Bob Bell & Charlotte Skinner Robson
A pair who took it upon themselves to raise the level of quality at our competitions. To do so they reworked hunter/jumper standards from the ground up. In addition they’ve created a resource guide to assist managers in creating high level events. And when that was finished they devised a system to certify those who would evaluate events, so that eventually managers who take the initiative can be properly rewarded.
Mary Babick & David Distler Within our discipline we obviously have two main categories – Hunter, and Jumper, which actually have many contrasting traits. Fortunately, we also have intelligent leaders who specialize in each. On the hunter side we have Mary Babick who is the chair of the Hunter Working Group, volunteers at EAP regional and National events, while also taking the lead on many tough rule issues within the hunter realm. In the jumpers, we have David Distler who is chair of the Jumper Working Group and is recognized as a rule aficionado in both the US and abroad. As such he’s a perfect match to steer development, and assure adherence to the rules in new programs like the Children/Adult Jumper Finals. Both of these recipients are available at all times and in all circumstances to help with the betterment of our sport.
A familiar name from last year’s honorees basically just continued the work she began then, with an increased passion, and increased success. Her mission last year was to create a system to incentivize young horse development. And by borrowing on programs from the western world it was much more than mission accomplished. But there were a few kinks to be worked out, so without a moments rest she went to work, refining the format, bringing increased attention, and unbelievably increased prize money to the Pre-Green Incentive program.
Mrs. Shelley Campf & Jeff Campf
Several years ago it was recognized that we needed a method to identify quality trainers. Programs of the sort exist in other places around the world, but not in the US. One of the major proponents of this program was coach extraordinaire George Morris, but as a busy celebrity clinician, the development work would fall on Shelley Campf. Since then trainer certification has been created from scratch. And continued improvements will allow hopeful certified trainers to check the status of their applications through a portal and “Associated User Account.” Jeff Campf is recognized for similar levels of selfless involvement, for being instrumental in hearing feedback, making adjustments, promoting committee support, and the Zone 9 CH/Adult Jumper Championship events themselves.
Jennifer Burger / Geoff Teall / Louise Serio
Jennifer, Geoff and Louise stood out for their dedication to a junior competition that has always been special, but was developed to be even more so in 2014. It holds both a national hunter and equitation championship that tests riders over a handy style course. The equitation event, named after a renowned training institution, is The Hunterdon Cup, introduced in 2006 to honor its celebrated rider and trainer, George Morris. It’s had a few homes over the years, but this year it took place at the Brandywine series in Devon, PA. USHJA staff that were on the scene as well as online viewers following the USEF Network broadcast were highly impressed by its quality presentation. And bringing it all together to give Junior riders such a grand stage were Jennifer Burger, Geoff Teall & Louise Serio.
Larry & Marnye Langer
We celebrate a ten year anniversary in 2014, and reflect on an extremely constructive decade. Headquarters have been built and paid for. Programs have been designed and carried out. Membership has increased and been cared for in many ways. But it’s certainly not a time to rest on our laurels. After establishing so many great resources and amenities, we needed to be sure they remain viable. And that called for a strategic plan that would perpetuate our mission. The final document would give details on governance, cornerstones that make up our organization, sport and non-sport programs. And it offers recommended strategies for success. This was quite the hefty project, but as usual Larry & Marnye moved forward to create a piece that will carry us through the next five years.
Betty is not only is she cool in the street sense, but she keeps her cool under all circumstances, which is exactly what you need to deal with the range of opinions she hears. She chairs a committee with three subcommittees, including Jumper, Hunter, Breeding, and Pony Hunter Breeding. And she does without a cross word. While dealing with the conflicts of Pre-Green pony eligibility, micro-chipping & universal i.d., Thoroughbreds in hunter breeding, and the many views on how the Sally Wheeler Championships should run, Betty steers all of these groups as diplomatically as anyone possibly could, and retains all friendships in the process.
2013 Charlotte Skinner
Charlotte gamely agreed to take on the task of Chair of the Competition Standards Committee. In her first year as Chair, Charlotte coordinated a series of in-person retreats and teleconferences for this multi-constituent group to review this component of our sport. As a result, the committee has identified a series of issues that need the attention of our members. She is well spoken, brings a global perspective and is an excellent facilitator and mediator. All attributes that are needed to lead this committee and deal with these controversial topics. In her spare time, she also serves as a valued member of the Jumper Working Group, etc, etc.
2013 Tom Brennan
Tom is an up and coming young professional who quickly made the decision that being part of our sport means he needed to give back to our sport by being involved in the governance. Initially, Tom immersed himself in the projects that were meaningful to him which led to positions on committees with a more global viewpoint. As a result of his commitment, Tom has developed an appreciation and understanding for all constituencies within the USHJA. Tom recently stepped up to support the USHJA by co-commentating at the inaugural Pre-Green Incentive Championships and the International Hunter Derby Championships.
2013 Larry Langer
Having served in numerous roles within the USHJA since its early days, Larry has never wavered from his commitment to our sport and to this organization. Currently serving as USHJA Secretary, Larry has been a key figure on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as well as the Jumper Working Group and Competition Management. Larry is a guy that you can always rely on to give you the straight story and to bring up differing perspectives just to have the arguments which lead to better decisions. Most recently, Larry has been appointed Chair of Strategic Planning and is already working on the outline which will be utilized to plan the future of the USHJA.
2013 Mary Babick
Mary has quickly and conscientiously picked up the gauntlet of Hunter Working Group Chair. She has spent the past year forming strategic relationships with committee chairs within the USHJA and USEF to represent the hunter discipline and USHJA in the best possible manner. The HWG had a lot of baggage to carry from years of previous hunter governance and Mary has been working to help them leave behind the unnecessary elements of the past and move forward in a clear path to plan the future of this discipline. She has spent considerable time attending meetings of the HWG task forces and being a resource for chairs and task force members. Her commitment to the USHJA and its success is admirable.
2013 Bill Rube
Bill Rube is a dynamo. In addition to the work he does on the Hunter Breeding Task Force, Bill is completely dedicated to the success of the Wheeler Museum and its exhibits. A driving force in creating the Thoroughbred Exhibit, Bill spent an incredible amount of time contacting people using social media, email and telephone to obtain memorabilia for this exhibit. He assisted in the installation and placement of artifacts as well as the administrative work and promotional efforts. He is a guardian angel of the Wheeler Museum.
2013 David Distler
David is best described as a committed, reliable, methodical and reasonable person who takes his time to think before he acts. These attributes have stood him well throughout his career and also in his role as Chair of the Jumper Working Group. We are fortunate that through this transition, he also serves as Chair of the USEF Jumper Committee as he has forged a greater bond between the two organizations and their jumper committees. Working closely with his liaison, Meghan Carney, David makes sure the Jumper Working Group meets as needed to conduct their business. Under his leadership, the three JWG task forces have introduced new elements into our sport. The Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Regional Championships and the Young Jumper Championships which will be part of the USEF Young Horse Championships in 2014. David also serves as the USHJA Jumper Vice-President on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is committed to the success of our governance model and organization.
2013 Ron Danta
A multiple winner of this award, Ron continues his dedication to making the International Hunter Derby program a success. This year, under Ron’s leadership, a new format was introduced at the IHD Championship consisting of a tiered rider ranking system as well as an add-back entry fee which increased participation and prize money by 50% from the prior years. Even through the all the controversy over these new program components, Ron kept his eye on the end goal to increase participation and increase the rewards of participating. Ron is a great example of a volunteer committed to the success of the USHJA and its programs.
2013 Geoff Teall
Geoff has been part of USHJA in some form since its earliest days. He was instrumental in its formation and has never wavered from his commitment to USHJA and its members. A valued member of the Hunter Working Group and Chair of the USEF Hunter Committee, Geoff and Hunter Working Group Chair Mary Babick, have formed a close working relationship. A great thinker, Geoff gives more attention to issues and problem solving than anyone can fathom. Never one to give up or avoid the call of duty, Geoff consistently volunteers and makes time to support the sport and USHJA, often putting the organizations needs before his own. Geoff’s leadership of the WCHR Task Force has increased the membership in this program by 25% since its transfer to USHJA. Like many or our other leaders, Geoff takes full measure of the discussions on topics before formulating the ultimate solution. This gives our sport its best chance of success.
2013 Bob Bell
Bob has taken on the duty of Co-Chair of the Zone Hunter Council in addition to the responsibilities of Chair of the Competition Management Committee and serving on the Board of Directors, Competition Standards Committee and Zone 4 Hunter Committee. Bob has a lot of irons in the fire, but makes the commitment to attending all his meetings and providing leadership as Chairman. His cross pollination between the Management and Standards Committees affords him the opportunity to express the views of each committee to the other and facilitate discussion between them on issues important to exhibitors and managers. Bob is a long standing member of the Board of Directors and has supported the USHJA from the start.
2013 Tobey McWilliams
Last fall, Tobey found herself appointed to the USHJA Hunter Working Group and tagged to Chair the Cornerstone Task Force. A new task force to the hunter discipline, it took some time for this group to find their focus, but under Tobey’s leadership, they have identified projects and started their work. In addition to this work, Tobey has been an instrumental member of the Zone 2 Hunter Committee and a valued team member of the Zone 2 Finals. Tobey is committed to ensuring that USHJA provides its members with information that they need to navigate our sport.
2011 Jeff Anthony
In 2011, Jeff Anthony of Redmond, Washington generously dedicated his time to play host to a training session for the Emerging Athlete’s Program, which also served as a clinic for the Trainer’s Certification Program. He donated all stall fees to the participants and also raised over $3,000 in donations to the USHJA.
Jeff is an active member of our Affiliate’s Committee and the Western Affiliate’s Group, and is president of the Washington Hunter Jumper Foundation. He serves as the Executive Director of the Evergreen Classic Horse Show, which has hosted an International Hunter Derby class each year, since its inception.
2011 Katie Benson
Katie Benson of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey has been a longtime supporter of our sport in Zone 2 and through the USHJA. For many years, she has conducted hunter/jumper competitions at Briarwood Farm, which has also served as host to Zone 2’s Year-end Awards Banquet. Katie was an original member of the USHJA Affiliate Council serving as Co-Chair of the Northeast Region. Serving on the B/C/Local Task force, she was instrumental in developing the Affiliate Equitation Awards program and the Outreach Competitions. Over the years, Katie’s dedication has proven to be unyielding.
2011 Leslie Brown
Leslie Brown of Glasgow, Virginia is a member of both the Zone 3 Hunter Committee and Officials Committee. She holds Federation licenses for Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation, as well as Federation and FEI licenses for Jumpers. In 2011 alone, Leslie served as judge or manager at over 20 USEF licensed competitions, including the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and was a member of the FEI Ground Jury at the 2011 North American Junior and Young Rider Championship. She has also graciously hosted an Emerging Athletes Level One session, since the program began in 2009. Leslie has made a name for herself in our sport as a knowledgeable, efficient, honest and respectful horsewoman.
2011 Chris Collman
Chris Collman of Phoenix, Arizona left the horse world for corporate America after a successful career as a junior and young professional. Approximately 20 years ago, the horse-bug bit him again and he moved to Arizona combining his corporate experience with his love of horses and began his own Competition Management enterprise. Chris has spent many hours working to improve our sport as a member of the Zone 8 Hunter Committee, Hunter Restructure Committee, Co-Chair for the Hunter/ Jumper Course Designers Task Force and clinician for USEF’s Hunter Course Design Clinics.
2011 Sue Halpern
Sue Halpern of Santa Fe, New Mexico has risen out of the ranks to do an outstanding job on the USHJA's Steward Committee. Not only has she has been instrumental in revising the curriculum for the clinics, but she has gone on to help teach them - and is revising again for next year. Sue has been a key player in developing the new Steward’s enrollment procedures and drafting rule changes. She does all of this while maintaining a full schedule as a Steward in the field, serving on the Zone 7 Jumper Committee as well as keeping up with a busy family.
2011 Kathy Hobstetter
As a member of Zone 10 Hunter Committee, Kathy Hobstetter of Costa Mesa, California has spent countless hours working to make certain that the committee is responsive to the membership. She has worked tirelessly to develop a clinic program for Zone 10, as well as helping to revamp the Zone 10 Banquet. Kathy also serves on the Emerging Athlete’s Committee where she spent long hours to help re-design this program for 2012, so that it serves its mission, yet becomes sustainable for the future. She is committed to making sure that this program can identify and nurture talented young riders, by providing them with the support and assistance necessary to facilitate the opportunity to reach their full potential.
2011 Hugh Kincannon
Hugh Kincannon of Lexington, Kentucky is a competition manager who has gone out of his way to make the USHJA’s International Hunter Derby Finals an overwhelming success. Since its inception, he has worked diligently to make sure that our Hunter Derby’s National Championship has been a five-star equestrian event. He has done this while also serving as the competition manager or advisor to many other high level events, including the North American Junior and Young Rider Championship and Pony Finals. This year, Hugh lent his considerable talent and expertise to the National Horse Show in its new location of the Kentucky Horse Park. Even with all this on his plate, he is always willing to advise and assist the USHJA on ideas and programs.
2011 Sandra Ruiz
Sandra Ruiz of Culpepper, Virginia is a member of the Zone 3 Jumper Committee and has worked tirelessly for the youth in her zone. A long time Chef d’Equipe for the Zone 3 Jumper Team at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Sandra was 2010 recipient of the Ralph Caristo Award. This award is presented to the chef d’equipe who exhibits a spirit of sportsmanship, horsemanship and enthusiasm. This remarkable woman is a dedicated, willing and able horseperson who takes up any challenge which comes her way. Never one to say “NO”, she embodies the true spirit of volunteerism.
2010 Debbie Bass, Gates Mill, OH
Debbie Bass has consistently shown selfless dedication to moving the USHJA forward since its creation. Beginning as a member of the original Steering Committee, she served as a member of the Board of Directors and was an integral member of the Planning Committee. She showed considerable vision and understanding of our organization, governance and our sport while helping to review our progress and plan for our future. Debbie spends countless hours working to improve our organization and our sport. In addition to her time spent as a director, she also co-chaired the Owners Committee and acted a Vice Chair for the Zone 5 Hunter Committee.
2010 Otis Brown, Georgetown, KY, and Britt McCormick, Allen, TX
In the history of our sport, there has been impressive growth in two areas of competition: Children’s and Adult Hunters and Jumpers. Each zone independently decided the specifications for the divisions for their membership. The proposed standardized specifications for these divisions will create a national award for these competitors and will enable our members to travel from zone to zone without having to memorize a multitude of specifications. In order to bring these proposals forward, the Nationalization Specification and Awards Task Force reached out to our membership, asking for its feedback on this issue. With much consideration and research, and with the blessing of over 90% of those surveyed, this Task Force has proposed rule changes to nationalize these divisions – and leading the way in this challenge were co-chairs, Britt McCormick and Otis Brown.
2010 Bob Cacchione, Fairfield, CT
In 2009, the USHJA created a new partnership with the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association. The creation of this partnership, and its success in 2010 would not have been possible without Bob Cacchione’s tremendous energy and dedication to the IHSA. As the Founder and Executive Director of the IHSA, his commitment to young riders has made this relationship a triumph for our Collegiate Members.
2010 Ron Danta, Rembert, SC
Leading the High Performance Hunter Committee to a second successful Derby Finals, Ron Danta was integral in orchestrating the hugely successful International Hunter Derby Demonstrations during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. He has done an exemplary job of making himself available to hear and address members’ opinions on this program and is constantly working to make it better.
2010 Keeley Gogul, Chagrin Falls, OH
In May 2010, the transfer of the American Hunter Jumper Foundation to the USHJA was announced. Keeley Gogul took the lead in the process of ensuring that the best aspects of both organizations continue to be represented in the World Champion Hunter Rider program and the USHJA Foundation’s Horseman’s Assistance Fund. As the past President of the American Hunter Jumper Foundation and Chairman of the USHJA World Champion Hunter Rider Committee, Keeley Gogul has worked diligently to make the transition smooth and seamless as the USHJA assumed the reins.
2010 Cayce Harrison, Wellington, FL
As a competitor, owner and volunteer, Cayce Harrison maintained an active role in the support of the USHJA "Building For Growth" Capital Campaign for the construction and maintenance costs of our new headquarters. In August 2010, along with her parents, Cayce held the First Annual Invitational Training Session at her family’s Double H Farm, raising over $10,000 for the Capital Campaign fund. Of the event, Cayce stated, “Our family’s mission in hosting this special event is to share our passion, drive and commitment for our sport and spread the word on the importance of supporting the USHJA.”
2010 Sally Ike, Oldwick, NJ
Sally Ike has been an integral part of the development and implementation of the Emerging Athletes Program. Her years of expertise in the development of young riders, has proven instrumental in educating other members of the committee and our general membership on the need for developing young talent. Her enthusiasm and willingness to actively participate during meetings and in the field sets an example for all volunteers.
2010 Larry Langer, Burbank, CA
A respected FEI official and competition manager, Larry Langer serves the USHJA as a member of the Board of Directors, Jumper Council, Zone 10 Jumper Committee, Competition Management Committee and Planning Committee. He has strongly supported the USHJA and its mission since its inception and has made incredible contributions to the advancement of our sport and our organization. Leading the Stewards Committee, he has spent much of the last year reviewing Stewarding and proposing changes to the training and licensing of our competition Stewards, working to ensure our community that we are training and licensing knowledgeable and professional officials.
2010 Susie Schoellkopf, Buffalo, NY
Susie Schoellkopf has been working long hours improving the sport of hunters. As chair, she led the open hunter task force through the task of resolving issues related to hunter schooling and prize money. Taking over as chair of the Zone 2 committee in 2009, Susie has successfully redirected the Zone 2 Finals. She is an active member of the Hunter Restructure Committee, High Performance Hunter Committee, the Zone Hunter Council, and the Junior Hunter Committee. Along with all the time she spends on committees, she stepped up to host the 2010 EAP Nationals.
2010 Geoff Teall, Wellington, FL
As chair of the Hunter Restructure Committee, Geoff Teall has led the way, working to maintain our roots while moving forward into the future. The mission of the Hunter Restructure committee is to identify and preserve the core traditions of show hunters, while restructuring the hunter division; to encourage innovation, create expanded opportunities for participation, and provide for flexible competition choices. Geoff has been the driving force in this mission and in bringing these ideas and concepts to our membership.
2010 Julie Winkel, Reno, NV
Julie Winkel has established herself as the go-to-gal when the USHJA needs someone on short notice. As a volunteer, she does not know the meaning of the word "no". She is one of our members who has risen to the top of service to the USHJA and the USEF, representing the USHJA and our discipline of hunter/jumper. Between her service on the Board of Directors, Officials Committee and as host of the 2009 EAP Nationals, Julie somehow finds time to ride, train, compete and judge.
2009 Bob Bell, Seabrook Island, SC
Bob Bell manages many major horse shows throughout the country, including: the Jacksonville and Gulf Coast Winter Series, shows at the Georgia International Horse Park, and the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, the Biltmore Estate Summer Classic, and the Camden Fall Classic which has hosted the regional Maclay finals for the past two years. An "exhibitor friendly," fair minded horse show manager, Bob is receptive to suggestions given to him by exhibitors, crew and office staff. He started the Classic Company and has turned it into one of the most respected managerial organizations in the horse show world. In addition to producing top quality horse shows, he is a USEF steward and a longtime USEF member and serves on several of its committees.
2009 Lynn Jayne, Elgin, IL
As President of the USHJA Foundation, Lynn Jayne is working tirelessly to develop new lines of funding so we can insure that USHJA’s programs can continue to work smoothly for years to come. Lynn also gives her time as a member of the High Performance Hunter Committee, the Hunter Restructure Committee and the USHJA Board of Directors. She’s also a member of Chicago’s Equestrians for a Cause, a philanthropic group that raises money for the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and other significant charities.
2009 Colleen McQuay, Tioga, TX
The launch of the long anticipated Trainers Certification Program would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Colleen McQuay. As a member of the Riders and Trainers Committee, she has spent hours working on the process of certifying professional trainers and preserving the American Hunter/Jumper Forward System of riding. Colleen is also an active member of the High Performance Hunter Committee, the Open Hunter Task Force, the Hunter Restructure Committee, and the Board of Directors.
2009 Susie Schoellkopf, Buffalo, NY
As chair of the Open Hunter Task Force and a member of the Hunter Restructure Committee, Susie Schoellkopf is playing a major role in shaping the future of our sport in the United States. Susie also serves as chair of the Zone 2 Hunter Committee, and is an active member of the Hunter Zone Council, the High Performance Hunter Committee, and the Junior Hunter Task Force. Besides all the time and effort she puts in at the USHJA, she serves as the executive director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which is the home of the Buffalo Equestrian Center and SBS Farms.
2009 Melanie Taylor, Memphis, TN
In March 2008, the USHJA Board of Directors developed the Emerging Athletes Program as a means to identify and support talented young riders competing at the grassroots level of competition in our sport. Once developed, Melanie Taylor was instrumental in implementing this new program. When it came to selecting a clinician to travel to each one of the Training Sessions, Melanie stepped up to the challenge and traveled the country to develop young riders at each of the 11 level one clinics. She has continually supported the program by going to each of the Level two clinics and supporting the clinicians and USHJA staff.
2009 Tracey Weinberg, Lovettsville, VA
Not only does Tracey Weinberg spend countless hours locating supporters for USHJA’s numerous sponsorship opportunities as President of Weinberg Harris, but she volunteers countless hours to USHJA as well. As Chair of the Capital Campaign committee, she has worked tirelessly on the "Building For Growth" Capital Campaign. Tracey serves on the USHJA Board of Directors and is also an active chair on the Amateur Committee, as well as being an active amateur rider.
2009 Julie Winkel, Reno, NV
Julie Winkel has certainly worn many hats for the USHJA during the past year. She was a judge for the Inaugural International Hunter Derby Finals. She was a clinician for the EAP Region One Level Two training session. She also was the host for the inaugural EAP Nationals. She serves as a mentor for the USHJA Mentor Program. Along with that, Julie serves on the Officials Committee, the Trainers Certification Program Committee, the Zone 10 Jumper Committee, the Equitation Task Force and the Board of Directors.
2008 Sissie Anderton, Franklin, TN
Sissie Anderton has trained numerous pony, junior and amateur riders to national and local level championships. She is also an advocate and active breeder of the Welsh Pony and uses her experience as a member of the newly formed Pony Breeding Task Force. An active member of the National Hunter, Pony Hunter Task Force, and Zone 4 committees Sissie is dedicated to bettering the sport. She also produces local and “A” rated competitions at her Brownland Farm.
2008 Bob Bell, Seabrook Island, SC
Bob Bell manages 21 major horse shows throughout the country, including: the Jacksonville and Gulf Coast Winter Series, shows at the Georgia International Horse Park, and the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, the Biltmore Estate Summer Classic, and the Camden Fall Classic which has hosted the regional Maclay finals for the past two years. An "exhibitor friendly," fair minded horse show manager, Bob is receptive to suggestions given to him by exhibitors, crew and office staff. He started the Classic Company and has turned it into one of the most respected managerial organizations in the horse show world. In addition to producing top quality horse shows, he is a USEF steward and a longtime USEF member and serves on several of its committees.
2008 Shelley Campf, Canby, OR
Specializing in hunters, jumpers and equitation at the national level, Shelley Campf shares her knowledge of the sport by sitting on the USHJA’s Board of Directors and serves as Chairman of the USHJA Trainer Certification Program and Vice Chairman of the USHJA Zone 9 Jumper Committee. In addition, she is also the NAYRC Zone Coordinator, USEF Prix de States Zone Coordinator, USEF Zone 9 Pony Jumper Coordinator, is a member of USHJA Equitation Task Force, A past president of the North West Horse Council, she is a national advocate of Zone 9 and other smaller regions. She and her husband Jeff own and operate their own farm, Oz Incorporated, where our recipient works with Lucy Franklin to manage seven premiere horse shows in the Portland area.
2008 Pat Carleton, Scottsdale, AZ
Pat Carleton has worked tirelessly at drumming up donations for the Capital Campaign – USHJA’s drive for a state-of-the-art professional building. She’s the Major Donor Co-Chair on the USHJA Capital Campaign Committee and a member of the North American Equine Services Advisory Board. She’s been passionately involved with the hunter and jumper world since her daughter first became involved with the sport. Her philosophy is to always give back to the sport which she says has given her memories to last a lifetime.
2008 Lynn Jayne, Elgin, IL
Lynn Jayne is the newly elected President of the USHJA Foundation and is working tirelessly to develop new lines of funding which can insure that USHJA’s programs can continue to work smoothly for years to come. She also gives her time as a member of the High Performance Hunter Committee, Officials Education Committee, and the Junior Hunter Task Force.
2008 Nick Karazissis, West Hills, CA
Nick Karazissis has shown a dedication and devotion to the welfare and success of the horse industry and its future as evidenced by his 23 years of service to equestrian governing bodies. He is presently an active member of the PCHA and the CPHA boards and serves as the USEF Zone 10 Committee Chairman. Nationally, he represents the west coast on numerous task forces and boards. For 28 years he’s held a USEF Judge’s license and conducts several USHJA Affiliated Clinics. He developed the “Get Connected DVD” that serves as a visual reference guide for riders, trainers and judges as it features USEF tests 1-19. Amidst all of his professional obligations, Nick is the owner of Far West Farms, a family-run facility, and competes locally and nationally throughout the year.
2008 Candice King, Wellington, FL
Candice King is a devoted horsewoman and an active Grand Prix competitor who still finds time to give back to the sport she loves. A member of the Trainers Certification Program Committee, she has worked tirelessly on the new Trainers Certification Programs. As an active supporter of USHJA, Candice is a member of the Riders and Trainers committee, the Trainers Certification Program Committee and never fails to attend a retreat or meeting.
2008 Jim Rice, Dix Hills, NY
As vice-chair of the Show Managers Committee and the Show Standards Committee, member of Zone 2 Committee, the National Hunter Committee, Hunter Zone Council, and National Mileage Task Force, Jim Rice has been instrumental to the growth of the USHJA. An active professional horseman for more than 35 years as a trainer and show manager, he currently operates a 60-horse show stable in Old Brookville, NY and trains hunter, jumper and equitation riders through the national levels. He also produces and manages two USEF-licensed show series on Long Island and runs 22 “B” rated competitions each year. His focus both in his professional life and in his work in committees has been the strong representation of the “average” exhibitor and rider and the quality of the mid-level competitions and managers.
2008 Danny Robertshaw, Rembert, SC
Daniel “Danny” Robertshaw has been training top show hunters for over 30 years and has received many accolades while doing so. He was the Chronicle of the Horse Horseman of the Year as well as a 2001 Equestrian of Honor winning the USEF’s Emerson Burr Trophy. He is the only rider to have been champion in the Regular Working Hunters at Devon, Harrisburg, Washington, Madison Square Garden and The Royal Winter Fair in the same year, and he has trained over 30 champions at Devon and Indoors. Despite his busy professional life, Danny also serves on the USHJA Officials Education Committee, High Performance Hunter Committee, USHJA Zone 4 Committee and USEF’s Licensed Officials Committee. He holds a (R) judges license in Hunter, Hunter Breeding and Hunter Seat Equitation from the USEF.
2008 Louise Serio, Kennett Square, PA
Louise Serio is one of the most dedicated supporters of our sport. She serves the USHJA as a member of the Board of Directors, Riders Committee and chairs the Open Hunter Task Force. The hunter rules which were reorganized and re-written under her leadership can be seen in the 2009 printing of the USEF Rule Book. She has grown up with horses all her life as her mother was a teacher as well. With all the success she has earned, you will not meet a more down to earth, generous and kind individual.
2008 Lynn Walsh, Magnolia, TX
As the chairman of the Show Standards Committee, Lynn Walsh was instrumental in the creation of the “Members Choice Awards” which gives horse show exhibitors and participants the opportunity to award excellence at USEF Licensed Hunter Jumper competitions through their feedback relating to the competition, the facility where it took place, footing, show personnel, and hospitality. Besides leading the Show Standards Committee, she also takes an active role in the Owners Committee and is the president of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
2008 Carl Weeden, Lake Forest, IL
Carl Weeden, along with her husband, owns and operates Brookwood Farm. She has trained horses and riders in every level of competition from the short stirrup, Junior/Amateur Hunters and Jumpers, as well as the Equitation division. She also competes successfully in the professional hunter divisions at many of the top level horse shows. Carl has found time to give back to the industry that has supported her for many years by being an active committee member the High Performance Hunter Committee and of the Zone 5 committee.
2007 Paul Cronin, Middleburg, Virginia
Paul has spent a lifetime dedicated to educating young people about our sport, its history and correct riding. A student of the masters of horsemanship and the forward seat system of riding, our colleague has taught for years at one of the most prestigious educational institutions for young ladies in the country. Paul has consistently turned out capable and knowledgeable horsewoman. Known the world over as a meticulous, fair and hardworking individual, our friend has worked tirelessly on the Trainer's Certification Program. He has brought his lifetime of experience, horsemanship and good manners to this project and if not for his consistency and wisdom, the TCP would not be coming to fruition.
2007 Sue Halpern, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Not known for backing down from a challenge, Sue knows when you need to stay the course to see a project through to completion. A licensed USEF Steward, Sue also serves the USHJA as a member of the Planning Committee, the Central Region Jumper Committee, the Zone 7 Jumper Committee, the Officials Education Committee and chairs the Special Stewards Committee. She obviously does not shy away from a challenge!!!
2007 Karen Healey, Thousand Oaks, California
A force to be reckoned with in our sport, Karen is a dynamo - outspoken, dedicated, tireless and knowledgeable, who never seems to stop moving forward. As a member of our community, she has never refused to help when called upon and often offers to take the lead on many projects. You can always count on getting the straight story from her as she is not one to mince words. When she sees a problem, she looks for the solution. If it doesn't exist, she will work to create it. She serves the USHJA as a member of the Open Hunter Task Force and Officials Education committees as well as chairing the Equitation Task Force. In her role as chair, she has helped to shape the equitation division as it exists today. When she calls about a problem, she has an answer - it makes our life easier to have her on board.
2007 Margaret "Peggy" O'Meara, Kirkland, Washington
Peggy has taken on a project that at best can be described as controversial. Her knowledge of our sport as an owner and rider as well as her knowledge of the racing industry has provided her with the unique ability to see the whole picture with regards to the sale and lease of horses. We are beginning the process of setting a standard of business conduct in our industry and sport that has been needed for a long time. This standard protects not only the owners, but it protects the trainers as well and these are compelling reasons for everyone to support the Sales Integrity Program developed by the Owners Committee. Peggy has not shied away from this issue, or from her service to the USHJA as a member of the Owners Committee and Show Standards Committee.
2007 Ron Danta, Rembert, South Carolina
Ron is committed to every facet of his life. In his work as Chair of the Trainers Committee, he has been the driving force behind the extremely successful Trainers Symposiums. USHJA will be expanding this program in the near future to encompass all levels of participants, so his schedule is only going to get busier. Under his leadership, the Trainers Committee has established itself as a leader in our sport. They created the Trainers Directory which now lists over 1,000 trainers nationwide, the Trainers Q & A in USHJA In Stride magazine and the Trainers Mentor Program to provide young professionals with access to advice from seasoned trainers. In addition to all his USHJA work, he still maintains a successful string of show horses with partner Danny Robertshaw and together they have been responsible for saving and placing hundreds of dogs rescued following hurricane Katrina.
2007 Archie Cox, Los Angeles, California
With equestrian sports in his blood, Archie knows what it means to be active in the industry. His grandmother served on the Board of the AHSA when it began. He operates one of the most successful hunter/jumper and equitation stables in the country, consistently developing national champions. He spends hours working with staff to help our sport. He has served the USHJA as a member of the Show Standards Committee, the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Youth Council. He has given his time and support to numerous projects of this organization. His ability to analyze situations and develop solutions which will move the sport forward has been instrumental on the Show Standards Committee. He has also given his time for licensed officials clinics and donated his services as a clinician at the Wellington Trainers Symposium.
Louise Serio, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Two years ago, when asked by David O'Connor to describe Louise Serio in one sentence, USHJA president Bill Moroney replied "If there were an Olympics for hunters, she would be a Gold Medalist." She is one of the most dedicated supporters of our sport. She serves the USHJA as a member of the Board of Directors, Riders Committee and chairs the Open Hunter Task Force. In addition, she helped to create the American Hunter Jumper Foundation and the WCHR and Legacy Cup Programs. Under Louise's leadership, a task force was formed to reorganize and ultimately re-write the hunter sections of the USEF Rule Book - a daunting task which we thank her and her committee for undertaking. She has grown up with horses all her life as her mother was a teacher as well. With all the success she has earned, you will not meet a more down to earth, generous and kind individual.
2007 George "Skip" Thornbury, Goshen, Ohio
Skip is relatively new to governance on a national level, but that has not held him back one bit. Over the past two years, he has proven to be a capable and outspoken advocate of our affiliate organizations and their memberships. Combined with the efforts of Affiliate Council Co-chair Shelby French, he has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Affiliate Equitation Awards program. This program provides national recognition through the USHJA to equitation qualifiers and award winners of USHJA Affiliate Organizations. He and Shelby have done an excellent job of organizing the four Affiliate Regions and developing programs and initiatives that will benefit the sport as a whole and the USHJA. In addition to his USHJA efforts, he continues to operate a successful show stable with his wife, Anne.
2007 Geoff Teall, Wellington, Florida
A successful trainer and rider who continues to firmly establish himself as a driving force in our sport, Geoff Teall is not one to shy away from a challenge. He is direct and no nonsense, yet understands the needs of our members and the problems of our sport. Constantly on the move, he still finds the time to chair several committees within the organization, and is completely dedicated to the advancement of our sport and the USHJA. He has been integral in the development of the organization and many of its successful programs. He serves on the Board of Directors and Trainers Committee and chairs the Officials Education and Special Judges Committees and Co-chairs the High Performance Hunter Committee. The 2006 winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, Geoff is always an advocate for our sport.
2007 Marnye and Larry Langer, Burbank, California
When you think of Marnye and Larry Langer, the words dynamic duo come to mind. She is an accomplished equestrian who excels in the marketing field. He is a respected FEI official and competition manager. Together they make a great team. She serves on the USHJA Western Affiliates Group and Chairs the Marketing Committee where she has been a tremendous asset to the USHJA Marketing and Communications Department. He serves the USHJA as a member of the Board of Directors, Jumper Council, Zone 10 Jumper Committee, Show Managers Committee, Planning Committee and Western Region Jumper Committee. If it sounds like a lot of work, he also chairs a couple of them too. Strong supporters of the USHJA and its mission since the Los Angeles presentation, Marnye and Larry has made incredible contributions to the advancement of our sport and our organization.
2006 Debbie Bass of Gates Mills, OH and Peggy O'Meara of Kent, WA
Owners are a vital component of our sport. Without them, there is no horse business. Debbie and Peggy are two owners who are dedicated to preserving the integrity of our sport and creating an environment in which owners can feel secure with business practices. These two honorees have lead the USHJA Owners Committee to the development of the Owners Guide which provides current and prospective horse owners with the information they need to navigate our sport. Most important within the Owners Guide is the inclusion of the materials regarding Sales Integrity. Based upon their own experiences in the hunter/jumper world and the thoroughbred industry, these ladies guided this committee to a consensus on the issues involved in buying, selling and leasing horses as well as the roles of the agents and their responsibilities to their clients.
2006 Diane Carney of Algonquin, IL
Since before the USEF's recognition of USHJA as the hunter and jumper Affiliate, Diane has been conducting clinics affiliated with USHJA. A tireless worker, advocate of the sport and supporter of USHJA, this very dedicated lady has shown us all how to get things done. The education of horse and rider is near and dear to our friend. Her efforts to bring education to as many people as possible, at a reasonable expense, must be commended. In addition to hosting several clinics herself, she has enlisted (at times relentlessly) the help of several competition managers in her home Zone in hosting clinics and also in participating in the Zone 5 College Scholarship Fund Program which beginning this year, awards grants to qualified applicants for higher education.
2006 Ron Danta of Rembert, SC
Just when it looked like the ladies had a lock on these awards. Our next honoree is equally recognizable for his contributions to the equine industry and to his dedication to saving animals. As Chairman of the USHJA Trainers Committee, Ron has worked feverishly to bring to fruition a dream that the Trainers Committee members and all of us have hoped would become a reality. In an incredibly short period of time, he has led this committee in developing and conducting the first USHJA Trainers Symposium. With record turnout for a first time event, there is no doubt that this program will continue to grow and prosper. Talented clinicians, dedicated volunteers, and committed staff all worked together to provide trainers of all levels with exposure to some of our top trainers in the hunter, jumper and equitation fields. As an organization dedicated to furthering the education of our members and potential members, this is truly a benefit to our sport and to USHJA. In addition to his duties as a leader within USHJA, our honoree and his partner Danny Robertshaw, have a thriving training business and still find time to rescue and find homes for hundreds of animals homeless after Hurricane Katrina.
2006 Mindy Darst of Lebanon, OH
Just thinking about all of Mindy's responsibilities could make anyone tired. A wife and mother first, Mindy has dedicated her life to training horses and riders, especially young riders, as evidenced by her own daughter's recent championship in the Small Pony Division at the Washington International Horse Show. Over the past two years, working closely with Diane Carney, she has conducted several USHJA clinics and as Chairman of Zone 5, has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Zone 5 College Scholarship Award. This award is the first of its kind in the USHJA Zones and our honoree has worked relentlessly to see that exhibitors, competition managers, trainers, parents and many more equestrians have supported this program and made it a reality. As Chairman of the USHJA Pony Task Force, she and co-chair Sissie Anderton have continued to raise the bar with the USEF Pony Finals. When Alvin Topping and Bill Moroney turned this over to these ladies, the maximum number of ponies was approximately 600. In just two years, they have increased the popularity of this event and numbers reached close to 700 this year.
2006 Shelby French of Sweet Briar, VA
Shelby has dedicated her time and service to our Affiliate Organizations by Chairing the Northeast Region of the Affiliates Council, Chairs the Community Horse Show Special Committee, represents the Affiliates Council on the USHJA Board of Directors and is a member of the Special Projects Committee. She has been instrumental in developing and supporting the Affiliates Award Program and assisted in voluminous research for the Affiliates Council and Affiliate Organizations. She has taken on the task of creating a program geared towards bringing unrecognized competitions into the USEF and USHJA. She also hosts USHJA affiliated clinics.
2006 Karen Healey of Westlake Village, CA
There is just something you have to admire about a person who is as dedicated to our sport as our Karen. On top of entertaining over 120 people at her annual Holiday party, Karen does all the cooking herself. But if her cooking is as great as her knowledge, she will always hit a home run. Known for her dedication to the American Forward System of Riding and as well as for her hunter and jumper training, our honoree has a list of accomplishments that would keep us here for days. An active member of the Trainers Certification Committee, Officials Education Committee and Chairman of the USHJA Equitation Task Force, she is responsible for forwarding the education of all trainers and participants in equitation, hunters and jumpers. By developing the Equitation Handbook, she has given us a definitive guide to the rules, regulations, and judging of this aspect of our sport. Her expertise and experience have made her an invaluable member of the Trainers Certification Committee. She has been instrumental in developing the new curriculum for the USEF Licensed Officials Clinics for hunters and hunt seat equitation.
2006 Betty Oare of Warrenton, VA:
Betty is a long time supporter and advocate of the hunter breeding division, she has helped create and continues to support the USEF Hunter Breeding Championships. In her role as member of the USHJA Amateurs Committee, she has been instrumental in creating the Amateur Sportsmanship Award as well as being an active and dedicated member of the Open Hunter Task Force. Betty is truly a great an advocate for the sport and its participants!
2006 Chrystine Tauber of Pottersville, NJ
Impeccable credentials on the international scene are just a small part of Chrystine's resume. In her very successful career, she has been one of this country's best riders including winning the President's Cup at Washington, Chrystine does not know the word "NO" when it comes to giving back to the sport. Serving the USHJA and its members as Chairman of the Planning Committee, she also sits on the Trainers Certification Committee and serves in the role as Vice-President of the USHJA. With her ability to calm people and mediate difficult situations, she has proven to be an invaluable asset to the USHJA. A wonderful and articulate public speaker with an incredible knowledge of governance, she continues to help propel this organization forward and to better our sport.
2006 Page Tredennick of Littleton, CO
Mother, Amateur Rider, Owner, and dedicated volunteer leader and committee member, Page always says "YES" when called upon to help the USHJA and most often calls the office to offer her help. A member of the USHJA Owner Committee, Show Standards Committee and this past year the NMTF, our honoree possesses the ability to walk in other shoes. Well rounded and thoughtful, she has provided USHJA and her committees with an insightful perspective and is not afraid to engage in difficult conversations, doing so with respect for the opinions and viewpoints of others.
2006 Glena Wirtanen of Phoenix, MD
Glena continues her love of the hunter and jumper sport by nurturing the same love of horses in her granddaughter. A USEF Steward for too many years to remember, she is dedicated to fair competition and the welfare of our equine partners. As Chairman of the USHJA Horse Welfare Committee, Glena has worked diligently with the members of her committee to rewrite the USEF rule pertaining to the abuse of the horse. Countless hours have been spent consulting with veterinarians, committee members and other equine professionals to develop language that allows us to compete our horses while insuring the best of care and treatment for our friends. A lady of principle, she does not suffer fools and continues to perform her duties without compromising her values. She continues to be one of our greatest supporters and advocates of the USHJA.