Janine Malone (2022)
This recognition is given to Janine Malone for her lifetime of leadership in the sport of dressage, from a local, national, and international level. It takes a small army working behind the scenes, to pull off any successful horse show or event, and to keep our sport running smoothly. Throughout the years, Janine Malone’s name has become synonymous with words like volunteerism, dedication, and champion. Janine’s years as a hardworking and seemingly tireless volunteer allowed her to channel her fierce dedication to dressage into furthering its development in the US, championing its critical importance to all equestrian sport, all while playing pivotal roles in governance of both USDF and USEF to navigate and map out the future of dressage in this country and the Federations’ roles in achieving those objectives Janine’s impact on our sport can be felt in everything from competitions, like the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships and US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, to the next generation of Technical Delegates and Judges, with whom she graciously shares her wealth of knowledge. Janine has blazed a new trail – becoming the first person to ever be honored as USDF Volunteer of the Year (in its inaugural year of 1998), USDF Lifetime Achievement Award (in 2014), and Hall of Fame Induction in 2022.
To quote Shakespeare: "All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits, and their entrances, and one man or woman in their time plays many parts".
Janine Malone fits the role of Shakespeare’s player – she has played many parts on our US Dressage stage and has influenced the direction US Dressage has taken over the past 25+ years that she has been involved.
I fondly recall a memorable lunch that Janine and I had by the ocean at the AHSA convention in San Diego. Unusual that Janine had down time; it was just two parents talking about our families and discussing our concerns about our children’s educations. As always, she was full of information, common sense and very knowledgeable about the various topics we covered.
It was quite apparent that she had two deeply rooted passions in her life: her world of dressage and her world of her family – her sons, Ben and Sam and her late husband, John. Since then, the family has expanded as her sons and are married, starting families of their own.
Before Janine was the guru of governance, she was a rider. She got her start early with horses while growing up on a farm in a mountainous rural area of western North Carolina. "I remember how I just had to have a pony. We rode western back then, and my sister and I had the kind of ponies that would run away down the mountain and dump you in a barbed-wire fence."
Fortunately, things improved over time. She graduated from Pony Club with an ‘A’ rating. She did hunters, combined training, and fox hunting. As Janine once told the Chronicle of the Horse in an interview: "I’m a typical, type-A perfectionist, so it’s probably natural that I gravitated toward dressage."
Once she made the move to dressage, she competed up to Prix St Georges, and became an instructor and a breeder of horses at Rosinburg Farm, which she and her husband John started in Zebulon, North Carolina back in 1969. For almost 20 years, Janine was also a combined-training judge, TD, and event organizer.
Oh, and I almost forgot, Janine served the US Pony Clubs in various volunteer capacities, including regional supervisor and national examiner. During all of these activities, her son, Sam, gives credit to his late father: "Without the support of my father, neither most of her career in dressage nor many of our achievements in life thus far would have been possible."
The former US Steward General for dressage, Elizabeth Williams once said "She is very detailed-oriented and she loves the rule book. If you have a question about a rule, you ask her."
As a matter of fact, I doubt all of us in this room; collectively can match Janine in her knowledge of USEF rules, USDF Bylaws or USDF Policies & Procedures. No one knows the rules better. Her knowledge of the Rule Book is extensive enabling her to catch when a seemingly minor tweak in one part of the Rule Book could have a major impact on another. We have been fortunate to have her watchful eye, attention to detail, and incredible stewardship when it comes to the rules.
However, that is just one small aspect of Janine. In 1998, she was the first recipient of the USDF Volunteer of the Year award. At that time, one of the presenters said, "Janine illustrates volunteerism at its best."
That was twenty four years ago, and she hasn’t slowed down or rested on her laurels since then in her volunteer work. In 2007, she won the USEF Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy for Distinguished Service to the equine industry. David O’Connor when presenting the award said, "Janine is the epitome of a person who gives everything back to the sport. It is because of people like Janine that this sport is able to happen."
A member of the AHSA/USEF Dressage Committee, the USEF Board of Directors, and the USEF Executive Committee for years, Janine also was USEF Vice-President for FEI Affiliates as well as the Budget and Finance Committee. Currently she is Chairman of the USEF Competition Management Committee. She is also the US representative on the International Dressage Organizers Board. She's a large R judge for Dressage and Sport Horse Breeding, large R TD, and an FEI Chief Steward.
Before Janine was Secretary Extraordinaire of the USDF from 2001 to 2013, she was on the Executive Board as the Region 1 Director from 1996-2001. She was the organizer for the Raleigh CDI for seventeen years before she formed her own show-management company, Rosinburg Events, LLC.
Over the years I have frequently looked to her for guidance, or in the case of the US Dressage Finals, to get it up and running. She was a strong believer of the importance of it being a true show case for the Adult Amateur division alongside the Open division, without one taking away from the other. It was a no-brainer to have Janine be the chair of the organizing committee of the inaugural US Dressage Finals.
Janine is someone who has given her heart and soul to dressage. There are few programs within the USDF she has not influenced or guided. Sometimes, she has cajoled, other times prodded, and sometimes, even whipped her fellow committee members into shape - getting us all to do a better job at whatever it is we're trying to fix or create. I know, because I've been on more committees with her than I can possibly count.
Having sat on many committees with her I am of the opinion that Janine would have been brilliant at anything she put her mind to. We are lucky that one of her primary interests was (and still is) dressage.
Lisa Gorretta perhaps expressed it best when she wrote: "Janine has played a seminal role in the creation of USDF Policies and Procedures, USDF Bylaws, and every Strategic Plan. She has been an active participant (or Chair) in many of the committees and programs, including Competition Management, Judges, Sport Horse, and Regional Championships.
She played an integral role in the transfer of the AHSA Dressage Championships to the successful USDF Regional Championship program our members now enjoy. Her knowledge is encyclopedic and irreplaceable. She has been an active member of every joint "anything" between USDF and USEF (or AHSA).
Janine has probably conducted the job orientation for USDF staff liaisons for more programs than anyone in our organization. She serves as a resource for staff and our volunteer leadership for practically every program we conduct and gives innumerable hours every week in service to USDF, as well as to USEF where she duplicates her efforts for dressage and equestrian sports as a whole.
Janine recently told me she is "a very detail-oriented person". I can only say Janine – that … is an understatement. The dressage community has benefited tremendously from what you refer to as your Type-A personality and is very fortunate that you have given so generously with your time, knowledge, and heart.
Janine, it is my great pleasure to induct you into the USDF Hall of Fame.
-George Williams, USDF President