By Ross Creech
The United States Dressage Federation offers numerous opportunities for recognition of service and contribution to the organization and sport. Three of the highest honors that USDF can bestow in this area are most certainly induction into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award, and designation as a USDF Member of Distinction. Each of these commendations utilize unique criteria in determining which of the deserving nominees to recognize with these highest honors. Here, we explore these specific criteria, and upon completion, encourage you to ask yourself if there is anyone you know who meets these requirements and is deserving of a nomination for one of these accolades.
USDF Members of Distinction: Individuals recognized as USDF Members of Distinction have demonstrated exceptional commitment to carrying out USDF’s mission of education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage in their local region. Also, amongst eligible candidates are those who have demonstrated longevity of excellence in dressage and made outstanding contributions to the growth, development, quality, popularity, and appreciation of the sport. USDF Member of Distinction nominees must also have been a USDF Participating (PM) or Group Member (GM), demonstrating consistent and cumulative volunteer activities at local and regional levels, for a minimum of five years, and nominated by a current USDF PM or GM. Nomination Deadline: May 1
Previous USDF Members of Distinction include the likes of Janne Rumbough, Lois Heyerdahl, Sue Hughes, and Bonna McCuiston, to name a few. View All Member of Distinction Honorees
USDF Lifetime Achievement Award: Recipients of the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award have demonstrated extensive and faithful volunteer service, through a lifelong dedication, to both USDF and its mission. This can be evidenced by service as an officer of the organization, a member of the Executive Board, or chair of a USDF Council or Committee. Nominees can be people who have significantly influenced the direction of USDF in their roles as president of a Group Member Organization (GMO), a Participating Member Delegate, or simply as a USDF member contributing to the development of a new project or committee. Nomination Deadline: May 1
Previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include many notable names such as Lazelle Knocke, Marianne Ludwig, Ellen Dixon Miller, Janine Malone, Lois Yukins, and most recently Lisa Gorretta. View All Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductee (Individual): Consideration for an individual’s induction into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame is based on a longevity of excellence in the sport, as well as outstanding contributions to the growth, development, quality, popularity, and appreciation of dressage in the US. Dressage in the US has evolved significantly over the last century, so nominees’ contributions are considered in the context of the stage(s) of development of the sport when the nominee was active, as posthumous nominees are also accepted. The contributions of nominees should be sustained and of regional or national scope, and could include one or more of the following:
- Teaching riders and/or instructors,
- Writing articles or books focused on theory, history, philosophy, and teaching methodologies of dressage,
- Serving or training as a licensed official, including judges at FEI levels, Technical Delegates, and FEI Stewards,
- Training horses and/or individuals that consistently and successfully in upper levels of dressage,
- Competing successfully and consistently in upper levels of dressage,
- Serving as a presenter at educational events, both mounted and unmounted,
- Assuming positions of leadership in major local, regional, or national dressage organizations,
- Developing broad based appreciation of dressage in the US, and/or
- Serving as a role model by virtue of demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship, leading by example, and working to improve the quality of dressage in the US, amongst others.
Any current USDF Participating or Group Member can nominate a deserving individual for induction. Nomination Deadline: May 1
Previous individual inductees into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame include USDF’s founding father Lowell Boomer, Captain John Fritz, Major Anders Lindgren, Sarah Sally Swift, Hilda Gurney, Lendon Gray, Axel Steiner, and most recently Janine Malone, to name a few. View All Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductees
Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductee (Equine): Equines considered for induction into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame should serve as an ambassador for the sport, must be nearing the end of their careers, retired from competition, or be nominated posthumously, and should contribute to the excellence of dressage in the US through their performance and/or breeding records. Just as with individuals being nominated, the careers of equine nominees should have contributed to the growth, development, quality, popularity, and appreciation of dressage. Examples of contributions considered for induction include:
- Consistent and sustained excellence in international competition,
- Consistent, sustained, and successful national careers,
- Service as foundation stock whose offspring have compiled records of successful competition, influencing and improving the quality of American dressage horses, and
- Attracting new participants and increasing the popularity and appreciation of the sport in their role as an ambassador.
Equine nominations can be submitted by any USDF Participating or Group Member. Nomination Deadline: May 1
Previous equine inductees into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame include renowned mounts such as Gifted, Graf George, Seldom Seen, Roemer, Brentina, and most recently Verdades. View All Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductees
Located in the USDF National Education Center, nestled amongst the rolling bluegrass of Lexington, Kentucky, the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame honors and preserves the achievements of the people and horses that have made outstanding contributions to growth, development, quality, popularity, and appreciation of dressage in the United States. USDF encourages members to nominate those that exemplify these characteristics (deadline: May 1) and join us each year at the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, as we recognize their achievements at the Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet. This year’s event will be held November 29 to December 2, at the Hilton Omaha, in Omaha, Nebraska. Visit the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame and Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention pages of the USDF website for more information, or contact the USDF office.