Skip to content

Jessica Moctezuma - USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced yesterday, Thursday, December 11, 2008, that Jessica Moctezuma has been selected as the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year. Moctezuma will be honored with the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Trophy during USEF’s Annual Meeting, January 14-18, 2009, in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of the Pegasus Awards held Saturday evening.

Moctezuma is at least the fifth member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association to be named the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year, since its creation in 1985. Previous Saddlebred winners of this exceptional award include William Harris, Betty Cox, Reese Richey, and Adolph Zell.

After reviewing an array of candidates nominated for one of USEF’s highest honors, the Awards Committee selected Moctezuma, of Hardwick, New Jersey, as the young equestrian who exceeded the demanding qualification criteria.

Outside the ring, Moctezuma immerses herself in community service by using her love of horses as a platform.  Moctezuma’s mother, Nealia McCracken, is the owner of North Wind Stables and in the last three years the stable has been very involved with Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. Moctezuma has been able to volunteer her time after school riding rescue horses and has assisted in evaluating suitability for the placement of misused and neglected horses. To date, she has ridden over 200 rescue horses.

Moctezuma’s success as a community volunteer mirrors her success as an equine athlete. In 2008, she was the Senior Equitation Champion at the Lexington Junior League Horse Show. For the third year in a row she was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Equitation Champion and the 2008 NEHC Regional Equitation Champion. Also in 2008, she was the high-scoring rider in the three-gaited and five-gaited World Cup trials at William Woods University, which qualified her to compete on the five-gaited team at the Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup held in South Africa this fall, bringing home a Silver medal.

Likewise, she is one of the few multi-disciplined riders in the ring to achieve success with equitation, gaited, and show/country pleasure mounts, Hackney pony driving and under saddle, Western pleasure, hunt seat on the flat and road horses.

To qualify for the Junior Equestrian of the Year award, a young equestrian must have competed at USEF-recognized shows over the past year, while displaying good sportsmanship and integrity. The winner is also someone who has excelled and has willingly given back to their sport. Moctezuma is a great example of the poise and horsemanship our riders must display to be successful equine athletes. Her outstanding contributions and dedication to the American Saddlebred and the equestrian industry in general, both inside and outside the ring, are nothing short of commendable.

More Stories

  • World’s Championship Horse Show Update

    The Kentucky State Fair Board voted unanimously today to expand the World’s Championship Horse Show during the Kentucky State Fair from nine days to all 11 days of the Fair. Held in Freedom Hall in partnership with the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA), the show is the largest and richest saddlebred show in the world. This year’s Fair dates are Aug. 16 – 26. Read More
  • F.A.S.H. 2018 Prize List is in the Mail!

    If you’ve been hearing great things about F.A.S.H., then make this the year to come check us out. The F.A.S.H. Spring Horse Show Committee wishes to invite all to attend this year, with the dates once again coinciding with Mother’s Day Weekend, May 10-13, 2018. Read More
  • American Saddlebreds Scheduled to Showcase Beauty and Versatility at 2018 Devon Horse Show

    A vision of spirited beauty and power, the American Saddlebred excels in the show ring, demonstrating two unique gaits to the breed: Slow Gait and the accelerated Rack. Tracing the breed's ancestry to the early 1700s, the classic American Saddlebred will once again be showcased in a variety of divisions because of their incredible versatility at the historic 2018 Devon Horse Show, schedule for May 24 - June 3. Read More
  • Latest Issue March 26 18

    Read More
  • Sally Wadhams Announces Retirement

    After 25 years working for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®, Sally Wadhams announced her retirement from her position as development officer. Sally is looking forward to the next chapter of her life, including her son’s wedding this summer. Read More
  • Obituary - Dick Boettcher

    Saddle Horse Report received the sad news that Redmond, Washington trainer Dick Boettcher passed away today (March 22). A 2012 inductee into the UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame and recipient of the ASHA Lifetime Achievement Award... Read More
  • Local Riding Club to Host Charity Horse Show

    The Castlewood Riding Club, in Castlewood, Virginia, will host a charity horse show May 5, 2018 at the riding club. The show will feature a variety of breeds and the schedule will include numerous divisions including academy classes. John Scott will serve as the judge for all divisions... Read More
  • Bobbie Jo Jaakkola Wins AMHA Young Adult Alliance Judging School Scholarship

    The American Morgan Horse Association Young Adult Alliance (YAA) presented their fifth annual Judging School Scholarship to Bobbie Jo Jaakkola of Northwell, Michigan. The Professional Development Project created by this passionate group awards a $1,500 scholarship to one individual aged 21-40, professional or amateur, who is interested in attaining their Morgan R judging card. Read More
  • Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018

    Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018... Read More
  • Des Moines Springfest announces location

    The Des Moines Springfest Horse Show is scheduled for April 26 – 29, 2018.   We are pleased to announce the show will be held in the beautiful, state of the art Jacobson Arena at the Iowa State Fairground, Des Moines, IA. Read More