The U.S. Equestrian Federation and the USEF Dressage High Performance Committee have announced a new recognition award for dressage athletes. The USEF Gold Medal of Distinction will honor athletes who have represented the United States in top-level dressage competition and earned team or individual medals or have accumulated multiple top placings, both in the United States and abroad.
Eligible athletes will be presented with a custom-designed gold pin, and active competitors will be encouraged to wear the pin on their shadbelly coats when in the show arena.
The first presentation for the USEF Gold Medals of Distinction will be on the evening of Saturday, June 14, at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., during the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Currently 17 athletes have met the criteria to be awarded the medal.
To be awarded the USEF Gold Medal of Distinction, a dressage athlete must meet at least one of the following five requirements:
• A member of a medal-winning U.S. Team at either an Olympic Games or FEI World Equestrian Games. This criterion is retroactive.
• An athlete who has won an individual medal for the United States at either an Olympic Games or FEI World Equestrian Games. This criterion is retroactive.
• An athlete who has won an individual medal for the United States at the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. This criterion is retroactive.
• An athlete who has won 10 Grand Prix classes in CDI*** or above and has placed three or more times in the top 10 at a CDI*** or above outside of North America with a score of 70.00 percent or higher. This criterion only applies to wins in the FEI Grand Prix Test and is not retroactive.
• A medal may be awarded at the discretion of the USEF Dressage High Performance Committee.