Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman of the Board of The EQUUS Foundation and John Long, President of the United States Equestrian Federation, announced "America's Favorite Equestrians" for 2011 representing the disciplines of Driving, Dressage, Endurance, Eventing, Jumping, Para-Dressage, Reining and Vaulting at their Victory Celebration on Friday, November 4, 2011, at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky. "We are very grateful to the thousands of equestrians who cast their votes with their $5 donations to The EQUUS Foundation," said Jenny Belknap Kees. America's Favorite Equestrians were selected based on the athletes with the highest number of votes recorded in each of the eight disciplines on October 31, 2011. The winner of the Dressage discipline was Olympian Guenter Seidel. "I'm certainly very flattered to have won this contest among such great riders as Steffen, Debbie and Courtney." Seidel told DressageDaily. "I want to thank everyone who voted for me and most of all the Equus Foundation for their donation to USEF/Dressage. It is always a great feeling when you get recognized by your peers."
The program was established by the two organizations to recognize the heroes in our equestrian sport and to build grass roots support within the equestrian community for the many worthy causes supported by The EQUUS Foundation on behalf of horse welfare and the people who benefit from the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal.
The inaugural 2011 program celebrated the eight international disciplines represented on the field of play at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with the equestrians selected by the respective affiliates of the United States Equestrian Federation. The goal is for America's Favorite Equestrian to be an ongoing program with all equestrian disciplines and breeds represented and the winners recognized in a permanent Hall of Fame. "It is our great pleasure to be able to announce the results at the Alltech National Horse Show," continued Belknap Kees, "and to support these disciplines with a $10,000 donation to the United States Equestrian Federation."