Articles: Press Release
Gene Mische Honored with USEF Lifetime Achievement Award;
Steffen Peters Wins 2008 USEF Equestrian of the Year Honors
Gene Mische and Jessica Moctezuma, photo credit Geoff Oliver Bugbee/USEF
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2009
By Joanie Morris
Cincinnati, OH - The philosophy is pretty simple:
"If you take care of this sport, it will take care of you."
Gene Mische is a lifetime of living proof.
Mische was honored by legions of fans and friends for decades of
involvement in the equestrian world. At the Pegasus Awards Ceremony,
Mische was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award at
the 2009 USEF Annual Meeting.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Mische. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think
I'd be up on this stage receiving this award. It puts me in the company
"He has changed the face of the sport," said USEF President David
His life's work, vision and determination have forged a place in
He hit West Palm Beach, Florida in the 1950's with $26 and two horses.
Without him, horse people may never have found the place.
After years as a trainer, he became a show manager and then planned the
first winter show circuit. In 1965, he continued to revolutionize the
American face of equestrian sport by conceptualizing and promoting the
first U.S. grand prix held outdoors.
He can certainly pick out a horse. His string of hunters and jumpers
have been ridden by the day's biggest names and won some of the world's
most impressive titles.
In 1973, he formed his Stadium Jumping, Inc., to produce shows across
Florida, which aided in growing seasonal migration to Florida for
horsemen. The next year the former sunshine circuit was renamed the
Winter Equestrian Festival.
"This success is not mine alone," said the legend. "I'm just a spoke in
The 1990s saw him assist in the founding of the USET Festival of
Champions, and manage the Olympic Selection Trials for show jumping and
As the new millennia dawned, he continued his dedication to the sport by
taking on the challenge of running the National Horse Show which had
left the historic Madison Square Garden.
Today, Mische is very active in breeding hunters and jumpers at his
Imperial Farm in Palmetto, FL.
Mische has been a promoter of this sport at every level, and tonight the
sport got to say thanks.
Cecile Dunn was not only honored with a Pegasus Medal of Honor and the
Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy, which is awarded at the discretion of the
Dunn, another legend who has made this sport a priority on every level
for decades was overwhelmed by her accolades.
"I never, never expected this," said Dunn of the Sallie Busch Wheeler
Trophy. "These horses have taken me many, many places. I've met so many
wonderful people because of my interest in horses. The USEF has a great
future. It brings together all of us."
>From history to the future: Youth triumphed in 2008 and Jessica
Moctexuma was honored for her achievements and sportsmanship in 2008 and
was rewarded with the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award.
Moctexuma, from Hardwick, NJ, is establishing herself as a force in the
Saddlebred world, from the competition ring to the rescue organizations.
Moctezuma is one of the few multi-disciplined riders in the ring to
achieve success with equitation, gaited and show/country pleasure
mounts, Hackney pony driving and under saddle, Western pleasure, hunt
seat on the flat and road horses.
She's been looking after the sport on her own.
"Its all about the horses," said Moctexuma. "Every horse deserves a
chance, the most important thing is to give back. It's hard to believe
you can be rewarded for something you absolutely love. My parents always
told me to be a good competitor but a better sportsman."
>From the future to the present:
Dressage rider Steffen Peters was recognized as the 2008 Equestrian of
the Year for his incredible achievement and contribution to the sport.
He represented the US at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong with Ravel,
and put on a performance that brought down the house with his freestyle.
The pair ended up fourth, missing an individual medal by the narrowest
Ravel is reasonably inexperienced, 2008 was his first year at the
highest level of the sport, but under Peters' tutelage he was undefeated
leading up to the Olympic Games, including winning the USEF Selection
Trials for Dressage.
"He is my very best friend," said Peters of Ravel. "What he did for me
in Hong Kong was unbelievable. He certainly deserves most of the
Peters commitment to the sport and integrity under pressure is
exemplary. He turned from athlete to super fan in Hong Kong once the
dressage finished and stayed to watch and celebrate show jumping's Team
"The value of somebody's life is not defined by money," said Peters. "It
is about the people around you. I can think of all the people who
supported this award and the people who supported Ravel and me, I'd have
to say I'm one of the richest guys in the whole world."
Peters (who also won the William C. Steinkraus Trophy), despite every
ounce of effort was conducting a dressage symposium and logistics made
it impossible for him to be two places at once. He was seriously
disappointed to miss the celebration in his honor but his character
shown through in a video clip sent from Florida.
"To win the Equestrian of the Year award was a huge honor," said Peters.
"Especially when you look at the other people who have won this award."
Madeleine Mae Genereux won the 2008 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award
sponsored by Breyer Animal Creations(r). At 18, Genereux gives back to
the sport she loves through the Minnesota Hunter/ Jumper Association.
Genereux will receive a trophy, a scholarship to the educational program
of her choice and a lifetime membership to USEF.
Another of the night's honorees was Arabian veterinarian Frederick A.
Metcalf. He accepted the Marty Simensen Memorial Trophy for humanitarian
acts in the equestrian community.
Among the other equestrians bestowed awards were: Reedannland Farms of
Dr. and Mrs. Alan Raun (Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeder's Award);
Joe Fargis (Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Trophy); Cecile Hetxel
Dunn, Linda Allen, Charles "Champ" Hough (Pegasus Medal of Honor); and
Edward Barham and Daniel Lenehan (posthumous Richard E. McDevitt Award
-Additional reporting by Brian Sosby
For online coverage, blogs, videos and more information, please see:
www.usef.org and www.clubequestrian.com
. Please contact Joanie Morris at email@example.com for more
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.