SERGEANTSVILLE, N.J. — The Delaware Valley Horsemen’s Association celebrated held its annual awards banquet in Jan. 27. The night was dedicated to Susan Varano-Sierp, a longtime member and volunteer who died in April 2017.

DVHA president Sue Haydu choked back the tears as she remembered Varano-Sierp, who had battled cancer twice. A memorial award was created in the horsewoman’s honor and Varano-Sierp  was named as the first winner. Her children, Samantha and V.J., along with her husband Paul received the award in her honor.

In addition to high point winners in each division, several special awards were given out.

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The Luise Gallicchio Memorial Trophy was presented young riders, who are striving to achieve to become better equestrians or just starting out, to Skylar Day, Draft; Madison Edwards. Driving; Salma Noor Benmoussa, hunter; Meredith Shive, western and Alyssa Schneider, dressage.

The Welling C. Howell Founders Award for outstanding service went to Amanda J. and Doug Day.

Fall Reign, ridden by Michelle Clinger was presented with the Dr. Ernest Haydu Memorial Award as high point jumper. He was also Horse of the Year. The 19-year-old thoroughbred gelding has been Clinger’s partner since January, 2008.

Fall Reign a.k.a “Sneakers” started out in the hunter and pleasure rings and took awhile to the knack of cantering  but eventually became a nice hunter. Sneakers went with to Clinger to college and returned to showing at DVHA after she graduated. They returned to find success in both jumping and dressage. The pair was champions in the year-end awards for Starter Rider for dressage. They were also champions in Itty Bitty Jumpers.

Good sportsmanship awards went to Sandra Devenny, Makenna Hummel, Braden Phillips and Maureen Foley.

Volunteer of the year award went to Patti DeLuca who serves as the group’s treasurer.

Sue Haydu was leading trainer for jumpers, driving and draft. Amber Jewell topped the western division and Penny Schell earned the title for hunters.

The Exceptional Effort Trophy was presented to Alexandra James, Alison Welsh and Susan Pena.

The Marjorie Van Ness outstanding adult beginner rider award went to Rob Watson for western and Rosalind  Cuss for dressage.

Just in Time earned the Old Campaigner Award. The honor goes to a mount that has been showing at DVHA for at least 10 years and continues to be reliable. Just In Time, a.k.a. “Tonka”has carried many young riders in leadline through children’s classes. He carried Rylie True to championship  honors in Mini Stirrup Hunter and Pre Short Stirrup..Rylie was also tied with Cassie Struzinski for Mini Stirrup Equitation champion. Makenna Hummel rode Tonka to the championship in Short Stirrup Hunter.

Hannah Koval took home the McKenzie Wright Memorial Trophy named in honor of a young rider from Delaware Township who died from a rare form of cancer in 2009. The award goes to the high point leadline rider.

Lyna Wiggins and Marilyn was named most improved trail rider and presented the Tiffany Jantelle Memorial Western Trail Award. Jantelle was killed 2011 by a hit and run driver while she tried to save an injured dog in the road

The DVHA show season gets underway on April 22 with drafts and very small equines plus western shows. The schedule also includes hunters, jumpers dressage and driving. June is DVHA Rides For The Cure month to benefit cancer patients in the Delaware Valley.

See www.dvha.org for more information.

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