Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce Devin Sell (Georgetown, Ky.) as the winner of the 2019 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award in recognition of her 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 Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) nominated Sell, who is involved with ASHA and her local chapter of the National FFA Organization.
Sell’s achievements in the competition ring are amplified by her dedication to her horses, barn family, and the sport as a whole. She is active in the ASHA youth programs, including the ASHA Youth Conference, and volunteered at the Saddle Seat World Cup and Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show. She participates in youth judging clinics and is a member of the US Equestrian Lettering Program, on track to complete the program as a varsity athlete upon high school graduation next year. Sell also organized an informational meet-and-greet at her public library to promote the American Saddlebred breed.
Sell is a member of the National Honors Society and an accomplished tennis player, and she intends to study pre-veterinary sciences and equine business management in college. Her dream is to become a large animal veterinarian, specializing in horses, and run her own lesson program for children and adults to help them learn proper riding and horse care.
“Devin is our barn’s youth group president, and she is an invaluable mentor for the younger girls,” said Nancy Brannon, Sell’s trainer. “In her role as president, she has spearheaded multiple community service events, including a coat drive for the homeless shelter and a back-to-school supply drive for the local women’s shelter.”
The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award is Ella Doerr (Avon, N.C.), nominated by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA). Doerr served as the youngest chair of the USHJA Youth Committee at just 16 years old and has been an ambassador for USHJA in many different capacities. She received the USHJA Youth Leadership Award in 2016 and received the USHJA Foundation Gochman Family Grant to attend the 2017 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm.
Doerr is committed to improving access to equestrian sport. She has been studying American Sign Language for the past four years to assist in lessons with deaf children. She also volunteers her time by helping prepare ponies to be used in therapeutic riding programs for differently-abled youth.
Passionate about education, Doerr is a tutor and plans to attend college and major in public relations and communications. An avid writer, Doerr intends to continue contributing to “The Chronicle of the Horse” as a freelance writer throughout her high school and college careers.
The other national nominees include:
Nina Barretts (Holland, Pa.) – Arabian Horse Association
Barretts is an active member of both US Equestrian and the Arabian Horse Association and regularly competes at shows in both dressage and English pleasure. She is involved with several different academic clubs and volunteers with the Laurel Nobilis Arabians and the Appalachian Service Project.
David Botana (Portland, Maine) – United States Para-Equestrian Association
Botana is a rising star for the U.S. Para Dressage Team and is actively pursuing a spot on the U.S. Para Dressage Team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Botana is a passionate advocate and leader in his community for equity, social justice, and public policy.
Isabelle Braden (Decatur, Ga.) – United States Dressage Federation
Braden is an accomplished dressage athlete who has competed at major competitions, including the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, and a dedicated volunteer. Braden is passionate about history and understanding the political climate and global issues, and she intends to pursue a career in law.
Korbin Eckert (Spokane, Wash.) – Western Dressage Association of America
Eckert is a member of multiple breed and discipline organizations and was presented with the 2018 Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) Youth Sportsmanship Award. He continues to promote equestrian sport and the WDAA through his volunteer and peer role model endeavors.
Francesca Franzosi (Hammonton, N.J.) – American Vaulting Association
Franzosi has been a member of the AVA since 2018 and is passionate about the vaulting discipline, volunteering for and participating in open houses to promote the sport. She enjoys competing with her team, the Shooting Stars.
Nora Goldfarb (Franklin, Tenn.) – American Connemara Pony Society
Goldfarb is a member of the American Connemara Pony Society (ACPS) Youth Board and the United States Pony Clubs. She is Co-Secretary for the Middle Tennessee Eventing Association and aims to be a part of a board of directors for her local eventing or show jumping community after college.
Elizabeth Henry (Lafayette, Ind.) – United States Eventing Association
Henry was part of the 2019 Area VIII NAYC Eventing Team and is actively involved with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association as a volunteer. Henry works at the Pletch Equestrian Center, and she is wholly dedicated to ensuring the health and comfort of her and others’ horses.
Samantha Holyfield (Concord, N.C.) – American Hackney Horse Society
Holyfield is an accomplished horsewoman, with many driving accomplishments on her resume. Her ambition is to work in the therapeutic horsemanship or occupational therapy industries, using horses as a way to help people heal from mental or physical traumas or disabilities.
Taylor Hudson (Fairview, Pa.) – American Morgan Horse Association
Hudson has served as a Regional Delegate for the American Morgan Horse Association Youth Council since 2017 and is the organizer and manager of the Tristate Morgan Horse Show Youth Contest. She is a member of the Morgan Patriots and has completed Level Three of the AMHA Horsemastership Badge Program.
Anna Aubrey Hutchinson (Boyle, Miss.) – Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America
Hutchinson is a member of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America and currently rides for Rollingwoods Farm, where she assists in the day-to-day operations of the farm twice a week. She volunteers at Bayou Academy and is a member of her school’s National Junior Honor Society.
Gabriella Santaniello (Suffield, Conn.) – International Friesian Show Horse Association
Santaniello is a member of the National Honors Society and volunteers as a coach at her school’s writing center. She has also served as president of Hearts and Hoofbeats 4-H Club for four years.
Madison Waller (Beaumont, Texas) – International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association
Waller has competed at the IALHA National Championships for the past four years. She is a dedicated volunteer in her community, donating her time and talents to organizations like Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and Helping Hands.
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Photo by: Caitlin Reason