Will Coleman, Margaret Duprey and Christian Simonson honored by the USET (2)
January 25, 2023
By Staff Writers
WELLINGTON, Fla.--Eventing Olympian Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Va., was awarded the United States Equestrian Team Foundation’s Whitney Stone Cup while Margaret Dupree of West Grove, Pa., was awarded the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award and Christian Simonson of Ventura, Caif. received the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy at special ceremonies held during the USET Foundation’s Gold Medal Club Reception on Jan. 22 at The Wanderer’s Club in Wellington, Fla.
Will Coleman and Off The Record during the cross-country phase of the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championship at Pratoni del Vivaro in Rome, Italy, where the U.S. team won the silver medal (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)
The Whitney Stone Cup is awarded annually by the USET Foundation to an active competitor whose consistent excellence in international competition and whose standard for sportsmanlike conduct and contributions as an ambassador for the sport and for the USET Foundation exemplify the Team’s highest ideals and traditions.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Whitney Stone Cup,” said Coleman, who was ranked fifth on the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings at the end of 2022.
“The competitors that have received this award are and were some of the greatest horse people in the world, many of whom I’ve looked up to my entire life. Some of the people I most admire in our sport have won it, so to be that person and to be given this award is humbling. I’ve never thought of myself as being the type of person to receive this award, so it’s really gratifying.
“Success in eventing is often at the end of a very long and challenging road,” said Coleman. “For every great experience and achievement, there are many disappointing and formative moments. You go through these ups and downs many times and at many different levels throughout your career. It is thanks to the support from organizations like the USET Foundation, and from your owners and sponsors, that you can continue to climb the ladder and reach your fullest potential. Hopefully that is at an event like CHIO Aachen or the FEI World Championships, but wherever you have success on an international level, the USET Foundation certainly helps you to get there.”
Coleman was a member of the U.S. eventing team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, with Twizzel and at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C., with Tight Lines.
Coleman on Off The Record won the 2018 Great Meadow International CCIO4*-S; the 2019 Jersey Fresh International CCI4*-S; and the 2021 Carolina International CCI4*-S; and in September of 2021, were the first American combination to win the CCIO4*-S division at CHIO Aachen, Germany.
In September of 2022, Coleman and Off The Record were part of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team that won the silver medal at the FEI Eventing World Championship held at Pratoni del Vivaro in Rome, Italy, and qualified the U.S. team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
“We have another big year in front of us,” he said. “The horses will hopefully head to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event; that is our first big goal of the year. If the opportunity is there, I’d always want to go to CHIO Aachen again. We also have the Pan American Games at the end of the year, and I have a couple of younger horses who might be in the running for selection for that championship.”
DUPREY was awarded the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, created in 2015 and awarded annually to a USET Foundation Trustee.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award in memory of Mr. Duchossois, who was such a well-respected horse person,” said Duprey. “This sport has brought me tremendous joy over the years and my hope, as a member of the USET Foundation’s Board of Trustees, is to give back just as much as I’ve received. I aim to support initiatives that ensure the success of our U.S. high performance athletes and teams at major international competitions.”
Margaret H. Duprey, center, USET Foundation Chairman, President and CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. (left), and the USET Foundation's Vice President of the Board of Trustees William H. Weeks (right) (Photo by JumpMedia)A lifelong member of the equestrian community, Duprey has served on the USET Foundation’s Board of Trustees for more than 15 years, playing an integral role in supporting and donating to several fundraising campaigns.
Most recently, she spearheaded the “Trustee and National Advisory Committee (NAC) Challenge,” that inspired USET Foundation Board of Trustee and NAC members to make contributions and pledge multi-year gift commitments.
Thanks to Duprey’s leadership, the Challenge exceeded its goal and raised more than $3 million for high performance programs.
“Margaret has long been instrumental in supporting high performance equestrian sport in the United States, and I’ve been humbled by her generosity over the years,” said W. James McNerney, Chairman, President, and CEO, of the USET Foundation. “Her consistent and active participation on the USET Foundation’s Board of Trustees demonstrates her unwavering commitment to ensuring prominence for our U.S. teams on the world stage.”
In addition to her work with the USET Foundation, Duprey and her husband Robert (Bob) own and operate Cherry Knoll Farm Inc., which is home to high performance dressage and show jumping horses that represent the U.S. in international competition.
Duprey has owned several horses for high performance U.S. athletes including Olympic show jumping gold medalist Laura Kraut, Paralympic para dressage bronze medalist Rebecca Hart, and international dressage rider Todd Flettrich.
Currently, she owns horses for Olympic show jumping gold medalist Laura Kraut and international dressage athlete Todd Flettrich.
With Duprey’s Otto, Flettrich was named alternate to the U.S. dressage team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
“Initially, I got involved with U.S. para dressage rider Rebecca Hart as part owner of Schroeter’s Romani, a mare that represented the U.S. at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in North Carolina,” said Duprey. “I loved and respected Rebecca’s passion, drive, and desire to win on the international level. That was exciting and led me to get involved with others. Luckily, I had the opportunity to purchase the horse Cedric, which introduced me to Laura Kraut. This all led me to support the USET Foundation.”
SIMONSON, 20, received the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy, annually awarded to a junior or young rider in an Olympic discipline who exemplifies the Team’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship.
Christian Siminson on Zeaball Deawind was three-time gold medalists at the 2021 FEI North American Youth Championships (Photo by KTB Creative Group)“It is truly an honor to receive the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy and join an esteemed group of athletes that have been recognized for sportsmanship and horsemanship,” said Simonson. “I sincerely want to thank those around me including my trainer Adrienne Lyle and fellow rider Katie Duerrhammer. They are incredible role models that demonstrate what horsemanship truly means. Without them, this would not be possible. I plan to uphold the ideals of the USET Foundation and continue the journey of learning from both human and horse.”
Taking advantage of the US Equestrian (USEF) High Performance Pathway, Simonson competed at the 2017 and 2018 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) earning the team gold medal and individual silver medal in the Junior division in 2017 and the team silver medal in the Young Rider division in 2018.
Simonson was also awarded the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze and silver medals in 2017.
More recently, in 2021, he won triple gold in the Young Rider division at NAYC riding Zeaball Diawind, and he was also selected to represent the U.S. at the Future Champions Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany, where the team took home bronze.
In the summer of 2022, Simonson on Son of a Lady had a third-place podium finish in the Young Rider Freestyle at CHIO Aachen in Germany.
“My journey along the High Performance Pathway has been extremely worthwhile,” he said. “These initiatives implemented by the USET Foundation, USEF, and Discover Dressage, including the European Tour and NAYC, have provided me with invaluable experiences.
“Team experiences are rare in our sport,” he said. “These opportunities have shown me how vital it is to develop strong and supportive team dynamics in order to succeed on the international stage against the best in the world. These events have prepared me to represent my country, hopefully at the highest level. Without the USET Foundation's initial support, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Simonson recently made the transition to the professional ranks and looks forward to showing in the FEI Young Rider and Small Tour divisions this winter at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.
In the near term, he hopes to be selected for team outings in Europe as well as make his debut in the Under 25 division with his new mount Harmony’s Duval.
Longer term, Simonson is focused on learning as much as possible with the goal of one day competing on senior teams at major venues such as the FEI World Cup Finals and the Olympic Games.
“If I were to give advice to a junior or young rider, it would be to have resilience,” he said. “There are constant challenges. Not every ride will be perfect, and that is okay! You have to enjoy the process and be grateful for the small wins and successes. Surround yourself with a supportive team whom you want to emulate, as they will be an essential part of your journey. Never stop learning or listening; there is always something to improve or work on when it comes to riding. Lastly, and most importantly, always place your horse's welfare first, no matter what. Horses are the reason we are here, and they give their all to us.”