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USET Foundation Awards Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy to Show Jumper Hillary Dobbs

Gladstone, NJ - January 14, 2007 - The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) is pleased to announce that 19-year-old Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, has been awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy, which recognizes a Junior/Young Rider who exemplifies the USET Foundation's ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

"I'm very honored that the USET Foundation has chosen me, and I'm truly grateful," Dobbs said. "To be in the presence of the past riders that have won, like Jeffery Welles, Chris Kappler and McLain Ward, is truly an honor."

Dobbs started out the year strong with four grand prix victories in a row. She and Corlett won both $25,000 grand prix events at the St. Clement's Saratoga Horse Show series. She took the win in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix on a Thursday with Quincy B and returned for a win on Sunday in the $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix on Corlett. Throughout the year, Dobbs has also had consistent success in the amateur-owner jumper division.

"The summer started off amazing, and it just kept getting better. It was my first full year in the grand prix, I've got some great horses, and everything just came together. It was truly a great year," said Dobbs.

At the Washington International Horse Show, Dobbs was named the Leading Open Jumper Rider in her first year of top international competition, and her horse Marengo was named the Leading International Horse at the 123rd National Horse Show. Dobbs' greatest achievement this year was competing for the United States when she rode on the gold medal winning team at the Nations Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In her first time riding for the team, Dobbs was double clear on Quincy B. She remarked, "That's something that I'll always remember. It was such a thrill for me. It was my first international competition, my first time wearing the red coat, and the first time I trained under George Morris. I feel like once you experience that international team competition, you want to keep doing it."

Also on the team in Argentina was former Guerrand-Hermes trophy winner Brianne Goutal. Dobbs' close friend Carolyn Kelly won the trophy last year. "It's very exciting to win this award and to be in the likes of the grand prix riders that are so successful now, but it's also very exciting that two of my friends have won it," Dobbs noted. "I hope we can continue to live up to the honor that the USET Foundation has given us and deliver in the future."

She noted that she owed a lot to her trainers, Missy Clark and John Brennan, as well as her family. "It's a great award for not only me, but for Missy and John. Over the years, they've been patient and supportive the whole way. It's been a long journey," she said. "It's really a testament to them and their program that they could bring me along. I'm so grateful to Missy and John and my family. It's been a rewarding year for all of us; for all of the work that everybody has put in."

Dobbs is a sophomore at Harvard University, and she wants to elevate her riding career once she graduates. "I'm still only a sophomore, so I'm going to try and ride as much as possible during my career at Harvard," she said. "I want to take it very seriously, and I look forward to focusing more on my riding when I get out of school."

Previous Lionel Guerrand-Hermes 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

2007 - Carolyn Kelly

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: Hillary Dobbs, winner of the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes trophy from the USET Foundation. Photo (C) 2007 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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