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USET Foundation Awards Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Show Jumper Carolyn Kelly

Gladstone, NJ – February 15, 2007 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) is pleased to announce that 18-year-old Carolyn Kelly of New York, NY, has been awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy, recognizing a Junior/Young Rider who exemplifies the USET Foundation’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Kelly had an outstanding year in 2006 in the show jumping discipline. With her horse Omona AW, Kelly accumulated a long list of achievements, including being named the USEF Farnam/Platform Horse of the Year in the Junior Jumper division, and winning the $40,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic in Saugerties, NY, and the Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby at the Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, NY. The duo also helped Zone 2 win the Gold Medal at the Prix des States in Harrisburg, PA.

Kelly’s most rewarding competition to date was when she received her pink coat and represented the United States in international competition at the Nations’ Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On her horse Rulanda, Kelly helped the U.S. team win the Gold Medal. “I’m so grateful to the USET Foundation, George Morris and my trainer, Chris Kappler, for making that happen,” Kelly said. “Under their guidance, it was a wonderful experience. I also have to thank my parents for their support and my fantastic horses.”

On the United States team, Kelly competed with fellow Hermès trophy winners Brianne Goutal and Kappler. “It’s kind of a funny fact that we have all won this award,” Kelly remarked. “It definitely makes winning it even more special. Chris is a role model for me.”

Kelly credited her successful year to numerous factors, including staying in Florida for the 2006 winter season to train. “I didn’t commute as in past years,” she explained. “To have that intensive training and tons of hours on horses really helped. Chris has given me a lot of confidence, and he’s a genius in having the right program for the horses.”

Kelly is a freshman at Princeton University in New Jersey and is commuting to Florida for the 2007 season to compete. Recently, at the Winter Equestrian Festival, she competed in her first Grand Prix show jumping event. “I need more Grand Prix experience,” Kelly said. “I have a focus on school, but I hope to keep my riding going, and I hope to represent the United States again as soon as possible and as much as I can.”

Previous Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy Winners:

1983 – Mark Leone

1984 – Jeffery Welles

1985 – Holly Mitten

1986 – Gregory A Best

1987 – Susanne Owen

1988 – Christopher Kappler

1989 – Mollie Bliss

1990 – Kim Keenan

1991 – McLain Ward

1992 – Abigail Lufkin

1993 – Mark Combs

1994 – Gabriella Salick

1995 – Megan Johnstone

1996 – Jonathan Elliot

1997 – Alison Firestone

1998 – Bruce Davidson Jr.

1999 – Chad Geeter

2000 – Elise Haas

2001 – Marilyn Little

2002 – Clark Montgomery

2003 – Will Faudree

2004 – Kristin Schmolze

2005 – Brianne Goutal

2006 – Katie Hamilton

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (http://www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at http://www.uset.org.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kelly receives her award from Hermès representative Bill Whitehead. Photo © 2007 Heather Caristo.


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