Articles: Press Release
David O'Connor Is Named Equestrian Of The Year
The Olympic eventer is the first in the sport to take the title twice
USA Equestrian, Inc.
(Formerly American Horse Shows Association)
4047 Iron Works Parkway,
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258 2472
Fax (859) 231 6662
Web site: www.equestrian.org
After a remarkable year, David O'Connor, 41, of The Plains, VA, has been
named as USA Equestrian's 2002 Equestrian of the Year. O'Connor is the first
two-time winner of this award in the history of the sport. A stellar
horseman, O'Connor was chosen from a group of eight of the country's most
outstanding athletes that were already bestowed the title of Equestrians of
The eventer first won the award in 2000 largely for his individual gold
medal winning performance at the Sydney Olympics, where he rode Custom Made,
an Irish Thoroughbred gelding owned by Joe Zada. While at the games,
O'Connor turned in the best eventing dressage score in Olympic history when
he opened the individual competition with a score of 29.00 penalties. He was
the first U.S. athlete to take the gold medal in the sport since 1984.
This past year has also brought significant achievements. His Olympic gold
medal horse, Custom Made, carried him to victory once again at Fair Hill
International. Before the competition, O'Connor announced the event would be
the last for the 17 year-old prize-winning gelding. At Radnor Hunt
International, he also won the USA National Two-Star Eventing Championship.
In addition, O'Connor distinguished himself in a team capacity. Riding
Giltedge, an Irish Thoroughbred gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars, he led the
team to gold at the World Equestrian Games in Spain.
The Equestrian of the Year award is presented to the individual who has
"excelled above all others in equestrian competition for the current year,
while demonstrating superior sportsmanship and dedication to the principles,
vision, and mission of USA Equestrian." The winner is determined by vote of
the general membership, USA Equestrian Board of Directors and equestrian
O'Connor was presented with the Robert P. Strub Trophy at the Pegasus Awards
Dinner, January 17, 2003 during the USA Equestrian Annual Meeting at the
Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington, KY.
For more information, please contact Sarah Holt, Public Relations on
(859) 225 6974 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. USA
releases are available on our web site - http://www.equestrian.org/ .
USA Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S.,
is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of
dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and
vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian
competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the
Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800
competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of
competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and
technical delegates who officiate at these shows.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian sport
in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from
the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe
competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be
the best national equestrian federation in the world.