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AMHA’s Caitlin Novotny Named USEF Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award Winner


Lexington, KY—In a nod to the importance of youth in the present and future of the equestrian landscape, the United States Equestrian Federation® has awarded the inaugural USEF Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award to Oklahoma City’s Caitlin Novotny, a member of the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) and a freshman at Oklahoma State University.


Novotny beat out 42 other young equestrians to be awarded an all-expense paid career workshop (June 23-29, 2007). She will be invited to the USEF headquarters in Lexington, KY, for a weeklong apprenticeship, in which she will be exposed to the inner workings of the various departments and functions of the Federation. The opportunity will open doors to Novotny and allow her access to industry professionals. In addition to the apprenticeship, Novotny will receive a $1,000 scholarship, lifetime membership to the USEF and a trophy.


“My reaction to winning the award was shock,” said Novotny. “I was thrilled to just be the national nominee for AMHA, not to mention the overall winner.” The college freshman was modest about her many activities and countless hours she had devoted to the promotion of the Morgan horse. She felt that it was her willingness to give back to her equestrian community, and chosen breed that gave her the extra advantage.


“My involvement with the FFA [Future Farmers of America] and working to get the Morgan horse ‘out there’ was probably my best point,” she said.


“I’m thrilled about everything related to the award,” said Novotny, who is looking forward to visiting the USEF headquarters next summer. “It’s mostly the experience of getting to meet all the people at the USEF, plus I’m really excited about getting to go to the Annual Meeting and all the award banquets. I’ve never been before, and I’m looking forward to that.”


Affiliates of the USEF submitted one nomination each to be considered for the honors.


A long list of requirements had to be met to be considered in the running for the award. Nominees had to be active junior members of the Federation and their recognized affiliate in good standing; be under the age of 17 (as of December 1); demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the USEF and their recognized association through the promotion of the horse; serve as a positive role model for their peers; and have earned ribbon awards for accomplishments in horsemanship and junior exhibitor classes at the local, state or national levels of competition.


In addition to Novotny, the winners at the national affiliate level were: Kaitlin Lorell of Lovettsville, VA; Annalise Van Vranken of Mays Landing, NJ; Henry Pfeiffer of Temperance, MI; Madison Wayda of Newbury Park, CA; Kaelyn Donnelly of Louisville, KY; Meredith Baker of Columbia, MD; Stephanie Schroeder of Douglas, WY; and Michelle L. Herron of Adel, IA.


For those young equestrians interested in applying for next year’s award, Novotny has some important advice to share. “Find something special that you really love, something that you can work on and that will give back to the community. It has to be something that you are passionate about,” said Novotny. “My overall goal wasn’t to win an award. It was to show others just what people can do with horses. It’s a really great opportunity.”


To learn more about the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award, contact Karen Homer-Brown, National Affiliates Managing Director, at or (859) 225-6958.


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