Isabelle Leibler Awarded Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 04, 2011

          Lexington, KY (August 4, 2011) - The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is pleased to announce that Region 8 Young Rider, Isabelle Leibler and Watson 108, were awarded this year's Fiona Baan "Pursuit of Excellence" Memorial Trophy by earning the highest combined average score by a young rider in the three dressage tests. Traveling from her hometown of Greenwich, CT, Isabelle and her own fourteen-year-old, Westfalen gelding, Watson 108, earned double gold at this year's USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior &Young Rider Dressage Championships at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. Leibler reigned supreme in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test with the top score of 67.289%, earning her first gold medal. Isabelle and Watson 108 finished with a gold medal placing in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle with a score of 74.000%. By earning the third highest score in the FEI Young Rider Team Test with a 68.079% she led her team to a bronze medal finish.
          This award, which is on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation and USDF Hall of Fame, has been presented since 1994 to the young rider competing in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Rider Dressage Championships that receives the highest combined average score for all three of their dressage tests; FEI Young Rider Team, Individual, and Freestyle. 
          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 U.S. Dressage Team leader for the 1976 Olympics, in which the U.S. 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 North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championships, the Fiona Baan "Pursuit of Excellence" Memorial Trophy, or the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame visit the USDF website at www.usdf.org.

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 www.usdf.org, email usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.