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USEF Announces Second Annual Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award

Lexington, KY - As part of the continued efforts to expand the base of young people contributing to the leadership and promotion of equestrian sports, the United States Equestrian Federation announces the second annual Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award.  This awards program recognizes youths who are members of both the USEF and their recognized national affiliate.  The youth candidates need to demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the USEF and their affiliate organization by serving as a role model for their peers and through the promotion of the horse.

The program’s goal is designed to develop youths to become leaders in the equine industry from all breeds and disciplines.  This program provides an opportunity for the USEF to give back to the outstanding youth members and recognize them for their achievements. The establishment of this program is far reaching and will benefit competitions, members, recognized associations and the USEF, as well as the applicants.

The award is named after the Sportsman’s Charter which is the motto of the USEF and is featured in the front of the USEF Rule Book.  The first presentation of the overall winner took place at the Pegasus Awards Banquet at the USEF Annual Meeting in January 2007. The winner was Caitlyn Novotny from the American Morgan Horse Association.  She received a career opportunity workshop at the USEF national office, a trophy, a $1,000 scholarship to be paid to the educational program of her choice and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500. 

Recognized associations assist with the administration of the selection process, including selecting a nominee from each USEF district, region or zone.  From that list, a national nominee is chosen. Each national nominee receives a certificate of honor, lapel pin and exclusively designed hat from the USEF. The national recognized nominees will be submitted to the USEF National Affiliates Working Group as well as nominated for the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year Award.

To be considered for the award, the following criteria must be met:

• Active membership in good standing with the USEF and a recognized national affiliate
• At the time of application, the youth must be age 17 or under
• Demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of the horse
• Serve as a positive role model for peers
• Participate at any level of competition, including local, regional or national events
• Exhibit characteristics that exemplify positive sportsmanship principles

Nominations are now open and entries will be accepted from USEF-recognized affiliates through
October 31, 2007.  A sub-committee of the National Affiliates Working Group will review the resumes during their November meeting and a final selection will be made by November 10, 2007. The honor will be presented at the USEF Annual Meeting in January, 2008.

As one of the benefits of being selected, each recognized national affiliate winner will be granted a five-day expenses paid “workshop” at the USEF national headquarters in Lexington.  This “hands-on” experience will provide a window of learning to the youths who will become familiar with the inner workings of the USEF and its various departments. The youth will have the opportunity to meet the USEF staff in each department; learn about a wide range of opportunities within the horse industry and meet many professionals in the equine business, such as, lawyers, accountants, veterinarians, CEOs, business managers, harness makers, etc.  They will also have an opportunity to meet both national and international level riders and drivers. The youth will have an opportunity to see the sights of Lexington, visit area horse farms and be part of the June USEF Board of Directors meeting.  The career workshop program will take place June 23-29, 2007, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington, KY.

For more information on the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Charter Award, please contact Karen Homer-Brown, Managing Director of National Affiliates, via e-mail at or call (859) 225-6958.

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