Skip to content

Don Harris Honored With USEF Lifetime Achievement Award



Lexington, Kentucky - In the American Saddlebred world, few names rise to a level of royalty in quite the way that the name of Don Harris has.

During more than five decades of training and competition, his fan following has exponentially increased. Those who know him attribute it to three things: impeccable training, consummate showmanship and perhaps most importantly and most simply, sincere kindness. Now, after this lifetime as an ambassador for one of America's few original breeds, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce that Harris, of Cox's Creek, Kentucky, has been selected to receive the organization's highest honor - the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Jimmy A. Williams Trophy.

Through the years, Harris has had a hand in the development of some of the most prominent American Saddlebreds ever known: CHImperator, CHGiddy-Up-Go, CHProtege, CHSultan's Starina and CHFinisterre's Gift of Love. Among his wins are repeat Five-Gaited World's Grand Championships, the Three-Gaited World's Grand Championship and numerous reserves. In addition to making a name for himself in American Saddlebred circles throughout the United States, Harris garnered international attention by sharing news of the breed abroad, helping to influence sales to enthusiasts in Germany, South Africa and Haiti.

His accolades include being named the American Horse Shows Association (now USEF) Horseman of the Year (1980), receiving the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) C.J. Cronan Sportsmanship Award (1996) and the ASHA Lifetime Achievement Award (2009). He has also been honored as Horse World's Trainer of the Decade and Trainer of the Century.

The USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Jimmy A. Williams Trophy are given to the horseman or horsewoman whose "life experience and accomplishments exemplify uncommon devotion to the sport of competition with horses and whose equestrian career and horsemanship have continually elevated the sport's excellence." It is without a doubt that Don Harris more than qualifies for this once-in-a-lifetime honor.

The USEF Lifetime Achievement Award will be formally presented to Harris during the USEF's Pegasus Awards on January 22, the culminating awards gala of the 2011 USEF Annual Meeting, taking place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

For tickets to the 2011 USEF Annual Meeting and Pegasus Awards, visit www.usef.org and click on "2011 Annual Meeting" on the right side of the homepage.

For more information about the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award, contact Trisha Watkins, USEF Awards Manager, by phone at (859) 225-6944 or via e-mail at tlwatkins@usef.org.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 4 24

    Read More
  • Joint Leadership Council Reinstated

    Leaders of the American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association, American Hackney Horse Society, American Road Horse and Pony Association, and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association met Sunday evening to reinstate the Joint Leadership Council (JLC), comprised of leadership from all four membership organizations. Read More
  • Latest Issue 3 24 HW

    Read More
  • 2024 ASHBA Council and Committee Applications Are Now Live!

    If you are passionate about serving to strengthen the American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA) and the future of the American Saddlebred, you may be interested in joining one of ASHBA’s committees! ASHBA is proud to host a full slate of committees that allow all members to get involved. Read More
  • ASHBA Holding Statement Regarding World's Championship Horse Show

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association has seen the Kentucky State Fair Board’s unexpected press release yesterday afternoon, after learning the day before of its plan to drop the United States Equestrian Federation as its governing body for the 2024 World Championship Horse Show. Read More
  • WCHS drops USEF, joins ESC

    Read More
  • WCHS Drops USEF, Joins ESC

    The World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) announced today that the Equine Sports Council (ESC) has been selected as the governing body ahead of the 2024 event. In February, the Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved the change, recognizing the importance of operating with Saddlebred-competition-tailored rules and standards emphasizing integrity, sportsmanship, and safety for the non-Olympic horse industry. Qualifying requirements for WCHS remain unchanged. Read More
  • Meet the Author Event with Emma Hudelson

    Join the American Saddlebred Museum on Friday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. for a lecture, book signing and reception with Emma Hudelson author of Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story. This book is not only the tale of a remarkable horse, but of the American Saddlebred breed and the way these horses carried one rider back to herself.  Read More
  • 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals Qualifying Season Has Begun

     US Equestrian invites saddle seat equitation athletes in the junior exhibitor and adult amateur ranks to plan their path to the 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals. The finals will be held once again at the UPHA American Royal National Horse Show in Kansas City, Mo., in November. Read More
  • Morgan Stallion Sweeps Winners Drawn

    In conjunction with the United Breeders Committee, the New England Morgan Horse Association and New England Regional Morgan Horse Show, have drawn the 2023-2024 Morgan Stallion Sweeps winners. Read More