The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation has announced that the recipient of the 2014 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy is the talented show jumping rider Katie Dinan of New York, N.Y., and Wellington, Fla.
Each year this award is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2013, Dinan had a breakthrough year competing at her first World Cup Finals and representing the United States at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in Barcelona, Spain.
Dinan was presented with this prestigious award at the USET Foundation Gala on Jan. 24, in Wellington, Fla.
"I am very honored to be this year's recipient of the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy," Dinan commented. "Past recipients of the award include riders whom I look up to as well as some of my incredibly talented contemporaries. I am excited to have my name join the list and to be recognized by the USET Foundation as a young rider who demonstrates sportsmanship and horsemanship, two qualities I aspire to embody in this sport."
For a young rider to achieve consistent success is not an easy feat, and to do it while carrying a full course load at college is even more impressive. In 2013, Katie Dinan managed to do just that. She competed in her first ever Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, and she then went on to represent the United States during two Nations Cup events. Two clear rounds helped her clinch the Furusiyya Rider of the Day Award at Spruce Meadows (Calgary), and she was also a part of the third-place team in Dublin. In September, Dinan was a part of the U.S. team during the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in Barcelona, Spain, where she helped them take top honors in the Consolation Round.
"2013 was my first year really competing with the U.S. Team," noted Dinan. "I had always dreamed of going to the World Cup Finals and competing on Nations Cup Teams. I had amazing opportunities this past year to compete on teams with some of the best riders in our sport and gained invaluable experience. I give tremendous credit to my horse, Nougat du Vallet, who has been an incredible partner for me. Finishing the year with the grand prix win at the Alltech National Horse Show (Ky.) was a big moment for us, and it was really exciting to win a grand prix of that caliber.”
Dinan is star outside of the ring as well. She is a 20-year-old sophomore at Harvard University (Mass.), where she is studying human developmental and regenerative biology.
"While balancing riding and school can be hectic, I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing team at our farm, Staysail," commented Dinan. "This allows me to go back and forth from school to competitions. I appreciate the balance gained from both attending university and riding. Looking forward, I hope to have additional opportunities to represent our country and dream of attending championship competitions."