Tuesday, May. 21, 2024

USHJA Announces Annual Award Recipients Ahead Of Evening Of Equestrians

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The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association on Friday announced the recipients of select 2022 USHJA Annual Awards. Each recipient was nominated by their peers and will be honored at the Evening of Equestrians Awards on Dec. 13.

This year’s award presentation, along with other select sessions throughout the week, will be available to watch virtually from the 2022 USHJA Annual Meeting in the Seattle area beginning at 6:45 p.m. Pacific Time. Those interested can register to watch here.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors two women whose lifelong involvement in the sport has benefited the industry and who have dedicated their lives to furthering the disciplines of hunters and jumpers on a national platform. This year’s recipients are Anne Kursinski, of Frenchtown, New Jersey, and Margie Engle, of Wellington, Florida.

Kursinski is a five-time Olympian, competitor, clinician and author whose dedication to the sport has spanned decades. A member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, Kursinski’s list of accomplishments in the saddle includes two Olympic show jumping silver medals, 10 FEI World Cup Finals, three FEI World Equestrian Games and numerous U.S. Nations Cup teams. Out of the saddle, she serves as chef d’Equipe for the U.S. Show Jumping Development program. With USHJA, Kursinski sits on the board of directors and Executive Committee, was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020, and has led multiple Gold Star Clinics and Emerging Athletes Program training sessions.

Engle has represented the U.S. in 17 FEI World Cup Finals, the FEI World Equestrian Games, the Pan American Games and the Olympic Games, among others, throughout her storied career. Her efforts, including having won the American Grandprix Association Rider of the Year award 10 times, earned her a spot in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2020. In sport governance, she previously sat on the USHJA board of directors and currently sits on the USHJA Jumper Working Group.

Rosalind Schaefer is this year’s recipient of the Mrs. A.C. Randolph Owners Legacy Award, which recognizes past or current owners who have been loyal patrons of the industry. Schaefer, of Sands Point, New York, is a longtime patron of the sport and owns several grand prix jumpers trained and ridden by Canada’s Mario Deslauriers. In 2019, she and her Wishing Well Farm were awarded Equestrian Canada Jumping Committee’s Owner of the Year Award for the efforts of Bardolina 2 and Amsterdam 27 on the Canadian Show Jumping Team.

E. Sue Bopp, of Remington, Virginia, is the recipient of the Amateur Sportsmanship Award. The award recognizes amateur owner and adult amateur exhibitors who exhibit a degree of excellence and integrity by supporting their fellow competitors and volunteering their time and resources to various aspects of the industry.

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As described by the USHJA Joint Amateurs Task Force chairs, Bopp’s “commitment to volunteerism and helping others is evident in every aspect of her life.” In addition to competing in the hunters as an amateur and foxhunting with the Warrenton Hunt (Virginia), Bopp has served as both president and a member of the board of directors of the Warrenton Horse and Pony Show and is a board member of the Virginia Horse Show Association. She has been with The EMO Agency Inc. since 1986 and is a “R” judge in hunters and hunter seat equitation.

The Jane Marshall Dillon Award, recognizing equestrians who have devoted their lives to teaching and mentoring riders beginning their education in the hunter/jumper discipline, goes to Peggy Stevens, of Maitland, Florida, and Mary Gatti, of Azusa, California.

Through her Brookmore Farms in Florida, Stevens has developed riders from leadline to Medal Finals, priding herself on teaching riders of all levels. Her clients range from 4-H participants to top-rated competitors, holding true to the farm’s slogan, “at Brookmore Farms, we can take you to any height.” Stevens is described by her peers as giving students a solid foundation in riding and caring for a horse that they can continue utilizing in life-long careers both in an out of the saddle.

Gatti has been involved with horses all her life, operating Rainbow Canyon Ranch in California. Her positive approach to training students and horses has helped clients rise through the levels locally and nationally. She is described by her peers as understanding the importance of introducing people to riding and cultivating them through a safe, proper process.

This year’s Vital Horse Show Staff Award, which honors the sport’s support staff whose role is essential to competitions’ success, is awarded to George Chatigny and Jennifer Glass.

Chatigny, of Burbank, California, has worn many hats in the industry, consistently holding many horse show staff-related positions that are integral to the success of the shows. For more than a decade, Chatigny has served as the general manager of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, ensuring the facility was able to host everything from one-day shows to FEI World Cup Qualifiers. He is described by peers as committed to the success of the horse shows and a valuable team member.

Glass, of Bokeelia, Florida, is described as an all-around essential member of show staff, excelling at whatever job she is presented with. From awards to sponsor relations, Glass’s expertise has been seen at competitions across the country including Capital Challenge (Maryland), the Winter Equestrian Festival and the USHJA National Championships (Nevada).

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The USHJA Youth Leadership Award identifies potential future leaders in the equine industry and recognizes Junior members for their achievements. This year’s recipient is Jordan Gibbs, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Gibbs is a rising top junior competitor, currently competing in all three rings with great success. She also takes pride in her academic achievements, maintaining a 3.97 GPA with AP and honors level courses. At home, Gibbs aids in the communication and advertising of her brother Dominic’s Mountain King Ranch Equitation Grant, helping raise funds to cover the cost of a rider and companion for one week of lessons and experiences at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida). Her philanthropic efforts extend outside of the equestrian industry, including founding Sock Out Cold Feet, a charity that donates socks to families in need.

Ryder Richardson, of Parker, Colorado, is this year’s USHJA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportman’s Award. Each year, young riders from each discipline apply through their affiliate organizations, like USHJA, to be considered for the USEF National Youth Sportsman’s Award. Nominees demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to USEF and USHJA by promoting the equestrian sport, demonstrating exemplary sportsmanship and serving as a role model for their peers. Nominated by USHJA as well as the American Connemara Pony Society, Richardson was recently announced as the winner of the 2022 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award.

Richardson is a well-rounded horseman involved in and out of the saddle with the hunter/jumper sport. With USHJA, he is a member of the Youth Committee and Zone 8 Committee, was a Gochman Grant for USEF Pony Finals recipient in 2018, and received the USHJA Youth Leadership Award in 2021. In addition to competing in the jumpers, Richardson founded Joy Ryder, an organization that aims to promote inclusivity and opportunities within the equestrian community; is a junior ambassador of the EQUUS Foundation; and is a teen mental health advocate with JackStrong.

Awarded posthumously for meritorious service to equestrian sport, this year’s J. Arthur “Bucky” Reynolds, II Award of Merit honors Bill Ellis, of Ocala, Florida. Ellis was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame after years as a respected judge and trainer. He presided over the nation’s top competitions and produced successful hunter horses and riders in the show ring.

The Licensed Official Emeritus Honorary Designation recognizes licensed officials who have dedicated their lives to officiating our sport and have subsequently retired. This year’s honorees are Joe Fargis, of Middleburg, Virginia, and Rodney Jenkins, of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania.

The USHJA congratulates this year’s Annual Award recipients. In addition to these nomination-based awards, other awards, including the President’s Distinguished Service Award and Volunteer of the Year Award, will be announced during the Evening of Equestrians.

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