Inaugurated in 2016, this exceptional award has been created and named in honor of William J. (“Bill”) Moroney, who was instrumental in the founding of the United States Hunter Jumper Association and served as its President from its inception in 2004 until 2016. Under Bill’s advocacy and leadership, the USHJA has grown to approximately 45,000 members strong to become the largest affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation.
Bill spent the early part of his career immersed in the training and riding of horses competing at hunter/jumper competitions primarily on the East Coast, in Canada and in Europe. As Bill’s professional interests evolved to encompass more areas within sport governance, he strategically mapped out a plan with and for his primary client to take the reins of responsibility for securing their own vision in the sport. He insured their success in becoming a hands-on true horseman at the helm of a well-recognized show stables.
Bill’s contribution to governance on the USHJA level includes having served as its President and Founding Member. He is a key member of the team that initiated the process and developed the organization (which achieved its recognition by the Federation as the Recognized Affiliate for Hunters and Jumpers), grew the membership from 28,000 to 45,000, built an office building (the debt for which was fully satisfied ahead of schedule), and led the organization through a growth-driven reorganization of its governance model. The USHJA has seen tremendous growth in member value, the marketing of our sport and the development of many initiatives including Trainer Certification, Emerging Athlete pathways, High Performance and Outreach platforms and a foundation to support the charitable endeavors of the USHJA. Each program has been carefully designed to build confidence, skill and enhance integrity within our sport.
Simultaneously and continuing, Bill has served in several positions within the USEF and its predecessor organizations since 1996. He has served as a Director of the Federation and member of its Executive Committee, Vice President and member of the National Affiliates Working Group, member and Chair of the Planning Committee, member and Co-Chair of the Pony Committee, member of the Show Jumping High Performance Committee, Budget & Finance Committee, Hearing Committee, Licensed Officials Committee, Continuing Education Committee and Steward/TD Committee. As of December 2016, Bill became the CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation.
Aside from the leadership and governance roles, Bill has been a USEF-licensed “R” judge in hunter and hunter seat equitation for 20 years and he has served as a clinician for the Federation’s Licensed Officials Clinics for Hunter and Hunter Seat Equitation. He has also adjudicated numerous major competitions and National Championships such as the USEF Pony Finals, USEF Pony Medal Finals, USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, ASPCA Maclay Finals, ASPCA Regionals, Devon, Hampton Classic, The National, the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Morgan Grand National.
Bill’s perspective as a leader in governance, as a clinician and as a licensed official on our show grounds has been especially poignant for writing educational and thought-provoking articles in our discipline’s publications. Many of which have challenged the reader to consider the future of our sport, what we are teaching our children and also, asking each of us the question, “what do we want our organization to look like in years to come?”
Bill’s progressive outlook always takes into account the perspectives of all constituents: Exhibitors, owners, trainers, licensed officials, fans, sponsors, spectators and most importantly, the welfare of the horse. He is keenly aware of the industry our discipline has become, but he never forgets that it is a sport. As Bill has written, “There is a common thread that draws all of us together, our admiration and devotion to our horses.”
This honor may be awarded to an individual, a group, an organization or a corporation (herein defined as a “Candidate”) deemed inspirational, influential and integral to furthering the hunter and jumper disciplines.
Like the award’s namesake, the winner should have a keen ability to plan for the future, demonstrate endless passion and depth of knowledge of and for the hunter/jumper sport. They should offer innovative thinking at every opportunity and inspire others, as well as challenge them to their best at all times.
The award will be presented at the USHJA Annual Meeting; however, it is not necessarily presented annually. Any member may nominate such Candidate by submitting a Nomination Form (to be drafted) to the USHJA Awards Committee. All candidates will be reviewed according to the award criteria and Committee procedure.
2021: Mary Knowlton
2019: Larry Langer and Bob Cacchione