Two Weeks Left to Vote for U.S. Equestrian of the Year

Phillip Dutton & Mystery Whisper, London 2012 Olympics
Credit : Scoopdyga

Wednesday 21 December - 15h27 | Ian Clayton

Two Weeks Left to Vote for U.S. Equestrian of the Year

From California to Pennsylvania to Florida, Eventing to Dressage to Para-Equestrian Driving, the choice is large. Members of the public are being invited to vote for the Equestrian of the Year in the United States through a simple online ballot. 

 - Two Weeks Left to Vote for U.S. Equestrian of the Year

Credit : USEF

The United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Equestrian of the Year honors the “horseman or horsewoman who has excelled above all others in equestrian competition for the current year, while demonstrating superior sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission” of the Federation. 

Voting will remain open until midnight Eastern time on January 4th, 2017. The USEF Equestrian of the Year will be named on January 13th during the 2017 Pegasus Awards Gala.

Anyone can vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place through the USEF web site once they have submitted an e-mail address. 

Following the nomination process, nine finalists are up for the honor this year, representing diverse disciplines and activities.  

Past USEF Equestrians of the Year include multiple winners Beezie Madden (2005, 2006, 2013, 2014) and Steffen Peters (2008, 2009, 2011). There is no age limitation for award.

Some excerpts on each finalist are below. More information on their careers can be found on the web site (after submitting an e-mail address), as well as the link to vote. 

Finalists for the 2016 USEF Equestrian of the Year, in alphabetical order

Finalists for the 2016 USEF Equestrian of the Year, in alphabetical order - Two Weeks Left to Vote for U.S. Equestrian of the Year

Laura Graves & Verdades, Rio 2016 Olympics

Gail Aumiller  
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 
Friesian/Carriage Driving
“As a lifelong horsewoman, devoted breed advocate, and now a multiple World Champion, Gail Aumiller has proven that with vision and hard work, dreams really do come true, exemplifying all of the outstanding qualities of a dedicated and accomplished equestrian.”

Cynthia Burkman
Scottsdale, Arizona
“For over 25 years, Cynthia Burkman has been one of the top trainers in the Arabian horse world, with numerous National Championships in Western, English, Country, Hunter, Side Saddle, and Show Hack.”

Ted Carson
White Oak, North Carolina
“Ted Carson’s passion for the Arabian horse and the people involved with them knows no boundaries. This has enabled his Butler Farms Training Center to become the world-class breeding, training, and marketing powerhouse that it is today. On any given day, Ted may be judging or showing horses, assisting his clients in determining and reaching their personal goals with their horses, or seeking out the next bloodline that will complement his and his clients’ breeding programs.”

Phillip Dutton
West Grove, Pennsylvania
“Phillip Dutton grew up in the outback of Australia on his family’s wheat, sheep, and cattle farm. Riding was a way of life for this farming family, who participated actively in their local pony club. It is here that Phillip’s passion for eventing began and was the spring-board for his career with horses.”

Laura Graves
Geneva, Florida
“Laura Graves abandoned her career as a hairstylist to turn her unruly horse, Verdades, known as Diddy, into a dressage superstar. Chosen as a foal by her mother from a video, Laura advanced him up the levels herself with the guidance of several top trainers.”

Joel Kiesner
Louisville, Tennesse
Joel Kiesner grew up in the horse business, with both of his parents being professional trainers in Minnesota. He and his wife, Ashton, both train, show, and breed Arabians from their farm in East Tennessee. They have two daughters, Alexis and Ellawynn, who are both national champion saddle seat riders.

 - Two Weeks Left to Vote for U.S. Equestrian of the Year

Lou Roper
Credit : L.Roper/USEF

Stefanie Putnam
West Lafayette, California
Para-Equestrian Driving
"Stefanie Putnam has been working towards accomplishing her international dreams for five years and on August 6, 2016 she did just that as the sole U.S. representative at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands."

Lou Roper
San Marcos, California
"Lou Roper began training horses over 40 years ago at his family’s facility in Davis, Calif. He has won many U.S. Nationals, Canadian Nationals, and Regional titles in various disciplines, including Trail, Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, and Reining."

Hunt Tosh
Alpharetta, Georgia
"Hunt Tosh comes from a family deeply rooted in the equestrian community and has made quite a name for himself. After catch-riding horses for several years as a junior and young professional, he was able to build a business from the bottom up. In 2010, his remarkable performances earned mount Lone Star the prestigious recognition of USEF Horse of Honor."

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