Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Courtney Ball as the winner of the 2015 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award. The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is designed to identify potential future leaders in the equine industry and provides an opportunity for the USEF to recognize outstanding youth members for their achievements. An American Saddlebred competitor from Scottsdale, Ariz., Ball was nominated by the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA).
The 17-year-old high school senior began riding American Saddlebreds at the age of six and has competed in a variety of divisions from showmanship to show pleasure driving. For her achievements, Ball has won six ASHA Youth High Point Awards and several American Saddlebred Association of Arizona (ASAA) High Point Awards. Ball has been an ASHA Youth Club member for 11 years and is the president of her local club, the Bridleway BarnStormers Youth Club. She is also a 10-year member of the ASAA and its Junior Board, and had been a member of the USEF High School Equestrian Athlete program for three years. Ball is an active member of the American Saddlebred International Youth Program, having received all 19 achievement badges.
A student at Pinnacle High School, Ball is involved in Best Buddies, Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, Diversity Club, Key Club, National Honor Society, Society of Womanly Scholars, and Student Government. She takes several honors and AP classes and maintains a 4.1667 GPA. Ball plans to attend William Woods University in the fall of 2016 and double major in Business and Equine Science.
Ball is also very active in her community. She volunteers at a local preschool and with a local Haiti fundraising initiative and Feed My Starving Children. Ball has organized canned food, clothing, and school supply drives as well as efforts to make "no-sew" blankets for a local children's hospital.
Ball will receive a commemorative trophy, a $1,000 grant to the educational program of her choice, and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500.
The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is Nicholas Roberts (Granby, Mass.), nominated by the American Morgan Horse Association. He will receive a $500 grant.
The other national nominees were:
Mary Baker, Wooster, Ohio (Arabian Horse Association and United States Dressage Federation)
Hannah Bentz, Boca Raton, Fla. (United States Hunter Jumper Association)
Katie Berger, Naperville, Ill. (International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Association)
Connor Farley, Waverly, W.Va. (Western Dressage Association of America)
Chase Gillispie, Ona, W.Va. (American Driving Society)
Margo Goldfarb, Franklin, Tenn. (American Connemara Pony Society)
Emily Harsomchuck, Madera, Pa. (International Friesian Show Horse Association)
Maria Muzzio, Clifton, Va. (American Endurance Ride Conference)
Kaleb Patterson, Stanwood, Wash. (American Vaulting Association)
Molly Sherman, Dickerson, Md. (United States Eventing Association)
For more information on the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award, please contact Jennifer Mellenkamp, Director, National Breed/Discipline Affiliates, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 225-6955.