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McLain Ward awarded Equestrian of the Year and HH Azur wins International Horse of the Year title

LEXINGTON, Ky. -Mclain Ward, a consistent and always gracious champion, was awarded the Robert P. Strub Trophy as the 2017 USEF Equestrian of the Year at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner on Jan. 18, and the following evening one of his mounts, HH Azur was named the International Horse of the Year.

WardMcLainAzur Shannon Brinkman PhotoMcLain Ward on HH Azur (photo by Shannon Brinkman}Both awards were made during the U.S. Equestrian Federation's annual meeting.

Ward of Brewster, N.Y., is a decorated and respected equestrian with an international acclaim that continues to grow.

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.

“I am very honored to receive this award and humbled that it is an award voted on by our entire equestrian community,” said Ward. “This for me is a special award on many levels. It is and should be a reflection of much more than simply being a good rider, driver, or trainer. It encompasses all that you do as a horseman, mentor, and ambassador of our sports. It is said that what you do in the arena makes you a champion, but what you do outside of the arena is what makes you a leader. I believe that’s what this award is about.”

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Honorable mention Action photos

This close up photo of a rider at the Dutta Fair Hill International Three-Day Event  taken by Jennifer MacNeill of East Petersburg, Pa., shows amazing detail. Notice the veins standing out on the horse's neck.

CONTEST ACTION No 5 fairhillbnw MacNeill 17A rider at Fair Hill International Event

This is a photo taken by Nicholas DeLeo of Souderton, Pa., at one of the various horse events that his daughter has competed at this year. It's an interesting color combination - notice the blue eye on the pinto.

CONTEST ACTION No 3 pinto DeLeo copyA pinto with a child competiing at a horse show

 

 

 

Erik Duvander, new Eventing Performance Director, aims for successful WEG

LEXINGTON, Ky. -Erik Duvander, who has 30 years of experience in strategic planning, was recently hired by the U.S. Equestrian Federation to implement plans for the High Performance Program for Eventing that will hopefully ensure a medal at the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C.

Erik Duvander8 2Erik DuvanderDuvander introduced his plans for the High Performance Program at the United States Eventing Association Annual Meeting in December.

"The immediate focus of the Eventing High Performance Program is qualification, preparation, and execution of a successful World Equestrian Games (WEG)," said Duvander. "In preparation for the WEG, the majority of our horses will target a spring CCI4*, and we look forward to a strong showing at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI4*, in addition to some horses representing the U.S. at Badminton and Luhmühlen and spring CCI3*s. We will then utilize the FEI Nations Cups™ at Great Meadow and our hope is to secure an invitation to Aachen to practice and prepare in a team environment twice in July."

Riders with more than one horse will divide them between the spring CCIs in order to have time to focus on each individual horse at the major competitions in preparation for the WEG.

"We will train and prepare every day to select and field a team with a serious chance of winning a medal," said Duvander. "However, if strategic decisions have to be made on the field of play, we will take into consideration that our USOC-approved target is Olympic qualification."

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Honorable mention photos

This interesting photo of race horses against a colorful backdrop of fall folliage was taken by Adrienne Morella of West Chester Pa.

CONTEST ACTION race horses MORELLARace horses at a steeplechase

 

 

Nicholas DeLeo of Souderton, Pa., caugh this arresting photo of a child  making a difficult turn at a horse sho at which his daughter was competing

CONTEST ACTION No 2 Child competint at HS DeLeo copy

 

Honorable Mention Action Photos

Jennifer MacNeill took this arresting black and white photo of a horse at the Dutta Fair Hills CCI3* over a water jump, with its reflectiion in the water below.

CONTEST ACTION No 4 Fair Hill 3day MacNeillFair Hill contestant by Jennifer MacNeill

 

Maria Errico of Lincoln University Pa., also took a picture of a horse in the water, but this one at Plantation Field

CONTEST ACTION No 8 Plantation In The Water ErricoA horse in the water at Plantation Field, by Maria Errico

More Articles ...

  1. Show manager and course designer Michael Rheinheimer died
  2. Jennifer MacNeill wins Action Photo Contest with photo of Boyd Martin
  3. Letter to the Editor
  4. Maryland trainer Jack Stedding died on Oct. 23 after a long illness
  5. Hunter Harrison, a major benefactor of show jumping, died Dec. 16
  6. Show jumping gold medalist Bill Steinkraus died Nov. 29
  7. February Barns and Equipment issue
  8. Devon donates $400,000 to Bryn Mawr, reaching over $15 million in total
  9. Leading Mid-Atlantic freshman sire El Padrino died Nov. 22
  10. Carmella Clark, rider, biochemist and cancer researcher, died Sept. 4
  11. Wendy Lofting, actress and artist, died at 70
  12. Headline in the Trainers section is incorrect - Kai Handt is chef d'equipe of para-equestrian
  13. Devon's Gold Ring renamed in honor of Sallie and Kenny Wheeler family
  14. Martin's Fall Auction, Oct. 20-21, features five auction rings
  15. Top horseman J. Arthur (Bucky) Reynolds died July 24
  16. Elizabeth (Binnie) Houghton, TB breeder and animal lover, died Aug. 7
  17. Thom Brede, longtime Orefield, Pa. resident, a thoroughbred breeder and top horse show judge, died April 20 at age 78
  18. Ginny Jenkins returns as Ad Director, themed ad months return with Real Estate in Sept.
  19. Need work done or want to buy or rent? Check out fencing, pond repair, engraving, auction, manure removal, rentals and real estate
  20. Pa. Breeders’ Awards stable for four years, nationwide uniform standard For drug violations
  21. Todd McKenna suspended for just a year, a sentence many felt too lenient. Trevor McKenna also suspend one year, both for actions at Md. Hunt Cup
  22. Boyd Martin a favorite to win Devon Horse Show’s exciting new competition, Arena Eventing
  23. Jersey-bred Irish War Cry among early favorites to win Ky. Derby. Fillies by Union Rags among those aimed at Ky. Oaks
  24. Randy Rouse, of Arlington, Va., dies at 100
  25. World Cup Champion McLain Ward will defend his Devon Horse Show titles
  26. Many more improvements at Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
  27. Wyck Cushny, former steeplechase jockey and sports enthusiast, died at age 35
  28. Memorial service for Georgie Stapleton, 73, who was instrumental in saving Cheshire Hunt country.
  29. Cheshire, unable to ready course, forced to cancel March 26 Point-to-Point
  30. Devon Horse Show adds exciting new Eventing competition
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