The U.S. Dressage Federation has announced that Lois Yukins, Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, and Terry Gallo, Winter Springs, Florida, have been named as the 2021 USDF Lifetime Achievement Award recipients in recognition of their longtime dedication to USDF and the sport of dressage. Yukins and Gallo will be recognized during the 2021 Adequan/USDF Annual Convention in Houston, Dec. 1-4.
The USDF Lifetime Achievement Award was established to recognize people for their unselfish, dedicated efforts that represent the many ways in which USDF has been served, supported and influenced into becoming what it is today.
A current FEI 4*, FEI Young Horse 4* and USEF ‘S’ dressage judge, Yukins began her career as a member of the U.S. Pony Clubs. Following a jumping accident, she shifted her focus to dressage and has gone on to become a respected judge, clinician and educator, having worked as a judge and clinician through the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Central America, South America, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and England. In addition to her judging career, Yukins, USDF’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year, has been active within USDF, having served as a member of the USDF Judges Committee since 1994, serving as chair from 2005 to 2012. She has also served as a member of the USDF L Education Program Faculty, as well as a member of the committee, since 1993, and chair since 2012.
“Lois Yukins has put an indelible mark of high quality upon everything with which she has been associated in our sport,” USDF President Lisa Gorretta stated in a press release announcing the award recipients. “A much sought-after judge for decades, Lois has committed countless hours to her many roles as L program faculty, feature presenter at judge’s forums, and USEF Dressage Committee member, not to mention a myriad of special project tasks in licensed officials education. Lois is both a leader and a great team member and knows instinctively which is required at any time. She is truly a member of our ‘dressage greatest generation': discussing, designing and implementing so much of what we now take for granted in dressage programs and competition.”
Gallo’s broad and colorful history in sports, dance and music stretches over 30 years. She started as a theatrical choreographer, however, with a background as a competitive gymnast, she also acted as a dance instructor, choreographer, coach and judge for international gymnastics. Gallo took this background and injected it into the world of dressage through musical freestyles, education and volunteerism. Through these efforts, Gallo was recognized by USDF as the 2014 USDF Volunteer of the Year. Gallo’s commitment to freestyle education is extensive, writing scores of articles many of which were published in USDF Connection over the years and became part of the USDF University Resource Library.
When USDF declared 2002 as “The Year of the Freestyle,” Gallo was the obvious choice to serve as a speaker at the 2002 USDF National Symposium, which highlighted musical freestyle rides, critiques and discussions from top international competitors and trainers. Gallo’s involvement and engagement with freestyle education and USDF has extended to the recent International Dressage Officials seminar. Gallo’s contributions in lecturing, instruction and continuing education have served to expand the artistic development, promotion and visibility of musical freestyles in the United States.
“It would be challenging to have a meaningful discussion about the phenomenal growth and impact that freestyle has had upon dressage in our country without talking about Terry Gallo,” Gorretta said. “Her passion for education and tireless willingness to share her knowledge with riders, judges, designers, musicians, writers and perhaps even the horses, makes me very proud of this opportunity to recognize Terry for the many years of sharing her passion with those just putting a first hoof in the musical waters with the same enthusiasm as designing a winning program for an international horse and rider.”