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Madeleine Genereux Wins USEF/Breyer Youth Sportsmanship Award

(Pequannock, NJ – Jan. 30, 2009) -- A life centered on volunteering has been rewarding in many ways for Madeleine Genereux, winner of the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation Youth Sportsman’s Award sponsored by Breyer Animal Creations®. Genereux, 18, of Stillwater, Minnesota, was nominated by her local horse show association, Minnesota Hunter Jumper Association (MHJA). MHJA nominated her for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Youth Charter Revere Bowl which she won. After winning the USHJA Youth award, the USHJA nominated her for the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award. The award is designed to develop youths to become leaders in the equine industry from all breeds and disciplines and the award is named after the Sportman’s Charter which is the motto of the USEF. Genereux was selected from an outstanding group of young adults from across the country. Breyer signed on as title sponsor in 2008.

Breyer’s sponsorship of the award made the honor especially meaningful for Genereux. Like many avid riders and competitors, Maddie Genereux’s childhood included Breyer model horses. “I live on a farm with six real horses and 44 Breyer horses. My pony hunters and drafts, Arabs and Paints, Gaited horses and eventers all live together happily,” she said.

“We are honored to sponsor this award and to recognize outstanding young equestrians from all disciplines,” said Stephanie Macejko, Breyer’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. “We know that Breyer has been a part of their lives and our sponsorship gives us a chance to thank them for their support.”

Volunteerism has been a major part of the Genereux’s life since her early teens. In eighth grade, she began helping at a local food bank through her church. In ninth grade,

Genereux joined a service partnership, Mahtomedi Service, a program that improves life in community through volunteer work. “I started out low on the totem pole but by junior year I was part of the core group,” she said. The volunteer group collected over a ton of food for local people, raised funds through garage sales and helped with landscaping the community. In her senior year of high school, the group initiated a recycling campaign which increased recycling in her high school alone by 250%. “The student body really got involved; it was incredible to watch the school come together. There is no bigger joy than spreading success to someone else,” said Genereux.

As a junior MHJA member, Genereux also helped created a junior board in which youth become more involved at horse shows. The junior board held ice cream socials at shows, helped at clinics, and worked as jump crew.

Through it all, Genereux kept up her grades. The National Merit Scholarship winner was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Now a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, Genereux has aspirations to become a doctor. She spends her time studying, volunteering and tutoring at a local elementary school and working out at a local gym, practicing gymnastics. Her horse Nairobi, a dark bay Selle-Francaise jumper, stayed home this semester, though Genereux hopes to bring him to school in the future.

Genereux credits her mother, a rider and her first trainer, for getting her involved with horses. “She is able to stay in touch with her passion as well as help us [her siblings] at shows. I am so grateful for everything she’s done for me.” Today, Genereux trains with Mary Konu and Mary Armstrong at Brookside Farm.

In accepting her award from USEF President David O’Connor and Breyer’s Kathleen Fallon, Genereux said, “I am honored to be recognized in the sport I love so much. My Breyer collection fostered my passion and the USEF keeps that passion alive.”

As for her future in equestrian sport, Genereux is certain that horses will always be in her life. “I know that horses are my passion, always have been, and always will be. I hope to keep riding through medical school and ride along with my career.” Ultimately, she hopes to combine her passion for horses with a career as a radiologist.

Praise for Madeleine Genereux

“What set Madeleine apart from the other excellent nominees are her well-rounded efforts to give back – she is active in the equestrian community and the MHJA. She has outstanding academic accomplishments and she has demonstrated an on-going commitment to the community around her. Her passion and exuberance are inspiring.”

—Karen Homer-Brown, USEF Managing Director of National Affiliates


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