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Vote Now for 2006 USEF Equestrian of the Year




As the year comes to a close, the United States Equestrian Federation® (USEF) is pleased to announce the 2006 Equestrians of Honor. Of these eight honorees, one will be selected as the 2006 USEF Equestrian of the Year.

In a typical year, seven nominees are selected, one for each Equestrian of Honor trophy. This year however, due to a tie for the Becky Grand Hart trophy, there are eight finalists up for Equestrian of the Year. If you are a current active member of USEF, place your vote today by going to http://www.usef.org/eoty/index.php 




Megan Benjamin

Becky Grand Hart Trophy (tie)

Vaulting


Megan Benjamin vaulted into history by being the first female vaulter to bring an Individual Gold medal back to the
U.S. from the 2006 FEI World Equestrian games in Aachen. She astonished the crowds and world with her grace and agility, not only during her individual performance, but also as a member of the U.S. Silver-medal team. She was the only member of the U.S. vaulting contingency to compete in both team and individual events and the first ever to bring home two medals. As a result of her Gold-medal effort, Benjamin was named the United States Olympic Committee Athlete of the Week – only the second time an equestrian has received that honor. Benjamin also put in brilliant performances at the United States Equestrian Federation® (USEF)/American Vaulting Association (AVA) National Vaulting Championships, maintaining her reign as the Women’s Gold National Champion, a member of the USEF/AVA National Championship "A" Team, and the AVA National Gold High-Point Women's Champion. She has held each of these titles for three straight years. The USEF #1 ranked female vaulter this year, Benjamin won all four WEG selection trials in which she competed this year. Benjamin has become an ambassador with a real presence for the United States and is certainly a star for the future, not only for vaulting, but for equestrian sport as a whole.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Team Silver and Individual Gold – FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen
  • USEF #1 ranked female vaulter
  • 2nd Overall – CVI** Munich
  • Winner of all four World Equestrian Games selection trials in which she competed
  • USEF/AVA three-time Women's Gold National Champion
  • Three-time member of the USEF/AVA National Championship "A" Team
  • AVA National Gold High-Point Women's Champion for the last three years

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Winner of Women’s Gold at CVI* Saratoga
  • Winner of Women’s Gold at AVA Region II Championship
  • Second Place Women’s Gold at Woodside Vaulters Spring Fest

John French
Emerson Burr Trophy
Hunter


The generally composed and reserved John French wowed the hunter scene this past October when he won the 2006 Monarch International
Show Circuit Magazine Professional World Championship Hunter Rider Finals, which took place during the Capital Challenge Horse Show. French is an outstanding representative for the West Coast in the East Coast dominated hunter world. French was uncharacteristically giddy winning what is possibly the highest honor for a hunter rider for the second time in 2006. This win came along after he amassed a string of wins from across the country and even at the U.S. Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. His ability to remain calm and avoid rushing or overreacting under even the tensest circumstances makes French a model hunter rider, even though he also rides jumpers and was a second alternate for the Athens Olympics. His ability to be precise and maintain gentleness throughout the ride is what makes French the hunter rider to emulate.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 1st Year at Desert Circuit I
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 1st Year at Desert Circuit II
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 1st Year at Desert Circuit IV
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 1st Year at Menlo Charity
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic II
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at Oaks Blenheim Spring
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at Lake St. Louis Spring
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at The Country Classic
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at Menlo Charity
  • Champion Green Working Hunter - 2nd Year at Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament
  • Champion Regular Working Hunter at Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic II
  • Champion Regular Working Hunter at Oaks Blenheim Spring Classic III
  • Champion Regular Working Hunter at Oaks Blenheim Showpark Ranch and Coast Classic
  • Champion Regular Working Hunter at Oaks Blenheim June Classic I
  • Champion Regular Working Hunter at Showpark All Seasons Summer Tournament

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Champion Pre-Green Hunter at the Desert Circuit I
  • Champion Green Working Hunter- 2nd Year at the Desert Circuit II
  • Champion Green Working Hunter- 2nd Year at the Desert Circuit III
  • Champion Green Working Hunter- 1st Year at the Desert Circuit IV
  • Champion Green Working Hunter- 1st Year at the Show Park Ranch & Coast Classic
  • Champion Green Working Hunter- 2nd Year at the Los Angeles International Jumping Festival
  • Champion, Reserve Champion and 3rd Place Purebred Working Hunter at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals

Rick Gault
Barbara Worth Oakford Trophy
Arabian


Rick Gault won the Purebred Western Futurity, Champion Purebred Western Pleasure Junior Horse Championship, and Champion Purebred Western Pleasure Open at the 2006 U.S. Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals – an unbelievable accomplishment that has never before been done by one individual. A phenomenal rider, Gault works the horses beautifully in and out of the arena. He brings out the best in every horse he rides into the ring with a patience to be admired, never raising his voice or getting after the horse. As an extraordinary trainer, Gault works hard to develop each individual horse, honing the horse's talents and abilities to the level of a champion. However, with all his successes, he remains one of the humblest horse trainers ever met, giving all the praise and honor to the horses he loves.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse at the Ohio Buckeye Sweepstakes
  • Champion Western Pleasure Open at the Region XV Championship
  • Champion Purebred Western Pleasure at the U.S. Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals
  • Champion Purebred Western Pleasure Junior Horse at the U.S. Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals
  • Winner - Purebred Western Futurity at the U.S. Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Top Five Pure Bred Western Pleasure at the US Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals
  • Top Five Pure Bred Western Pleasure Junior Horse at the US Arabian and Half-Arabian Nationals

Judy Whitney Harris
Bill Robinson Trophy
Morgan


Judy Whitney Harris truly changed the Morgan show world, standing it on its end and showing what horses under her care could become. She combines grace, exquisite horsemanship, kind spirit, dedication, and her love for horses, making her a model equestrian. She is considered by many to be the most amazing Morgan horse trainer of her time. Just stating that a horse was trained by her adds volumes to its resume. Early in 2006, Harris was inducted in the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) Tom Moore Hall of Fame, acknowledging that her feet are firmly planted in
both the Morgan and Saddlebred worlds. Then, the remarkable driver won the World Championship Park Harness at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, amazing the carriage driving world. But this is nothing new to Harris, who has been setting records throughout her career.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Winner of the Park Harness Grand Championship at the Morgan Gold Cup
  • Winner of the Park Harness UPHA Classic at the New England Morgan Horse Show
  • Winner of the Park Harness Championship at the New England Morgan Horse Show
  • Winner of the World Championship Park Harness at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Winner of the World Championship Park Harness at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show
  • Reserve Grand Champion UPHA Park Harness Classic at the Jubilee Regional Championship

Bruce Howard
Norman K. Dunn Trophy
Andalusian


Bruce Howard has been a legend in the in-hand show world for decades. He began his career showing Arabians, and was known for his national winners in multiple divisions. He was a mentor for many young trainers, including two past winners of the Norman K. Dunn Trophy—Greg Gallun and Gareth Selwood. When Howard switched his focus to Andalusians almost 20 years ago, he has had the same impact on their show ring. Since 1985, Howard has shown over 70 Andalusian horses to national or reserve champion titles and hundreds more to U.S. National Top Five honors. 2006 was no exception, as at
Fort Worth in October, Howard once again won the coveted National Grand Champion Senior Stallion Championship with Bolero TRF and the National Grand Champion Senior Half-Andalusian Championship with Scherherazade DPR. His quiet strength and inimitable sense of style coupled with his intuitive relationship with horses makes him the man to beat at halter. Perhaps, what is most amazing of all, is that Howard turns 70-years-young in 2007 and is still the man to beat.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • National Grand Champion Senior Stallion at the IALHA National Championship
  • National Grand Champion Half-Andalusian Senior Mare at the IALHA National Championship
  • National Grand Reserve Champion Two & Under Colt at the IALHA National Championship
  • National Grand Reserve Champion Two & Under Filly at the IALHA National Championship

2005 Accomplishments:

  • National Champion Futurity Three-year-old Filly at the IALHA National Championship
  • National Grand Champion Junior Stallion, Three- & Four-Year-Old at the IALHA National Championship
  • National Grand Reserve Champion Junior Mare, Three- & Four-Year-Old at the IALHA National Championship
  • Top Five Senior Stallion, Five and Over at the IALHA National Championship

Beezie Madden
William C. Steinkraus Trophy
Show Jumping


Beezie Madden’s list of wins is beyond compare. In 2006, at the
FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, she brought back both the Team and Individual Silver medals; in 2005, she anchored the winning U.S. team for the 2005 Samsung Super League; also in 2005, she won the million dollar CN International at Spruce Meadows in Canada on Judgement, and won the $200,000 American Invitational in Tampa, FL, on Authentic. In 2004, she breezed through the Olympic Selection Trials, finishing in first place on Authentic, and with her contribution of double-clear rounds in the Athens Olympic Games, she helped the U.S. team win the Gold medal. What adjectives can be used to describe a career like this… amazing, remarkable, incredible just don’t seem to convey the magnitude of what Madden has achieved. She was the United States Equestrian of the Year for 2005, and the American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year for 2004. With accomplishments like these, her name will certainly be added to the list of show jumping legends.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Team and Individual Silver - 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen
  • Member of U.S. team finishing second in the 2006 Samsung Super League
  • Ranked 1st on USEF Show Jumping Computer Ranking List
  • 2006 Whitney Stone Cup Winner from the USET Foundation
  • Winner of the CN Wellington Finale, CSIO*****
  • Winner of the $40,000 Kentucky Classic Grand Prix
  • Winner of the $50,000 Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup

2005 Accomplishments:

  • USEF Equestrian of the Year
  • Co-Winner of William C. Steinkraus Trophy
  • Named Grand Prix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year
  • Anchor rider for the Champion Samsung Nations Cup teams at six of the eight Super League competitions with her individual ranking in the top three at four of these six Nations Cup competitions, including being 1st individually at CSIO St. Gallen and CSIO Hickstead
  • Winner of $1,000,000 CN International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Canada

Barbara Goodman Manilow
C.J. “June” Cronan, Jr. Trophy
Saddlebred


Barbara Goodman Manilow continued to win an unprecedented string of championship titles in 2006. Showing as an amateur, she once again took home numerous titles from the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show and the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA)/American Royal National Championship. With her statuesque form atop American Saddlebreds such as CH Callaway’s Sugarplum and Boo!, it’s no surprise that Manilow has captured these honors, along with wins from many of the top shows throughout the country. Manilow rides with such control, bringing an energy and strength from the horse that is unparalleled. In 2005, Manilow made World's Championship Horse Show history, leading all riders, drivers and handlers in first place finishes. Never has there been an amateur to win so many championships at the
World Championship show.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Champion Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Amateur Three-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Ladies Three-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Amateur Park Three-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Five-Gaited Amateur at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship
  • Champion Three-Gaited Country Pleasure at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship
  • Champion Three-Gaited Show Pleasure at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship
  • Won the Three-Gaited Amateur Park Stake at the UPHA/American Royal National Championship

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Champion Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited Mare at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Amateur Five-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show
  • Champion Ladies Amateur Five-Gaited at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show

Tim McQuay
Becky Grand Hart Trophy (tie)
Reining


At the 2006
FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Tim McQuay turned out a breathtaking and stunning performance. For his second round, vying for the individual medal, McQuay rode an almost perfect round. Before the score was announced, McQuay dismounted in the show ring and celebrated the exceptional go by performing a jig, to the pleasure of the packed arena. When the score of 230.0 was announced, it proved this celebration was not unwarranted. He added the Individual Silver medal to the Team Gold he had received earlier in the week after an exciting run-off with Duane Latimer, which had the spectators holding their breath with anticipation. These feats only added to an already stunning show record, as McQuay was the first reiner in history to reach the two-million dollar mark in earnings. He has won every reining futurity in existence and holds the respect of not only American reining enthusiasts, but reining competitors and fans all over the world. McQuay is passionate and a trendsetter, as well as a celebrity of the reining world.


2006 Accomplishments:

  • Team Gold and Individual Silver - FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen
  • The leading all-time money earner in the National Reining Horse Association, with over two-million dollars in winnings
  • Tied for reserve champion at the 2006 Adequan/USEF Open Reining Championship

2005 Accomplishments:

  • Silver medalist at the FEI World Reining Masters

Only members active for the 2006 and 2007 competition years will be able to vote.

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