Concord, N.C.—Dec. 6, 2023—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association honored Annual Award winners on Tuesday, December 5 at the 2023 USHJA Annual Meeting's Evening of Equestrians. Held in Concord, North Carolina, USHJA President Mary Knowlton and Master of Ceremonies Mike Lowry led the presentations and recognized deserving members for their contributions to the sport.
The William J. Moroney Visionary Awardhonors an individual, group, organization or corporation deemed inspirational, influential and integral to furthering the Hunter and Jumper disciplines. Like the award’s namesake, the winner should have a keen ability to plan for the future, demonstrate endless passion and depth of knowledge of and for the Hunter/Jumper sport. They should offer innovative thinking at every opportunity and inspire others, as well as challenge them to their best at all times. This year's recipients were Marty Bauman and Colleen McQuay.
Bauman, of North Foxborough, Massachusetts, has been a staple in the industry's media operations for over 40 years. He founded his own Classic Communications in 1979, going on to become the director of public relations for the United States Equestrian Team and currently the executive director of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum. His accolades include serving as press officer at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games; 10 FEI Show Jumping World Cup Finals; and the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. Throughout his time in the industry, Bauman's dedication to the sport and passion for public relations have helped put equestrian sport in the spotlight. "If I am being given this award because of what I have given to the horse show world, all I can say is: anything I've given to the horse show world is nothing compared to what it has given me," said Bauman. "I thank the USHJA and everybody in this room. I thank everyone who has been part of my life and the horse show world itself."
McQuay, of Aubrey, Texas, is an integral member of some of USHJA's most popular Hunter programs. In addition to being a trainer and rider, she served as a founding member of the Association and has contributed to the success of the International Hunter Derby and Green Hunter Incentive programs, including the Rider Ranking System designed to give more prize money back to riders. Local to her home in Texas, McQuay helped establish the Super Series Group in 2012 with the goal of growing the Texas Hunter industry. Her commitment to the Hunter discipline has served members across the country and advanced the sport to what we know it as today. "I need to share this with all of the people that I was lucky enough to get to work with over all the years," said McQuay. "Thanks to the USHJA and everybody involved in creating these awards and letting us know that our work is appreciated. All the memories that I have, even the heavy debates, are treasured memories."
Robin Rost-Brown, of Ocala, Florida, is this year's recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes volunteers behind the scenes who work the long hours with a passion for bringing the sport forward and providing a safe, fair and understandable sport for fellow equestrians. "This year's award winner is a person I can count on 100% all of the time. She is integrity through and through. She is strength. She is quiet. She is peace, she is wisdom and she is Robin Rost-Brown," said Knowlton upon presenting the award. Rost-Brown is co-vice president of the USHJA Board of Directors and has spent years dedicated to the Hunter/Jumper sport. Along with training top riders, Rost Brown has her USEF “R” Hunter and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation cards and has presided over shows across the country. In addition to serving on the USHJA's Board, Joint Equitation Task Force, Hunter Working Group and Rules Committee, she sits on USEF’s National Breeds and Disciplines Council and National Hunter Committee. Her tireless efforts to support the sport are integral to the growth of the Hunter/Jumper community.
Robin Rost Brown - Volunteer of the Year
President's Distinguished Service Award
The President's Distinguished Service Award was developed to recognize and honor the dedication and service by members and volunteers to the USHJA and our sport. The Award recognizes those individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to bring the Hunter/Jumper sport to a new level and to benefit the USHJA membership. This year's recipients are Beverly Bedard, Jim Hagman, Connie Tramm Hunt, Liz Soroka, Cricket Stone and Peter Wylde. Bedard, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, is a dedicated horsewoman who has been licensed as a recognized steward since 1967 and later received her large R for judging Hunters, Hunter Seat Equitation and Jumpers. She has stewarded prestigious competitions including the National Horse Show, Capital Challenge, Gulf Coast Classics, Tryon International Equestrian Center, Upperville, Pennsylvania National Horse Show and many more. In 2013, she was awarded The Edna Lytle Perpetual Trophy during the USEF Pony Finals for her dedication and service to the Hunter/Jumper community. Hagman, of Moorpark, California, is a professional in the Hunter/Jumper sport for more than 40 years after building a successful lesson and training program, Elvenstar, from the ground up. Passion for growing the sport and helping upcoming athletes pave the way for their future, Hagman has turned Elvenstar not only into a top Hunter/Jumper facility but also focuses on growing horsemanship skills. Elvenstar is host to USHJA programs including hosting MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Regional Training Sessions, is a USHJA Recognized Riding Academy and host to live educational sessions for the new USHJA Instructor Credential. Hunt, of Haslett, Michigan, is a large "R" judge for Hunter, Jumping Seat Equitation and Hunter Breeding, and a small "r" Jumper judge. Hunt is very involved with educating USHJA members through her involvement in being a lead clinician in Licensed Official clinics, USHJA education webinars, co-chair of the USHJA Officials Education Committee, and a member of the Licensed Officials Committee for USEF. Soroka, of Shelter Island, New York, is a well-known face at horse shows in the Northeast for her impeccable skills in event coordination, organization, assisting show grounds crew, building jumps and recently co-founding StableMaster LLC which allows managers and exhibitors to order needed stable supplies at shows. Her work does not go unrecognized, as she was awarded the Vital Horse Show Staff Award 2018 and is an integral part of making sure horse shows run smoothly, no matter if the task in behind the scenes or out in the ring. Stone, of Gladys, Virginia, is heavily involved in USHJA sports governance and educational programs. She sits on the USHJA Board of Directors, is a USHJA Instructor Credential, holds a large "R"/C1 Steward Measurement Certification, is a Certified Schooling Supervisor, member of the USHJA Affiliate Regional Council for Zone 3-5, Vice Chair of the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Committee and member of Zone 3 Committee. Her passion for furthering the sport and education of members is a great commitment to the association. Wylde, of Wassaic, New York, is heavily involved with the MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, serving as National Training Session head clinician since the program's inception in 2009. His passion and commitment to the sport, love for the horses, and enthusiasm for teaching draws him back to the program each year.
The USHJA congratulates this year’s Annual Award recipients. In addition to these honors, previously announced nomination-based award recipients were also honored during the Evening of Equestrians. The USHJA extends thanks to Official Sponsors CWD, Parlanti and Nutrena. A special thanks also goes to Supporting Sponsors Aiken Horse Park Foundation, Explore Cabarrus County NC, Hodges Badge Company, Human Touch, RingSide Pro, Tryon International Equestrian Center and US Equestrian for their support of this year's Annual Meeting. The 2023 USHJA Annual Meeting continues with important sports governance meetings through December 7. For more information on the USHJA Annual Meeting, including resources and details on select virtual sessions, visit ushja.org/annualmeeting.