FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Antonio, Texas ----- Dec. 13, 2017  ----- Following a full day of important rule change proposal discussions on Tuesday, Dec. 12 during the USHJA Annual Meeting, presented by World Equestrian Center, the 2017 USHJA Evening of Equestrians, presented by USHJA Zone 7, brought laughs, tears and standing ovations as USHJA recognized 18 exceptional members for their contributions to the sport and outstanding achievements.
 
Cheryl Rubenstein of Memphis, Tennessee, was awarded the prestigious USHJA Volunteer of the Year Award. Rubenstein serves as a Board member, on the Executive Committee, USHJA Foundation, Audit Committee, and is chair of the Awards Committee. She has served in a variety of roles over the last eight years and is an avid Adult Amateur competitor.
 
Cheryl Rubenstein (center) receives the Volunteer of the Year Award from USHJA President Mary Babick and Marla Holt, managing director of awards & merchandise at USHJA. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

"She gives 110 percent to each of the committees on which she serves, performing her tasks with passion and enthusiasm," said USHJA President Mary Babick of Rubenstein. "She truly goes above and beyond in her commitment to serving the organization as well as our members."
 
In her first USHJA Annual Meeting serving as President, Babick also had the opportunity to recognize key individuals who have excelled this year in their duties as volunteers going beyond the call of duty with the President's Distinguished Service Awards: Diane Carney, Algonquin, Illinois; Rachel Kennedy of Brookeville, Maryland; DiAnn Langer of Johnston, South Carolina; Kimmie Risser of Paris, Kentucky; and Terri Young of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
From Left to Right: Marla Holt with President's Distinguished Service Awards winners Terri Young, Diane Carney, DiAnn Langer, and Kimmie Risser, as well as USHJA President Mary Babick. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian and former USHJA president, had the pleasure of announcing Alvin Topping of Sagaponack, New York, as the USHJA's first Director Emeritus.
 
"Behind every life changing event, you will find a person who had a brilliant idea and a vision to make it happen," said Moroney. "A consummate horseman, teacher and true gentleman Alvin Topping has selflessly served our community..."
 
US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney and USHJA's Marla Holt with Alvin Topping, who was named USHJA Director Emeritus. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA

Topping was instrumental in creating the USHJA and giving the hunter/jumper sport its own dedicated organization, and he served on numerous USHJA and USEF committees. His contributions to the sport are tremendous and he was awarded the USHJA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, along with Beth Miner.
 
In addition to the surprise awards, USHJA presented Dianne Johnson of Kirkland, Washington, and Philip A. DeVita of Apopka, Florida, with the USHJA Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation of their awards included video tributes that highlighted their incredible achievements.

Dianne Johnson and Marla Holt. Photo credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
Philip DeVita and Marla Holt. Photo credit/USHJA

Kelly DeSaye of Farmingdale, N.J., accepted the Amateur Sportsmanship Award, which was created to recognize Amateur Owner and Adult Amateur exhibitors who display excellence and integrity by supporting fellow competitors and volunteering their time and resources to various aspects of the industry. DeSaye received a Charles Owen helmet in addition to the award.
 
Douglas Wheeler and his son accepted the Mrs. A.C. Randolph Owners Legacy Award, on behalf of the Wheeler Family. This award recognizes past or current owners who have been true patrons of the industry creating a legacy of giving back to the sport through dedication and support.
 
Donna Martin of Pottersville, New Jersey, and Misty Morgan of Little Rock, Arkansas, accepted the Jane Marshall Dillon Award for East and West respectively. This award recognizes equestrians who have devoted their lives to teaching and mentoring riders beginning their education in the hunter/jumper discipline. 
 
Avery Lambert, 12, of San Jose, California, accepted the USHJA Youth Leadership Award, which is presented to a young individual who demonstrates exemplary sportsmanship, a commitment to equestrian sport, and serves as a leader and role model to his or her peers. Roy Burek of Charles Owen presented the award, and Lambert received a helmet.
 
Another outstanding young equestrian Madelyne Brymesser, 14, of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, was recognized as the USHJA nominee for the US Equestrian Youth Sportsman's Award, which was created to identify future leaders within the equine industry across all breeds and disciplines and distinguish outstanding youth for their achievements.  Roy Burek of Charles Owen presented the award, and Brymesser received a helmet.
 
Two exceptional horse show staff were recognized for their invaluable role in delivering the very best hunter/jumper competitions. Kristen Vale-Mosack of Saugerties, New York, received the East Coast Vital Horse Show Staff Award, and Troy Powell accepted the award on her behalf. Nancee Tepley of New Hall, California, was awarded the West Coast Vital Horse Show Staff Award, and Stephanie Wheeler accepted on her behalf.
 
Andrea Simpson of Lexington, Kentucky, received the Dash for Cash Award, along with a RevitaVet Therapy System.
 
The awards ceremony ended with an After Party, sponsored by Parlanti. Party goers enjoyed a photo booth with props, karaoke and dancing. Read more about award winners here.

For more information about the USHJA Annual Meeting, visit ushja.org/AnnualMeeting
 
About World Equestrian Center
The World Equestrian Center is family-owned, professionally-operated, and features 850 permanent stalls. Plus more than 200,000 sq. ft. of indoor, climate-controlled schooling, and competition arenas with grandstand seating in Wilmington, Ohio. The World Equestrian Center was designed to offer the ultimate equestrian competition experience for both horse and rider. For more information, visit www.WEC.net .


Media Contact:
Megan Lacy
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