Laura Noyes Awarded Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy

For Immediate Release
Friday, August 29, 2008

          Lexington, KY (August 29, 2008) - The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is pleased to announce that Laura Noyes and her Trakehner gelding, Syncro, were awarded this year's Fiona Baan "Pursuit of Excellence" Memorial Trophy.  Laura is originally from Falmouth, ME, but now lives in Delaware, OH, where she is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University and trains with George Williams. 
          When asked how she felt about being awarded this prestigious trophy, Laura exclaimed "Winning the Fiona Baan trophy is more than I ever expected of my experience.  It was always a goal of mine to medal at Young Riders, so coming home with a silver, a gold, the Fiona Baan Award, and the Dressage Style award is pretty surreal.  I'm so thankful to my family for their never-ending support, my trainer for his countless hours of help and advice, and of course my horse who is just the best!  It hasn't been easy taking a First Level horse and turning him into a competitive FEI horse, but I wouldn't have ever had it any other way."
          Since 1994, USDF has presented this award, which is on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, to the young rider competing in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Rider Championships that receives the highest combined average score for all three of their dressage tests; FEI Young Rider Team, Individual, and Freestyle.  The Fiona Baan trophy consists of an elegant bronze horse head in a double bridle created by American sculptor, Jan Woods. The sculpture is mounted on a wood base which displays the engraved names of each horse and rider combination along with the year in which they won the award.  Jan Woods is best known for her depiction of horses and has work displayed in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.
          The "Pursuit of Excellence" is the legacy Fiona Baan left to all the FEI Young Riders, and indeed to everyone who ever knew or worked with her.  For nearly 30 years, Ms. Baan worked tirelessly with great dedication to the United States Equestrian Team (USET).  She was US Dressage Team leader for the 1976 Olympics, in which the US won the Bronze Medal, the 1987 Pan Am Games, and for the Bronze Medal dressage team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
          For more information about the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Riders Dressage Championships, visit the USDF Web site or contact the USDF sport programs department.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.