Hannah Irons Awarded USET Foundation’s Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy

Gladstone, NJ. – Jan. 19, 2021 – Each year, the USET awards the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to a Junior/Young Rider in an Olympic discipline who exemplifies the Team’s ideals of sportsmanship and horsemanship. Irons, an active member of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program and the FEI Young Rider Individual Test champion at the 2020 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, now joins a very elite group of riders that have gone on to achieve great success on an international stage on behalf of the U.S.

Hannah Irons and Scola Bella
Hannah Irons and Scola Bella

“To be selected this year as the recipient of this prestigious award is very humbling,” stated Irons. “Being recognized and added to this list of elite equestrians exemplifies the network of support that is available to up-and-coming equestrians in the United States. It’s great to see all of the Youth programs growing year over year.

“In the horse world, and in life in general, not everything always goes as planned,” continued Irons. “This award demonstrates that if you keep up the good work it’s really rewarding to see that it pays off.”

Irons has been described as someone who leads by example and who embodies the result of hard work, determination, and grit. Early in her career when many of her peers were competing at the international level on horses, Irons competed in the FEI Pony division on a donated horse and trained her own homebred Paint pony all the way to Grand Prix. For the past three years, Irons has been partnered with Scola Bella, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare that was donated to Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids program by Deb Mullaney. The pair has their sights set on qualifying again for the 2021 FEI North American Youth Championships and making the USEF 2021 Dressage European Young Rider Tour with a longer-term goal of competing in the Under 25 division in 2022.

Irons stressed that her passion extends beyond riding as she is dedicated to growing as an all-around horseman with the hope of managing her own barn one day.

Hannah Irons and Scola Bella
Hannah Irons and Scola Bella

“Throughout my career, it’s my goal to inspire the next generation of equestrians the way that the prior award recipients have inspired me,” she said. “We should always strive to be role models and to set high standards of sportsmanship and horsemanship. It’s not all about competing; it’s about making connections and helping each other along the way. I think the equestrian community is quite strong, especially after 2020. To see US Equestrian and the USET Foundation come together and make things happen the best they can is really exciting.”

The Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Award was established in 1983 by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès in memory of his son, Lionel, an Olympic hopeful trained by U.S. Eventing Coach, Jack LeGoff, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident at the age of 18. A perpetual trophy designed by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is inscribed annually with the winner’s name and permanently displayed at the USET Foundation’s headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Previous winners:
1983 – Mark Leone
1984 – Jeffery Welles
1985 – Holly Mitten
1986 – Gregory A. Best
1987 – Susanne Owen
1988 – Christopher Kappler
1989 – Mollie Bliss
1990 – Kim Keenan
1991 – McLain Ward
1992 – Abigail Lufkin
1993 – Mark Combs
1994 – Gabriella Salick
1995 – Megan Johnstone
1996 – Jonathan Elliot
1997 – Alison Firestone
1998 – Bruce Davidson Jr.
1999 – Chad Geeter
2000 – Elise Haas
2001 – Marilyn Little
2002 – Clark Montgomery
2003 – Will Faudree
2004 – Kristin Schmolze
2005 – Brianne Goutal
2006 – Katie Hamilton
2007 – Carolyn Kelly
2008 – Hillary Dobbs
2009 – Laura Noyes
2010 – Jennifer Waxman
2011 – Tiana Coudray
2012 – Lucy Davis
2013 – Reed Kessler
2014 – Katie Dinan
2015 – Lillie Keenan
2016 – Lucy Deslauriers
2017 – Chloe Reid
2018 – Jennifer Gates
2019 – Daisy Farish
2020 – Brian Moggre

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