Charles "Chuck" Keller Grant for Equestrian Excellence


The Charles "Chuck" Keller Grant for Equestrian Excellence was created to honor Chuck's commitment to teaching and training riders and horses in the hunter/jumper/equitation disciplines and his dedication to instilling horsemanship and sportsmanship in his riders.

One $500 grant is awarded annually to one USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session Participant for the purpose of furthering their equestrian training in pursuit of equestrian excellence.

Chuck Keller started riding western and upon meeting Helen Baker Kelley, winner of the inaugural USHJA Jane Marshall Dillon Award, quickly converted to hunter/jumper. He joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the U/S Modern Pentathlon Team under the tutelage of Olympian Colonel John Russell. Keller has spent over 45 years in the sport of hunters, jumpers, and equitation as an owner, trainer, rider, course designer and clinician, and served as a Federation licensed official for over 20 years.

Keller has trained riders and horses as well as owned horses that competed successfully throughout the United States, Canada and Europe in International/FEI competitions such as Valkenswaard, Spruce Meadows, Devon, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, The National, Hampton Classic, Lake Placid, Charlotte Jumper Classic, the American Invitational and the Winter Equestrian Festival. Keller has trained rider/horse combinations to Team Gold and Individual Silver Medals at the Young Rider's Competition in Wellington, Florida held during the Winter Equestrian Festival and the USEF Prix des States Junior Jumper Championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, also serving as Chef d'Equipe of the Zone III Jumper Team.

On the national stage, Keller has trained multiple riders, horses and ponies in the jumper, hunter, and equitation disciplines that achieved national, zone and state recognition, qualifying for and competing successfully at major competitions such as Devon, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, The National, Hampton Classic, Lake Placid and the Winter Equestrian Festival as well as Federation National Championships such as USEF Prix des States , USEF Medal Finals, USEF Pony Medal Finals and the USEF Pony Hunter Finals.

Champion horses and ponies include Beach Bum, Dominique, Lancier 4, Kadena R, Reddy Teddy, Amagedon 3, Just Dreamin', Sweet Diamond, Landria W, Contemporalis, Kokopelli, Regall, Skyy, Secret, Just Add Water, Warlock, Normandy, Montserrat, Magical Moments, Pacific D, For Kid's Sake, Himself the Elf, Magical Cloud, The Gatsby, Joshua/It's About Time, Whadyasay, Peter, Swan Song, Liseter Friendship, Severn's Little Brother, Upon A Star, Central Park, Silent Partner, Wellworth, and Kempton Park.

Keller was a USEF=licensed "R" judge in hunter, hunter seat equitation and jumper divisions for over 20 years, officiating at numerous major competitions across the country.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Participant in USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session
  • US Citizen or Legal Resident


Award Selection & Notification

There is no application for this grant. The USHJA EAP Committee will select the recipient of this grant from the pool of USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session participants based on the care and handling of horses, treatment of horses while mounted, and level of personal interaction with clinicians, peers and spectators. The award will be granted at the EAP National Training Session awards ceremony.

Learn more about the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program