The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Kelsey Kimbler as the winner of the 2010 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award, sponsored by Breyer Animal Creations. Kimbler was selected from an outstanding group of youth representing their respective recognized breed/discipline affiliates from across the country. Kimbler, of Aberdeen, SD, was nominated from both the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).
Kimbler has shown an unwavering commitment to her sport. She was chosen to win this award because of her impressive dedication to everything she attempts. Horses came into her life 11 years ago, when she started in the show ring as a walk-trot rider. A year later she started riding endurance and has never looked back. Kimbler has won the AERC Junior National Hundred Mile Award twice in its four years in existence. This award is given to the junior rider who completes the most 100 mile rides in one year. Kimbler also holds the record for being the only junior to complete five 100-mile rides in one year. She also has represented the AHA Youth Association as a Region 6 delegate and through involvement in 4-H events with her Arabians.
Her commitment does not stop witht her horses. Kimbler will test for her professional dance levels this year, and her goal is to teach younger children, to cover the cost of college. She also is a member of the Keystone National Honor Society which requires her to complete 30 hours of community service along with maintaining at least a 4.0 grade point average. Additionally, she is an active member of her school’s cross-country team and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
Kimbler’s future plans include professional school after a degree in biology. When it comes to endurance Kimbler says, “One day I hope to be helping juniors through their first ride as a sponsor and mentor.” Although she is not absolutely sure of her future endeavors, she is sure of one thing: “I really just love riding bareback in my backyard. So as long as I can do that I will be content, anything else is just icing.”
Kimbler will receive a trophy, a scholarship to the educational program of her choice, and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500. Kimbler, along with the other national nominees, will be recognized in January 2011 at the USEF Annual Meeting in Lexington, KY.
The other national nominees were:
• Kahlie Kroells, Hamburg, MN (American Hackney Horse Society)
• Rebecca Jones, Efland, NC (American Morgan Horse Association)
• Lauren Riggins, Winston Salem, NC (American Road Horse and Pony Association)
• Delynn Uttecht, Omaha, NE (American Saddlebred Horse Association)
• Macy Plemmons, Lewisville, NC (American Shetland Pony Club)
• Laura Orr, Topsail Beach, NC (Paso Fino Horse Association)
• Isabelle Leibler, Greenwich, CT (United States Dressage Federation)
• Gina Malito, Warren, OH (Unites States Eventing Association)
• Kara Dunegan, Manassas, VA (United States Hunter Jumper Association)
• Rachel Laufer, Utica, PA (Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America)