Competitive Equestrian

McLain Ward Named USEF Equestrian of the Year

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McLain Ward of Brewster, N.Y. is the 2017 USEF Equestrian of the Year. Credits: Shannon Brinkman
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McLain Ward competes at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in May, 2017. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall
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McLain Ward rode HH Carlos Z to win the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final at the 2017 Washington International Horse Show before announcing the gelding's retirement. Credits: Shawn McMillen Photography
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — A decorated and respected equestrian with an international acclaim that continues to grow, McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) was awarded the Robert P. Strub Trophy as the 2017 USEF Equestrian of the Year at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner.

Ward started the season by winning the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5* during the Winter Equestrian Festival with HH Azur. The following month, Ward clinched a home turf victory, winning the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final with HH Azur in Omaha, Neb. In May, Ward was successful at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, winning the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon with Rothchild. Ward has proven himself a consistent competitor and helped anchor the U.S. team to several FEI Nations Cup medals, including a silver-medal finish at the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in September.

Eight equestrians were recognized for their competitive achievements in 2017 and honored with the following trophies:

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Bill Robinson Trophy – Gareth SelwoodYoungstown, N.Y., Friesian

The Bill Robinson Trophy is presented to an equestrian competing with horses or ponies across all the breeds in harness or for driving performance in non-international competitions.

Gareth Selwood produced several praise-worthy performances in 2017 carriage pleasure driving divisions with Brenda Robert’s Annette Fan’E Hamsterheide and Kirk Allgaier’s Karsten Van de Noeste Hoeve, proving he remains a prowess in the show ring. Selwood dominated the 2017 International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) World & Grand National Championship Horse Show with Annette Fan’E Hamsterheide, earning the IFSHA World Carriage Ride and Drive title and World Carriage Driving Turnout title. In addition, they were awarded the Anita Mellott Memorial Driving High Point Perpetual Trophy and the Shakespeare Farm Friesian High Point Perpetual Trophy. Selwood and Karsten Van de Noeste Hoeve won the IFSHA World Country Pleasure Driving Open title and IFSHA World Reserve Champion Sport Horse Pleasure Driving title. Allgaier and Roberts both amassed many world and regional wins in driving divisions with the help of Selwood’s training.

Outside of competition, Selwood serves on the board of directors of the IFSHA and American Driving Society’s (ADS) affiliate East Aurora Driving Society. He holds his US Equestrian Federation (USEF) judges cards in Morgan, Andalusian/Lusitano, Friesian, and Western. This is the second time Selwood has been awarded the Bill Robinson Trophy. He has also previously been awarded the Norman K. Dunn Trophy.

Norman K. Dunn Trophy – Andrew Sellman

C.J. "June" Cronan Trophy – Nancy Leigh Fisher

Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy – Josh Quintus

Vaughan Smith Trophy – Dale Pitcock

William C. Steinkraus Trophy – Laura Graves and McLain Ward

Emerson Burr Trophy – Jenny Karazissis

Additionally, Joseph F. Dotoli was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his more than 50 years of quality training and legacy of educating young equestrians in all aspects of horsemanship. Visit USEF Network to see the video honoring Dotoli at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner.

Connor Farley was awarded the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy as the 2017 Junior Equestrian of the Year for his resilient spirit and dedication to horse sport and the Morgan breed.

The following prestigious awards are bestowed annually to equestrians for their service to the sport. This year’s recipients are as follows:

USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award – Victoria McCullough

Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award – Kim Kratish Land

Richard E. McDevitt Award of Merit – Arthur “Thom” Brede, Ellen Veitch, and Ed Young

Pegasus Medal of Honor – Mike Goebig, Nancy Jaffer, and Jacqueline Mars

Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders Award – Willy Arts and Hetty Mackay-Smith Abeles

Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy – Cynthia Richardson

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