USDF Names Gwen Ka'awaloa 2022 Volunteer of the Year

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 24, 2022

Lexington, KY (October 24, 2022) - The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) is pleased to announce that USDF Certified Instructor and USEF ‘S' Dressage Judge Gwen Ka'awaloa has been named its 2022 USDF Volunteer of the Year. Members selected for this honor have demonstrated exceptional commitment towards carrying out USDF's mission, through consistent and cumulative volunteer activities, making this year's recipient no surprise, considering that for the past 21 years and counting she has worked as an EMT and as a Critical Care Tech with Parker Adventist Hospital Emergency Department.

As if her high stress profession doesn't keep her busy enough, Gwen also runs her own Kaimana Equestrian LLC. Somehow, over the years, Gwen has found time to be an active volunteer in USDF Region 5's largest Group Member Organization (GMO), Rocky Mountain Dressage Society, holding many different titles, including President, while also playing an integral role in Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Competitions and the Great American/USDF Regional Championship Program. Most recently, in addition to earning her USEF ‘S' Dressage Judge certification, Gwen was also selected as chair of the newly formed USDF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce. Together with her fellow members and staff liaison, multiple areas have been identified where USDF can encourage more people to come into the sport, increase participation at the GMO level, and mentor non-traditional participants.

In her nomination, former USDF President Lisa Gorretta added, “Gwen is committed to identifying and supporting anyone who wishes to be in our sport, ‘paying it forward' as a mentor to others, and encouraging those in whom she sees potential.” Her enthusiasm to mentor and educate the next generation of our sport, along with her extraordinary contributions, both professionally and volunteer-wise, epitomize what the USDF Volunteer of the Year Award represents.

As this year's honoree, Gwen's contributions and accomplishments will be recognized at the returning Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet, held Friday night of the 2022 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, being held in Lexington. During the event, Gwen will be presented with a perpetual trophy, established by Lisa Gorretta, which is on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, as she is recognized alongside other dignitaries like 2022's USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year, Member of Distinction, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductee. The night will also feature the presentation of USDF Rider and Breeder of Distinction Awards, as well as the Adequan®/USDF Year-End and All-Breeds Awards.

Convention attendees can also catch Gwen hosting Thursday evening's education session First Aid – A Response to Equestrian Emergencies. To register for the convention and purchase tickets to the Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet, visit the 2022 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention website.

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.