American Saddlebred Horse Association’s Devin Sell Wins 2019 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

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Devin Sell USEF Youth Sportsman's Award
Devin Sell, 2019 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award Winner. Photo by Caitlin Reason.

U.S. Equestrian announced Devin Sell of Georgetown, Ky, as the winner of the 2019 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award in recognition of her 2019 contributions and achievements. The USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award identifies outstanding youth members actively involved in their respective discipline or breed organizations and acknowledges their potential as future leaders in the equine industry. The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) nominated Sell, who is involved with ASHA and her local chapter of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization.

Sell’s achievements in the competition ring are amplified by her dedication to her horses, barn family and the sport as a whole. She is active in the ASHA youth programs, including the ASHA Youth Conference, and volunteered at the Saddle Seat World Cup and Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show. She participates in youth judging clinics and is a member of the U.S. Equestrian Lettering Program and is on track to complete the program as a varsity athlete upon high school graduation next year. Sell also organized an informational meet-and-greet at her public library to promote the American Saddlebred breed.

Sell is a member of the National Honors Society and an accomplished tennis player, and she intends to study pre-veterinary sciences and equine business management in college. Her dream is to become a large animal veterinarian, specializing in horses, and run her own lesson program for children and adults to help them learn proper riding and horse care.

“Devin is our barn’s youth group president, and she is an invaluable mentor for the younger girls,” said Nancy Brannon, Sell’s trainer. “In her role as president, she has spearheaded multiple community service events, including a coat drive for the homeless shelter and a back-to-school supply drive for the local women’s shelter.”

The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award is Ella Doerr of Avon, N.C., who was nominated by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA). Doerr served as the youngest chair of the USHJA Youth Committee at just 16 years old and has been an ambassador for USHJA in many different capacities. She received the USHJA Youth Leadership Award in 2016 and received the USHJA Foundation Gochman Family Grant to attend the 2017 USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm.

Doerr is committed to improving access to equestrian sport. She has been studying American Sign Language for the past four years to assist in lessons with deaf children. She also volunteers her time by helping prepare ponies to be used in therapeutic riding programs for differently abled youth.

Passionate about education, Doerr is a tutor and plans to attend college and major in public relations and communications. An avid writer, Doerr intends to continue being a freelance writer to equine magazines throughout her high school and college careers.

Nominees for the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

The other national nominees includes nominees from U.S. Equestrian’s other affiliate organizations.

Nina Barretts of Holland, Penn. – Arabian Horse Association (AHA)

Barretts is an active member of both U.S. Equestrian and the Arabian Horse Association and regularly competes at shows in both dressage and English pleasure. She is involved with several different academic clubs and volunteers with the Laurel Nobilis Arabians and the Appalachian Service Project.

David Botana of Portland, Maine – United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA)

Botana is a rising star for the U.S. Para Dressage Team and is actively pursuing a spot on the U.S. Para Dressage Team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Botana is a passionate advocate and leader in his community for equity, social justice and public policy.

Isabelle Braden of Decatur, Ga. – United States Dressage Federation (USDF)

Braden is an accomplished dressage athlete with the United States Dressage Federation who has competed at major competitions, including the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), and a dedicated volunteer. Braden is passionate about history and understanding the political climate and global issues, and she intends to pursue a career in law.

Korbin Eckert of Spokane, Wash. – Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA)

Eckert is a member of multiple breed and discipline organizations and was presented with the 2018 Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) Youth Sportsmanship Award. He continues to promote equestrian sport and the WDAA through his volunteer and peer role model endeavors.

Francesca Franzosi of Hammonton, N.J. – American Vaulting Association AVA)

Franzosi has been a member of the American Vaulting Association since 2018 and is passionate about the vaulting discipline, volunteering for and participating in open houses to promote the sport. She enjoys competing with her team, the Shooting Stars.

Nora Goldfarb of Franklin, Tenn. – American Connemara Pony Society (ACPS)

Goldfarb is a member of the American Connemara Pony Society Youth Board and the United States Pony Clubs. She is co-secretary for the Middle Tennessee Eventing Association and aims to be a part of a board of directors for her local eventing or show jumping community after college.

Elizabeth Henry of Lafayette, Ind. – United States Eventing Association (USEA)

Henry, who was nominated by the United States Eventing Association, was part of the 2019 Area VIII NAYC Eventing Team and is actively involved with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association as a volunteer. Henry works at the Pletch Equestrian Center, and she is wholly dedicated to ensuring the health and comfort of her and others’ horses.

Samantha Holyfield of Concord, N.C. – American Hackney Horse Society (AHHS)

Holyfield, who was nominated by the American Hackney Horse Society, is an accomplished horsewoman, with many driving accomplishments on her resume. Her ambition is to work in the therapeutic horsemanship or occupational therapy industries, using horses as a way to help people heal from mental or physical traumas or disabilities.

Taylor Hudson of Fairview, Penn. – American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA)

Hudson has served as a Regional Delegate for the American Morgan Horse Association Youth Council since 2017 and is the organizer and manager of the Tristate Morgan Horse Show Youth Contest. She is a member of the Morgan Patriots and has completed Level Three of the AMHA Horsemastership Badge Program.

Anna Aubrey Hutchinson of Boyle, Miss. – Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America (WPCSA)

Hutchinson is a member of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America and currently rides for Rollingwoods Farm, where she assists in the day-to-day operations of the farm twice a week. She volunteers at Bayou Academy and is a member of her school’s National Junior Honor Society.

Gabriella Santaniello of Suffield, Conn. – International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA)

Santaniello, who was nominated by the International Friesian Show Horse Association, is a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers as a coach at her school’s writing center. She has also served as president of Hearts and Hoofbeats 4-H Club for four years.

Madison Waller of Beaumont, Texas – International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA)

Waller has competed at the International Andalusian and Lusitano Association National Championships for the past four years. She is a dedicated volunteer in her community, donating her time and talents to organizations like Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Helping Hands.

Learn more about the U.S. Equestrian Youth Sportsman’s Award. For additional information, please contact Natalie Norwood, Championships Program Manager, at nnorwood@usef.org or (859) 225-6951.

Stay up to date with U.S. Equestrian’s youth programs and all 29 recognized breeds and disciplines by following US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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