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Laura Kraut and Hunt Tosh Named 2021 Equestrians of the Year at USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner Celebration

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 13, 2022, 10:30 PM EST

Naples, Fla. – US Equestrian is pleased to congratulate 2021 International Equestrian of the Year Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and National Equestrian of the Year Hunt Tosh (Alpharetta, Ga.). Kraut and Tosh received the most votes from US Equestrian members in the Equestrian of the Year voting last month and were recognized along with other award winners at the 2022 Pegasus Awards Dinner Celebration at the USEF Annual Meeting in Naples, Fla., on Thursday, Jan. 13.

Laura Kraut
2021 USEF International Equestrian fo the Year Laura Kraut riding Baloutinue at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. ©Shannon Brinkman Photo

International Equestrian of the Year – Laura Kraut

Laura Kraut’s 2021 season was highlighted by a team silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games aboard Baloutinue. Kraut took over the ride on Baloutinue in early 2021, and they captured their first win together in the $137,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix CSI3*. The pair then helped the NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team take fifth place at the Nations Cup of Rome CSIO5*, followed by second place in the Rolex Grand Prix of Rome CSIO5*.

Kraut was selected for the U.S. Jumping Team for the Tokyo Olympics—her third Olympic team—and became the oldest U.S. female athlete to win a medal since 1904 with the team silver medal. Kraut and Baloutinue then helped the U.S. team capture the win in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5*, the first U.S. win since 2005, and finished fifth in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen.

Kraut will have her name engraved on the Equestrian of the Year Perpetual Trophy and received a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine and an invitation to join the exclusive wine club list from Horsepower Vineyards.

National Equestrian of the Year – Hunt Tosh

In 2021, Tosh claimed victory at several of the most prestigious hunter competitions in the country with a relatively new horse, Cannon Creek, owned by the Wheeler family. Their first big victory of the year came at the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship where they dominated the field of 103 entries from the get-go. Tosh also won the 2021 Pennsylvania National Horse Show Grand Hunter Championship with Cannon Creek, as well as taking home the title of 2021 Leading Hunter Rider.

Hunt Tosh
2021 USEF National Equestrian of the Year Hunt Tosh riding Cannon Creek at the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. ©Terisé Cole/USHJA

Tosh also had standout showings in the 2021 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, winning the 3’ to 3’3” championship and the first round of the 3’6”-3’9” championship on Chorus, as well as placing in money-winning positions on three other mounts. Tosh was awarded the 2021 Kenneth Wheeler Style of Riding Award for his classic riding style.

Tosh will have his name engraved on the Equestrian of the Year Perpetual Trophy and received a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine and an invitation to join the exclusive wine club list from Horsepower Vineyards.

2021 Equestrians of Honor

Six equestrians were named Equestrians of Honor and recognized for their achievements in 2021 with the following trophies:

  • William C. Steinkraus Trophy: Laura Kraut (Jumping), Sabine Schut-Kery (Dressage)
  • Becky Grand Hart Trophy: Roxanne Trunell (Para Dressage)
  • C.J. “June” Cronan Trophy: Alexandra DeGray (American Saddlebred)
  • Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy: Susan Morey (Morgan)
  • Vaughan Smith Trophy: Martha Rattner (Arabian)
  • Norman K. Dunn Trophy: Jeff Schall (Arabian)
  • Bill Robinson Trophy: Peter Stachowski (Arabian)
  • Emerson Burr Trophy: Hunt Tosh (Hunter)

2021 USEF Lifetime Achievement Awards – Kathy Kusner and Howard Simpson

Kathy Kusner (Playa Vista, Calif.) and Howard Simpson (Lake Forest, Ill.) were both recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Kusner is renowned as a true pioneer who broke barriers for other women in horse sports. She was one of the first women selected to the United States Equestrian Team to compete at the Olympic Games. She represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Games in 1964, the Mexico City Games in 1968, and the Munich Games in 1972, where she was part of the silver medal-winning team. Kusner is the founder of the nonprofit Horses in the Hood, which works with inner-city communities in Los Angeles to introduce young people to horses and their care.

A member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, Kusner also has conducted numerous clinics and lectures around the world, has served as a course designer and jumping commentator, and authored articles for equestrian publications.

Simpson is recognized for his contributions to major equestrian events in the U.S. He and his wife, the late Martha Smith Simpson, hosted the first American Continental Young Riders Championship at their Temple Farms in 1985. In 1988, the competition became the North American Young Rider Championships, now called the North American Youth Championships. He served as the director of the NAYC for more than 20 years.

Simpson was instrumental in the creation of the Kentucky Three-Day Event as the first CCI4* (now CCI5*) in the country, and later led the evaluation team that recommended the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill as the second CCI5* in North America.

2021 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year – Sophia Huffman

Sophia Huffman (Lewiston, Idaho), a member of the Arabian Horse Association, was recognized as the 2021 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year. Huffman is active in the show pen with her Half-Arabian gelding Kholorado Khowboy SA, with whom she has earned multiple titles in ranch riding, Western horsemanship, showmanship, and trail. At the prestigious 2021 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Huffman earned top-10 awards in every performance class she entered and a reserve championship in showmanship. She also was named the Arabian Horse Association’s Youth of the Year in 2021.

Huffman is an accomplished youth judge, having won a national championship with the highest overall score at the AHA Youth Judging Contest’s national contest in 2020. She serves as chair of the Grassroots Committee on the Region 5 Youth Board, where she is helping to spread her love for horses and showing.

2021 Pegasus Award Recipients

In addition to the above awards, the following annual award recipients were recognized at this year’s Pegasus Awards Celebration. Criteria for these awards can be found here.

 

Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy for Distinguished Service to Equestrian Sport:

Judy Werner

 

USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award:

Octavia Brown

 

USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award:

Rebecca Share

 

Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award:

Ralph Caristo

 

Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders’ Award:

Sporting Chance Farm

 

Pegasus Medals of Honor:

Susan Morey

Dr. Timothy Ober

Roxanne Trunnell

Elisabeth Williams

 

Kip Rosenthal Memorial High Score Equitation Award:
Zayna Rizvi

 

Richard E. McDevitt Award of Merit:

Anne Barlow Ramsay

Naomi Blumenthal

Vickey Bowman

Tremaine Cooper

Joanne Crockett

John Franzreb

Grace Greenlee

Lewis Haines

Sue Hershey

Mason Phelps

Richard Taylor

Glena Wirtanen

Jodi Zeier

 

For more information and a full schedule of the 2022 US Equestrian Annual Meeting, visit www.usef.org/annual-meeting and follow US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.