December 13, 2006 -- Almost 450 members of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) made their way to St. Louis, Mo., for the 2006 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, held December 6-9 at the Hyatt at Union Station and presented by Nutrena.
Over the weekend the association proudly honored the recipients of its 2006 Year-End awards at the annual luncheon, sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses.
The USEA Rider of the Year for the seventh straight year was Phillip Dutton, who resides in West Grove, Pa., and rides internationally for Australia. Dutton outdid himself again this year with admirable performances at both horse trials and three-day events, including third place at the Fork CIC***-W with House Doctor, fourth place at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** with Connaught, third place at the Jersey Fresh CCI** and Fair Hill CCI*** with Tru Luck, a win at the Radnor CCI** with Lucky Stripe, and a team bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). All of these accomplishments, plus countless others, gave Dutton a total of 799 points, and earned him a $1,000 purse, sponsored by Likit Products, equine treats and toys.
The USEA Horse of the Year honors went to Tru Luck, the nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Maha Baba - Grayfully) owned by Ann Jones, who is also the owner of last year's USEA Horse of the Year, The Foreman. With Dutton in the irons, the gelding tallied two wins, two second and three third place finishes in 2006, including a win at the Wits End CIC*** and third place at the Jersey Fresh CCI** and Fair Hill CCI***. In addition to the title Horse of the Year, Tru Luck's owner received a $1,000 purse sponsored by SmartPak Equine.
Amy Tryon of Duvall, Wash., had the best year of her career, earning her first USEA Lady Rider of the Year title. Her successes this year included impressive performances at every star level, around the world and with a variety of horses, including an individual bronze medal at the FEI WEG in Aachen, Germany, with longtime partner Poggio, fifth place at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** with Woodstock, fifth place at the Blenheim CCI*** in England with Le Samurai, a win at the Galway Downs CCI** with Leyland, and second place at the Galway Downs CCI* with Coal Creek. In addition to the well-earned title of USEA Lady Rider of the Year, Tryon also received a $1,000 purse and product from sponsor Auburn Labs, makers of APF.
Fanny Lee of Westport, Mass., received this year's USEA Adult Amateur of the Year honors as well as a $1,000 purse sponsored by Stackhouse Saddles. Lee had a stellar year with two mounts, Paddy the Pooh and Hadley Harbour. In 20 starts with the two horses, she earned six wins, six second, and three third place finishes, including the Virginia CCI** where she placed third with Paddy the Pooh and tenth with Hadley Harbour, out of 43 starters.
The USEA Young Rider of the Year trophy, along with a $1,000 purse sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses, was presented to 19-year-old Emilee Libby of Sussex, N.J. Libby worked with three mounts this year, all at the intermediate and advanced levels. She and Golden Mount earned a team silver medal at the 2006 North American Junior and Young Riders' Championships. With Cahir she finished 12th out of 60 starters at the Fair Hill CCI***, and she finished the year with Special Excursion finishing fourth at the Middleburg Horse Trials.
Jam, owned and ridden by Bruce Davidson of Unionville, Pa., earned USEA Mare of the Year honor, and a $1,000 purse, for the second year in a row. This 10-year-old Thoroughbred mare, sired by Shar, started the year off winning the Rocking Horse Winter Horse Trials. She went on to place eighth at the Red Hills CCI***-W, and finished 2006 with fourth place finishes at the Wits End CIC*** and Fair Hill CCI****, all with Davidson in the irons.
These winners as well as many others were honored at the USEA Awards Luncheon. The following is a list of the other final year-end USEA Leaderboard award winners:
- Advanced Young Rider: Emilee Libby
- Advanced Adult Rider: Phillip Dutton
- Advanced Adult Amateur Rider: Colin Davidson
- Advanced Master Amateur Rider: Wendy Southam
- Advanced Horse: McKinlaigh
- Intermediate Young Rider: Emilee Libby
- Intermediate Adult Rider: Phillip Dutton
- Intermediate Adult Amateur Rider: Fanny Lee
- Intermediate Master Amateur Rider: Corinne Ashton
- Intermediate Horse: Lady Calido
- Preliminary Junior Rider: Callie Judy
- Preliminary Senior Rider: Kimberly Severson
- Preliminary Adult Amateur Rider: Kristi Walker
- Preliminary Master Amateur Rider: Maria Brazil, MD
- Preliminary Horse: Genial
- Training Junior Rider: Olivia Kamensky
- Training Senior Rider: Amanda Moore
- Training Master Rider: Kevin Whitney
- Training Horse: Dynamik II
- Novice Junior Rider: Taylor Marcus
- Novice Senior Rider: Jennifer Cain
- Novice Master Rider: Lesley Collins
- Novice Horse: Vavoom
- Beginner Novice Junior Rider: Mae Janiga
- Beginner Novice Senior Rider: Megan Tulloch
- Beginner Novice Master Rider: Margaret Simak
- Beginner Novice Horse: Cappuccino
In addition to honoring horses, owners, riders and organizers, the annual convention gave members the opportunity to sharpen their skills in order to meet the challenges of the sport. This was done in part through seminars, which featured top professionals covering topics including everything from hands-on show jumping course design (in the ballroom with actual show jumps provided by Hi-Tech Horse Jumps), to training solutions from top riders. In addition, the convention included an open forum, board meetings and committee meetings.
There was also lots of fun to be had, with Thursday evening's Board of Governors' welcome reception sponsored by Bit of Britain; the Friday evening USEA Eventing Hall of Fame Gala presented by Pegasus Design Group, and the Saturday evening "Cocktails Under the Stars" at the St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium sponsored by Area IV and organized by Dr. Timothy Holekamp.
Additional sponsorship was provided by Practical Horseman, Adequan, Amerigo, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Rebecca Farm and Wellpride.
For more information on the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, including other award winners, visit www.useventing.com.