I’m incredibly honored to be named 2016 Equestrian of the Year by US Equestrian. So much goes into your career as an athlete in this sport, and it’s not something you do on your own. There are so many people who support you.
First, your family, then your team who works so hard every day, then your owners and sponsors who make the dream a reality, and finally your friends who stick by you through thick and thin. I’ve had an incredible amount of support since I moved to this country, and I have to thank everyone who has believed in me along the way.
And, of course, thank you to HND Group’s Mighty Nice, who was also named US Equestrian International Horse of the Year. It’s an incredible honor and very humbling for our team and Happy’s owners, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Kevin Keane, Michael Bombar and Evie Dutton. He’s such a deserving horse, not just in the way he competes but in how he loves life.
He is a wonderful example of an event horse because while he’s not super brilliant in any one phase, he genuinely loves competing and puts his heart into it. It’s amazing what you can achieve when all that comes together. His late owner Bruce Duchossois believed strongly in Happy’s talent and loved this horse, and our team dedicates this award to him and also to Lee Lee.