The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced George "Joey" Gadd as the winner of the 2012 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award. Gadd, 17, was nominated by the American Vaulting Association.
Gadd, Saratoga, Calif., demonstrated a commitment to vaulting as a nine-year member of the AVA and Mt. Eden Vaulting Club. He’s attended numerous national competitions, competing for a second year at the Gold level, and earning wins at the Chilliwack (British Columbia) and Kentucky CVI competitions. Gadd has attained the necessary scores to compete at the FEI four-star level and was named the individual male alternate for the 2012 FEI World Vaulting Championships this year in Le Mans, France. He hopes to compete in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
In addition to vaulting, Gadd is a 4-H member and competes at high school rodeos in cutting with his 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Tapatime. Gadd is a member of the California State Horsemen's Association, which he has represented at many community events and parades.
Gadd also has a passion for the U.S. Air Force. He’s a member of the Civil Air Patrol, the Auxiliary of the USAF with a cadet program for youth. He earned the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant. Gadd also participates in the John J. Montgomery Memorial Cadet Squadron 36, which focuses on aerospace education, emergency services, physical fitness, moral leadership and character development. He was selected to attend the Cadet Officer's Basic School at Naval Station Lemoore, which requires high academic standards. He hopes to study meteorology at the University of Missouri and become a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Gadd enjoys mentoring new and young vaulters. He also volunteers his time bringing vaulting horses to Via West Campus, a program for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, allowing the residents to experience the joy of riding.
Gadd will receive a commemorative trophy, a $1,000 grant to the educational program of his choice, and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500.
The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is Victoria Oto of Maraga, Calif. She was nominated by the Arabian Horse Association and will receive a $500.00 grant.
The other national nominees are:
- Mallory Capps, Cumming, Ga. (American Endurance Ride Conference)
- Emily DeArmitt, Savona, N.Y. (American Morgan Horse Association)
- Drew Taylor Hewitt, Bermuda Run, N.C. (American Saddlebred Horse Association)
- Taylor Prince, Herscher, Ill. (American Shetland Pony Club)
- Katie Berger, Naperville, Ill. (International Andalusian/Lusitano Horse Association)
- Michelle Meyers, Genoa City, Wisc. (International Friesian Show Horse Association)
- Ayden Uhlir, Kirkland, Wash. (U.S. Dressage Federation)
- Mary Dawson, Opelika, Ala. (U.S. Eventing Association)
- Henley Adkins, Moorpark, Calif. (U.S. Hunter Jumper Association)
- Sydney Collier, Ann Harbor, Mich. (U.S. Para-Equestrian Association)
The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is designed to identify potential future leaders in the equine industry and provides an opportunity for the USEF to recognize outstanding youth members for their achievements.