Vote for A Ruf Gal for 2013 USEF Horse of the Year

Announcing the 2013 Horse of the Year Nominees; Voting is Now Open!

From USEF Communications Department – Lexington, Ky. – To reach the highest level of excellence in equestrian sport requires talent, perseverance, a tremendous spirit and often, unwavering courage. In 2013, six horses have shown the world these qualities and more. On January 11, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will bestow two of them with the prestigious title of Horse of the Year, the highest honor the USEF awards a horse. Again this year, both a national and international horse will be crowned.

The six champions have earned their places on the elite list as USEF Horses of Honor, and each will be recognized at the USEF Year-End Awards Gala in January – part of the USEF Annual Meeting – at the Hyatt Regency Lexington in Lexington, Ky.

Additionally, each USEF Horse of Honor will be inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame at the Equus Fête Cheval Étoile on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla.

It will be up to you to choose the two special horses, selecting from a range of talents across the Federation’s breeds and disciplines. Your vote will help determine the champions that join the pantheon of past winners, including hunter Jersey Boy and jumper Flexible (2012), Friesian horse Sjoerd and eventer Neville Bardos (2011), reining horse Gunners Special Nite (2010), dressage horse Ravel (2009), driving horse Jamaica (2008), eventer Theodore O’Connor (2007), jumper Authentic (2006), and dressage horse Brentina (2005).

The 2013 International Horses of Honor are:

A Ruf Gal (Waltenberry)

A Ruf Gal (Lil Ruf Peppy x My Top Sail Gal)(Photo by Waltenberry)
2006 Quarter Horse mare
Owner: Pete Kyle

Pete Kyle’s A Ruf Gal entered 2013 as one of the top reining mares in the country and continued to earn top results in her best season to date. Known as a powerful mare that possesses the grit of a champion, A Ruf Gal has always been highly regarded for her quiet demeanor, which has elevated her to the upper echelons of the sport. Prior to 2013, the talented mare had shown an aptitude for winning as she teamed with owner Pete Kyle along with his wife, Tamra, and son, Reed, to earn many of reining’s top prizes.

A Ruf Gal’s phenomenal 2013 campaign began in April with a fifth-place finish in the CRI3* and a Reserve World Championship Freestyle title at the Kentucky Reining Cup. Next she won the CRI3* and the USA Reining Open class at the NRHA Derby in June, before earning co-champion honors in the CRI3* and a top-10 finish in the Senior Reining division at the AQHA World Show. For her outstanding results in 2013, A Ruf Gal earned the 2013 USA Reining Horse of the Year title. Additionally, with her accomplishments this year, she became only the 30th mare to earn over $100,000 in NRHA, AQHA, and FEI/USEF competitions.


Sam - on the left of the photo, right of the carriage (Marie de Ronde-Oudemans)

Sam (Manno x Kimberly)(On the left of the photo, right of the carriage. Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans)
2002 KWPN gelding – Owner: Misdee Wrigley-Miller

Simon (Kit Houghton/FEI)

Simon (Mr. Blue x Naline)(Photo by Kit Houghton/FEI)
1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding – Owner: Abigail Wexner

The 2013 National Horses of Honor are:

Bizkit (Cally Matherly)

Bizkit (Bonte Bart x Holde Van Emden)(Photo by Cally Matherly)
2001 Part-Bred Friesian stallion – Owner: Gwendolyn Schmidt

Brunello (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Brunello (Breeding Unknown)(Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography)
1998 Hanoverian gelding – Owner: Janet Peterson and Liza Boyd

WGC CHCallaway's Annabel Allison (Shiftlet)

WGC CHCallaway’s Annabel Allison (CHCaramac x Callaway’s Love Lucy)(Photo by Shiftlet)
2004 American Saddlebred mare – Owner: Silver Brook Stables

Voting Is Now Open!

Two of these six exceptional horses will be honored as the overall 2013 USEF Horse of the Year, a mark of distinction that will last a lifetime. Now, it is up to you to decide who will receive the top tribute in 2013.

Simply visit and type in your email address to access the voting portal. Voting will end at Midnight [ET] on Monday, December 30, 2013.

For more information regarding the Horse of the Year program or any of the six Horses of Honor, contact Trisha Watkins, USEF Awards Manager, at 859.225.6944 or


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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