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 (USEF) has announced 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. Candidates needn’t be potential Olympic superstars or national medal finalists. They can participate at any level of competition, including local events. What’s more important than their blue ribbon accomplishments is that they exemplify the principles of positive sportsmanship.
The program’s goal is designed to develop youths to become leaders in the equine industry from all breeds and disciplines, and 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.
Nominations are now open and entries will be accepted from USEF-recognized affiliates through Oct. 31, 2007. Each affiliate then sends their nominee’s name and qualifications on to the USEF for further scrutiny.