December 8, 2009 — The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) announces that 18-year-old Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has been awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Herm?s Trophy, recognizing a Junior/Young Rider who exemplifies the USET Foundation’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.
The award was established in 1983 by Patrick Guerrand-Herm?s in memory of his son Lionel, an Olympic hopeful trained by U.S. eventing coach Jack Le Goff, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident at the age of 18.
Waxman had a successful year in all aspects of the hunter/jumper discipline, but her success in the jumpers was outstanding. She and her horse Venturo won the individual gold medal and team silver medal at the 2009 North American Junior Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) in Lexington, Ky. Waxman made the step up to the grand prix level, too, and she and Venturo placed second in the $50,000 Country Heir Grand Prix, second in the $25,000 FEI Prix de Lexington, first in the $5,000 Open Welcome in Kentucky and sixth in the $35,000 Merrill Lynch Grand Prix. Waxman was also competitive in the High Junior Jumpers with Shakira, who won a $10,000 classic in Lake Placid.
What makes Waxman’s achievements more amazing is that it was her first time ever competing at Young Riders and in grand prix classes this year. She said that Venturo “loves the excitement, and we thrive off of stuff like that.” She added, “When the pressure’s on, he’s a great horse to be on. It was exciting to be part of the Zone 5 team at Young Riders, to help and get a silver medal. It was just as exciting as winning individually.”
Of being honored with the Lionel Guerrand-Herm?s Trophy, Waxman said, “I was really surprised to hear that I won. To be recognized and have my name on the trophy with the past winners is really an honor. Everyone who has won it previously has gone on to such big things. Also, the individuals who sit on the committee that decides the winner of this award are true icons in the equestrian world, and that’s really an honor to be recognized by them.”
Waxman wants to continue riding in grand prix classes next year and is preparing to enter college. “Riding for the United States team would be my ultimate goal,” she said.
“I’ve seen her for a long time, and I’ve taught her at different times. She is a very good rider,” said U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe George H. Morris. “She’s had big success despite the fact that she hasn’t had everything on a silver platter. She had to work for it and had to ride green horses and not sometimes the best horses. Of course, that in the long run is an advantage. She’s made it to the top despite not having the easiest road. She is a very, very sweet girl.”
Waxman gave thanks to her parents, Gary and Diane Waxman, her trainers, Ken and Emily Smith, dressage trainer Gretchen Singleton, her grooms, Gail Shepherd and Chantal Van Dyne, veterinarians Dr. Genovese, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Emily Miller and Dr. Traphagen, and farrier Shane Allen.
The presentation of the Lionel Guerrand-Herm?s Trophy will be made during the USET Foundation’s “Road to Kentucky” Benefit Dinner Dance on February 5, 2010, at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Fla.