The U. S. Equestrian Team Foundation presented the 2011 Maxine Beard Show Jumping Award to 21-year-old Ali Wolff of New Albany, Ohio. Wolff, who was the individual gold medal winner at the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (Ky.), accepted her trophy during a ceremony at the American Invitational (Fla.) on April 9.
“The Maxine Beard award means a lot to me; it means that my hard work has paid off,” said Wolff, who is a junior at Florida Atlantic University. “I am one step closer to my big dream to become an international rider.”
Selection for the award, which was based on competitive record and future potential to represent the United States in international competition, will give Wolff the chance to travel to the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany, from April 27-May 1, and observe the team in the atmosphere of an international championship. She will also have the opportunity to walk the courses with the U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe, George Morris.
“I am just so excited to see and be part of an international championship. I am hoping to get a feel for that and the pressure that everyone experiences and how they deal with that,” said Wolff, who was also selected earlier this year to participate in the George Morris Horsemastership Training Clinic in Wellington, Fla. “I am also excited to spend time with George [Morris] while he is coaching the riders.”
Wolff won the $30,000 Spy Coast Farm of Traverse City Grand Prix with H & M Necoll during the 2009 Horse Shows By The Bay Equestrian Festival (Mich.). She also competed in Europe as a member of the 2009 International Young Rider Tour.
Although she still holds her amateur status, Wolff said, “I have plans to become a professional, but I think I should finish school first. I want to try and get all the experience I can and not turn professional until I’m ready.”