Ryder Richardson Wins 2022 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

Dec 2, 2022 - 9:28 AM

The U.S. Equestrian Federation named Ryder Richardson of Parker, Colorado, the winner of the 2022 USEF Sportsman’s Award in recognition of his contributions and achievements this year. The USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award identifies outstanding youth members actively involved in their respective discipline or breed organizations and acknowledges their potential as future leaders in the equine industry. The American Connemara Pony Society and U.S. Hunter Jumper Association nominated Richardson, who competes in low junior jumper and pony jumper classes and hopes to have his own farm and training business where he can train horses, coach young riders, and work to promote diversity in equestrian sport.

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Ryder Richardson. Sage Social Branding Photo

The selection committee picked Richardson after interviewing its four top nominees, crediting his alignment with USEF’s vision to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible.

Richardson is an active competitor on the jumper circuit, plays lacrosse, and is involved in several equestrian sport committees and groups. He participates in the USHJA Zone 8 Committee, USHJA Foundation Youth Committee, Equestrian Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and Colorado Hunter Jumper Association Junior Committee, and is an EQUUS Foundation Junior Ambassador.

Richardson volunteers with Drifter’s Heart of Horses and is an advocate with JackStrong, a teen mental health organization. In 2021, he founded Joy Ryder, an organization with the aim of promoting inclusivity in equestrian sport. Richardson has donated his own money to support deserving children take weekly riding lessons, created a Colorado Show Circuit scholarship, and paid for five entries for children and adults competing in their first horse show.

“I have been extremely blessed by great trainers and mentors and hope to pay it forward,” said Richardson. “I enjoy working alongside trainers, grooms, and horses and really love learning everything that I can about this sport. I am working towards helping the equestrian community to become more inclusive and diverse through education and awareness.”

“Ryder is the epitome of the athlete a coach lives to train,” said Kaitlin Campbell of SWS Training and Sales. “His attitude of not cutting corners for progress, time management and organization for fulfilling commitments, and general hunger for success are all qualities he possesses to apply to any aspect of life. I believe with the right opportunity Ryder could reach the highest levels of equestrian sport.”

The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award is Grace Smith of Orting, Washington, nominated by the Arabian Horse Association.

You can read more about Richardson in this 2020 article.

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