Lexington, KY—As the year comes to a close, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the 2004 Equestrians of Honor. Of these seven honorees, one will be selected by the USEF membership, as the 2004 USEF Equestrian of the Year. On-line voting begins today, and all members in good standing are invited to log on to www.usef.org to cast their votes. Just click on the “Equestrian of the Year” icon on the right side of our homepage.
The seven finalists are as follows:
Kim Severson, of Keene, VA, is the recipient of the William C. Steinkraus Trophy, awarded to an equestrian competing in the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing or show jumping. Severson brought home an individual Silver Medal in eventing at the 2004 Olympics, and was part of the Bronze Medal winning Eventing Team. She also claimed victory at the 2004 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and placed second at the Foxhall Cup Three-Day.
The Becky Grand Hart Trophy, given to an equestrian competing in international driving, endurance, Paralympics, reining or vaulting competitions, will go to Lynn Seidemann, of Coppell, TX. Seidemann was a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team in 2004, and won an individual Silver Medal for her performance in dressage. She also came in first place in the Cedar Trace with Friends I and Cedar Trace with Friends II IPEC Championship tests.
Gerry Rushton, of Perris, CA, will be awarded the Bill Robinson Trophy, given to an equestrian competing in harness or for driving performance in non-international competitions. Rushton was the champion of Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Olds and came in first in the Morgan Pleasure Driving Four-Year-Olds, both at the Morgan Medallion Classic. He also competed in the Morgan Grand National, where he took first in Morgan Pleasure Driving Mare, first in Morgan Pleasure Driving Three-Year-Old Mare and first in Morgan Pleasure Driving Four-Year-Old Mare.
The Emerson Burr Trophy, awarded to an equestrian competing in hunter classes over fences will go to Stephanie Desiderio, of Chester, NJ. Desiderio was champion of the Half-Anglo Arabian Specialty, champion of the Half-Anglo Arabian Hunter-Jumper, and placed third in Arabian Hunter-Jumper, all at the 2004 Arabian and Half-Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. She claimed the reserve champion in Arabian Hunter-Jumper at the Region XV Championships, and was champion in Half-Anglo Arabian Hunter-Jumper, and third place in Half-Anglo Arabian Hunter-Jumper. In addition, Desiderio was champion in both the Arabian Hunter-Jumper and Half-Anglo Arabian Hunter-Jumper divisions at the 2004 Eastern Arabian.
Rob Byers, of Simpsonville, KY, topped the list in the performance in pleasure under saddle division and will receive the C.J. “June” Cronan, Jr. Trophy. Byers was the grand champion in the Five-Gaited Open at the Lexington Junior League Horse Show. He was the reserve champion in Five-Gaited Open and champion of the Park Horse Open at the Kentucky Fall Classic. He was also the world grand champion of the Five-Gaited Open and the reserve world champion in the Five-Gaited Open, as well as the reserve champion in Park Horse Mare, all at the KY State Fair World Championship Horse Show. Byers also competed in the UPHA American Royal, claiming reserve champion in the Three-Gaited Park Stake, reserve champion in the Three-Gaited Open, and the national champion in the Five-Gaited Open.
The Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy, awarded to an equestrian showing in a non-reining western discipline, will go to Gordon Potts, of Burleson, TX. Among many other accomplishments, Potts was the reserve champion in the HA/AA Western Pleasure Open at the 2004 Region VII Arabian Championship. He also took reserve champion in the Arabian Western Pleasure Open at the 2004 Region I Arabian Championship. In addition, he was named Region IX champion in the Arabian Western Pleasure and champion in the HA/AA Western Pleasure Junior Horse divisions, both at the 2004 Region IX Championship. Potts also competed at the 2004 U.S. National Arabian & Half-Arabian National Championship, becoming champion in the Arabian Western Pleasure Open, and reserve champion in the HA/AA Western Pleasure Junior Horse.
And last but not least, Gareth Selwood, of Elkhorn, WI, will be the recipient of the Norman K. Dunn Trophy, awarded to those competing in-hand or at halter. Selwood competed in the IALHA Nationals, where he took home vast array of awards, including the U.S. National Champion Futurity Purebred Gelding, U.S. National JR Champion S/P Colt, U.S. National Champion Half Andalusian Stock Type, U.S. National Reserve Champion Futurity Purebred Gelding, U.S. National JR Reserve Champion S/P Colt, U.S. National Reserve Champion H/A Stock Type, U.S. National Reserve Champion Amateur Mare Purebred, U.S. National Reserve Champion Half Andalusian Amateur, U.S. National Reserve Champion H/A Pleasure Type, U.S. National Reserve Champion S/P Senior Mare, U.S. National Reserve Champion S/P Junior Filly, U.S. National Reserve Champion H/A Sport Horse, and U.S. National Reserve Champion S/P Junior Mare. In addition, 25 Top Fives were won in Halter by Selwood trained horses. Other honors for 2004 include the 2004 High Point Purebred Halter Horse for IALHA and the 2004 High Point Half bred Halter Horse for IALHA.
Again, the 2004 Equestrians of Honor, Severson, Seidemann, Rushton, Desiderio, Byers, Potts and Selwood are now finalists in the voting for Equestrian of the Year. Members are invited to cast their finals votes on www.usef.org, by clicking on the “Equestrian of the Year” icon on the right side of the homepage. The Equestrian of the Year Award will be announced and awarded at the Pegasus Awards Dinner during the USEF Annual Meeting, Jan. 14, 2004, in Louisville, KY. For ticket information contact Krista Greathouse at 859-225-6961 or via e-mail at [email protected].