Meagan Drew Named 2004 Junior Equestrian of the Year

Meagan Drew, age 18, of Black Forest, Colo., has been named the 2004 United States Equestrian Federation Junior Equestrian of the Year.

Jan. 10, 2005 — Meagan Drew may not have started out as a cookie cutter equestrian, but then again, her break-the-mold approach may have been the leg up she needed to claim success in and out of the show ring.

“I cleaned stalls two summers in a row every day so I could ride horses and take lessons,” says 18-year-old Drew. “It wasn’t my mom writing a check–it was something I had to do. It made me appreciate the lessons I did get and it made me work harder.”

That hard work has paid big dividends, as Drew, of Black Forest, Colo., now claims one of the most prestigious awards afforded to junior equestrians–the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Junior Equestrian of the Year.

Drew’s long list of accomplishments includes wins in dressage, western, saddle seat and hunt seat. In 2004, Drew was the Morgan Grand National Western Seat Senior Equitation World Champion.

The award was established in 1985 to honor a junior equestrian who exemplifies exceptional talent, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport and has made outstanding contributions to equestrian competition. Previous winners include: Sarah Willeman (2000), Reese Richey (2001), Hillary Hoffman (2002) and Betty Cox (2003).

“I’m extremely honored,” said Drew. “I’m very appreciative of this award and so excited to say I’ve accomplished this. I couldn’t have done any of this if it hadn’t been for the support of my parents.”

Drew said she’s learned that real enjoyment comes purely from riding horses, not from who wins or loses. “This is about riding horses. It’s not about the politics involved, or the money. I enjoy riding my horse and that’s what matters to me.”

Drew said at one time she had her eye on an Olympic dream, but it’s pushed aside for now as she focuses on higher education. She’ll head off to Hillsdale College in Michigan at the start of the 2005-2006 school year.

“When I’m out of college, I want to have horses and I want to ride. It’s so relaxing for me,” Drew said. “When I’m older, I’d love to start a program for children, so those who aren’t financially able can have an opportunity to ride.”

In celebration of her achievements, Drew will receive the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy Jan. 14, during the Pegasus Dinner of the USEF annual meeting, in Louisville, Ky.

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