2007 United States Eventing Association Year-End Award Winners Celebrated at Annual Convention
RELEASE: December 13, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Amy Daum
Over 500 members of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) made their way to Colorado Springs, CO, for the 2007 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, presented by Nutrena, held December 6-9 at The Broadmoor. Over the weekend the association proudly honored the recipients of its 2007 year-end awards at the Saturday evening Dinner and Dance, sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses.
USEA Horse of the Year honors went to Theodore O’Connor, the 12-year-old, 14.2-hand Thoroughbred/Arab/Shetland gelding (Witty Boy—Chelsea’s Melody) owned by The Theodore O’Connor Syndicate, LLC. With three-time Olympian Karen O’Connor in the irons, the talented pony tallied several wins this year, including Individual and Team Gold medals at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. They also won The Fork CIC*** in April and were third at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****. In addition to the title of Horse of the Year, Teddy’s owners received a $1,000 purse sponsored by SmartPak Equine.
The USEA is proud to present a new perpetual trophy this year in honor of the achievements of gifted eventing ponies at all levels of competition. The Theodore O’Connor USEA Pony of the Year trophy, to be given each year to the highest pointed pony at any level, is named in honor of the brilliant pony who has taken the eventing world by storm. While Teddy earned the award for 2007, as the trophy’s namesake, he will not be eligible to win the trophy in the future.
The USEA Rider of the Year for the eighth straight year was Phillip Dutton, who resides in West Grove, PA. Dutton rode internationally for his home country, Australia, for many years until last year he became an American citizen and changed his competitive nationality so that he would be eligible to represent his adoptive home, the United States. Dutton represented the U.S. for the first time in what promises to be a long American-medal winning career, at the Pan American Games in July 2007 where teaming with Annie Jones’ and Susan Stimson’s Truluck, he was a member of the Gold-medal winning team and also brought home an Individual Silver medal. In addition to this achievement, Dutton outdid himself again this year with admirable performances at both horse trials and three-day events, including top placings on Annie Jones’ The Foreman (first at Fair Hill CCI***), Acorn Hill Farm’s Woodburn (third at the Fair Hill CCI***, first at Wits End CIC***, and first at Five Points Horse Trials in advanced), Bruce Duchoissois’ Connaught (second at Rolex Kentucky CCI**** and seventh at The Fork CIC***-W), and Truluck (ninth at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, eighth at The Fork CIC***-W, and second at the Red Hills CIC***-W). All of these accomplishments, plus countless others, gave this amazing rider a total of 946 points, and earned him a $1,000 purse.
Karen O’Connor of The Plains, VA, had one of the best years of her career, earning for a record 10th time the USEA Lady Rider of the Year title. Her successes this year included impressive performances at every star level, including the Pan Am Individual and Team Gold medals with USEA Horse and Pony of the Year Theodore O’Connor (who she also teamed with to win The Fork CIC***). O'Connor also had a fantastic year with several of her other mounts including Jacqueline Mars’ Hugh Knows (second at Morven Park in advanced, first at Richland Park in advanced, and fifth at Fair Hill CCI***), Dick and Vita Thompson’s Upstage (first at Wits End in advanced, second at Richland Park CIC***, and sixth at Red Hills CIC***-W), and Joan Goswell’s Mandiba (second at Richland Park in advanced and second at Florida CCI**), among numerous others. In addition to the well-earned title of USEA Lady Rider of the Year, O'Connor also received a $1,000 purse and product from sponsor Auburn Labs, makers of APF.
Corinne Ashton of Princeton, MA, received this year’s USEA Adult Amateur of the Year honors as well as a $1,000 purse sponsored by Stackhou