League in qualifying for the FEI World Cup Final.
Fargis’ legacy, however, is more than just as a competitor. His Sandron Farm is a renowned training facility that has helped shape the careers of many of the best horses and riders in the country. Fargis also served as a committee member of the American Horse Show Association (now USEF), U.S. Hunter Jumper Association and U.S. Equestrian Team.
Pegasus Medal of Honor: Linda Zang
The Pegasus Medal of Honor was created as an annual award to recognize individuals who have exhibited outstanding service to horses and equestrian sport. These dedicated individuals have engaged the community in their passion for horses through their work in the industry. This year’s winner, Linda Zang, has been inspiring and educating for more than 30 years.
Zang, of Davidsonville, Md., has been a prominent figure in the sport of dressage in the United States and Europe. As a competitor, she rode on U.S. teams at the 1978 World Championships, 1979 Pan American Games and 1980 Alternate Olympic Games. She has judged at numerous FEI World Cup Finals as well as at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and throughout the world.
As a technical delegate, Zang officiated at the 1999 Pan American Games (Canada) and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She also paid great service to the sport in administrative roles as a former member of the USEF Board of Governors, USEF Hearing Committee and FEI Dressage Committee. She currently serves as a member of the USEF Licensed Officials Committee and Ad Hoc CDI Committee. In addition, Zang continues to coach many prominent horses and riders across different disciplines.
Junior Equestrian of the Year: Hunter Chancellor
At just 17 years old, Hunter Chancellor is already epitomizing the dedication, skill and sportsmanship that are required to reach the top of equestrian sport. As a junior at Mater Dei Catholic High School, the Evansville, Ind., native actively participates in American Saddlebred competitions while maintaining a 3.99 grade point average. For her talent, integrity and contributions to the equestrian world, Chancellor will be awarded the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2012 Junior Equestrian of the Year.
Chancellor already boasts an extensive resume that includes 145 career wins and 26 World Championship titles. In 2012 she earned victories at the National Horse Show Saddle Seat “Good Hands” Finals Championship and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals, a competition at which she won reserve honors in 2010 and 2011. Chancellor is a National Honor Society member and is currently in Parys, South Africa, competing as part of the U.S. team at the Saddle Seat World Cup.
Hunter is also an active participant in numerous extracurricular and philanthropic endeavors. She is a member of the Mater Dei High School Cheer Team, Pep Club, Service Committee and Prom Committee. Additionally, she spent time in 2012 as an intern for John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Chancellor is also the founder of the non-profit organization Horses Against Hunger, an organization that has strived to get young riders, farms and stables involved in the fight against hunger since 2011.