Dressage rider Katie Hamilton of Oxford, MI, has won the USET Foundation Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award and will be honored in a presentation at the USET Foundation Dressage Festival of Champions resented by Paul Miller, Inc., on Sunday, June 18, in Gladstone, NJ. The award is presented each year to a young rider, age 16 to 21, who best exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.
Hamilton is a 20-year-old college junior studying nursing at Grand Valley University. She has been riding since the age of seven and has trained with several top professionals over the years, including Steffen Peters, Betsy Steiner and Jan Ebeling. In her rise up the levels in dressage, Hamilton garnered many regional and national awards, including numerous awards at the Midwest Dressage Association Championships, competing in classes ranging from Training Level through Prix St. Georges, and in 1999, she was the USDF Region 2 Reserve Champion at Second Level. With her talented mount, Magellan, Hamilton earned a Team Bronze medal at the 2001 Junior Dressage Championships at Gladstone, and a Team Silver medal at the 2001 North American Junior Dressage Championships at Paxton Farms in Ohio.
After Magellan sustained a career-ending injury, Hamilton began a journey with a new horse, Noviembre, a six-year-old Dutch gelding. The pair caught the eye of Conrad Schumacher during a young rider clinic, and he invited them to Europe to train. Though this was a tremendous opportunity, it was not financially feasible for Hamilton, and she had to decline; Schumacher then recommended trainer Jochen Hippenstiel at Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, IL, and an outstanding rider/coach match was made. Hippenstiel’s training methods have been very successful with Hamilton and Noviembre.
In 2004, Hamilton and Noviembre competed on the Region 2 Team at the North American Young Rider Championships (NAYRC) and won a Team Junior Olympic Bronze medal presented by the USET Foundation. In 2005, Hamilton was on the Region 2 team that won the Team Gold medal at the NAYRC; Hamilton placed fourth individually. In September 2005, Hamilton won three championships at the USDF Region 2 Finals--the Young Rider Team Test, the Prix St. George and the Young Rider Freestyle--all with scores in the 70 percentile. As a result of her accomplishments at the NAYRC, Hamilton represented the United States in the first FEI Young Rider World Cup Championships in Frankfurt, Germany, in December 2005.
Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful.A perpetual trophy designed by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is inscribed annually with the winner’s name and permanently displayed at the USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. Hermès supports the award annually through the presentation to the winner of one of its hand-made competition saddles.
A committee consisting of William C. Steinkraus, Jack Le Goff (with whom Lionel trained), James C. Wofford and Lionel’s father, Patrick Guerrand-Hermès, select the recipient of this distinguished honor.
Past winners of the award and their respective disciplines to date are:
1983-Mark Leone (Show Jumping)
1984-Jeffrey Welles (Show Jumping)
1985-Holly Mitten (Three-day Eventing)
1986-Greg Best (Show Jumping)
1987-Susanne Owen (Dressage)
1988-Chris Kappler (Show Jumping)
1989-Molly Bliss (Three-day Eventing)
1990-Kim Keenan (Dressage)
1991-McLain Ward (Show Jumping)
1992-Abigail Lufkin (Three-day Eventing)
1993-Mark Combs (Three-day Eventing)
1994-Gabriella Salick (Show Jumping)
1995-Megan Johnstone (Show Jumping)
1996-Jonathan Elliott (Three-day Eventing)
1997-Alison Firestone (Show Jumping)
1998-Bruce O. Davison, Jr. (Three-day Eventing)
1999-Chad Geeter (Three-day Eventing)
2000-Elise Haas (Show Jumping)
2001-Marilyn Little (Show Jumping)
2002-Clark Montgomery (Three-day Eventing)
2003-Will Faudree (Three-day Eventing)
2004-Kristin Schmolze (Three-day Eventing)
2005-Brianne Goutal (Show Jumping)
On the Scene - USET Festival Of Champions
Kaitlyn Hamilton and Noviembre Travel to Germany for the FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage Final
USA Region 2 Wins Team Gold Medal in Dressage at 2005 CN North American Young Riders’ Championships, Presented by Adequan
Team America Wins AHSA Junior Dressage Team Championships Presented by Cosequin