Past Fiona Baan Award Winners

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In 2021, Roberta Williams presented the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy to Region 7’s Christian Simonson, as the Young Rider with the highest combined average score in the three dressage tests. The late Fiona Baan worked for the US Equestrian Team for nearly 30 years and was the US dressage team leader for the 1976 Olympics, the 1987 Pan Am Games, and the 1992 Olympics. Andrew Ryback Photography.

This award, which is on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation and USDF Hall of Fame, has been presented since 1994 to the young rider competing in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Riders Dressage Championship that receives the highest combined average score for all three of their dressage tests; FEI Young Rider Team, Individual, and Freestyle.

The “Pursuit of Excellence” is the legacy Fiona Baan left to all the FEI Young Riders, and indeed to everyone who ever knew or worked with her. For nearly 30 years, Ms. Baan worked tirelessly with great dedication to the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and the Young Rider’s Championships. She was U.S. Dressage Team leader for the 1976 Olympics, in which the U.S. won the Bronze Medal, the 1987 Pan Am Games, and for the Bronze Medal dressage team at the 1992 Olympics, in Barcelona. This award recognizes hard work and the pursuit of excellence in the sport Fiona dearly loved.

We picture some of the award winners here. A complete list can be found on the USDF website.

2012

Triple YR gold medalist Brandi Roenick on Weltino’s Magic. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2013

Ayden Uhlir receives the Baan trophy from Allyn Mann of Adequan, Stephan Hienzsch, and Roberta Williams. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2014

Gold-medal-winning young rider Catherine Chamberlain with USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams and USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2015

Natalie Pai riding Fritz San Tino. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2016

Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy recipient Nicholas Hansen (center) with USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch and USDF FEI Junior/Young Rider Committee chair Roberta Williams. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2017

Region 1’s Chase Shipka (podium, center) receives the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy from (standing, from left) US Equestrian’s Hannah Niebielski and USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams. Photo by ESI Photography/FEI

2018

Region 2 young rider Callie Jones receives the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy and the Dressage Style Award from USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams and USDF Education Department maanager Kathie Robertson. Photo by SusanJStickle.com

2019

Last year’s recipient, Region 2’s Callie Jones, again won the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy, as the overall highest-scoring dressage young rider. Presenting were USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch and USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams. Photo by Meg-McGuire.com

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