Lexington, KY- The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) is pleased to announce that Meghan Slaughter of Middleton, ID, has been named 2017 USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year. This prestigious award honors one outstanding youth volunteer who has contributed, both nationally and locally, to USDF and dressage. As the winner, Meghan will be presented with a perpetual trophy, donated by the Akin family of Warwick, NY, in honor of Lendon Gray, which is on permanent display in the Roemer/USDF Hall of Fame. She will also receive a “keeper” trophy and be featured in the yearbook issue of USDF Connection.
Ever since her first year at Cal Poly, Meghan has been involved as a member of the dressage team, and volunteered her time as assistant coach. During the 2016-17 competition year, she volunteered as Head Coach and Trainer and has guided the team to numerous victories, leading to the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championship. To encourage other non-competing team members to get involved and utilize their riding skills, Meghan also formed and trained students for a quadrille team, which promoted the sport of dressage by performing for university functions such as Parents Weekend and Student Open House. Meghan’s willingness to volunteer her time and talent to college dressage, and the IDA, greatly helps in fostering the future of our sport. When Meghan returned home for the summer, she continued to volunteer her time and talents to dressage. She has been active in assisting with the facilitation of both schooling and recognized dressage shows. Meghan has also given of her personal time to train a young dressage horse, which belongs to an acquaintance who is currently undergoing difficult cancer treatment.
"Meghan Slaughter is dedicated not only to the sport of dressage, but also to its wholehearted spirit. She is an extraordinary volunteer that unselfishly shares her knowledge, skills, and experiences in dressage to both humans and equines alike," stated Janet Herrmann in her nomination of Meghan.
The USDF Youth Programs Committee selected Meghan based on her passion for dressage and her commitment to sharing her experience and knowledge with others. The committee wholeheartedly commends Meghan for her dedication to the sport and the ability to be a positive role model for other youth. Rosalind Kinstler, chair of the Youth Programs Committee, shared this about Meghan's selection, "We hear so much about youth being the future of our sport, and Meghan demonstrates just how true this is. Not only does she have a true passion for dressage, but she gladly reaches out to share this passion with other riders."