2020 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
Lexington, KY (July 17, 2020) –
The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) is thrilled to announce that Dr.
Hilary Clayton of Mason, MI, Gary Rockwell of Wellington, FL, and Verdades, the
2002 KWPN gelding owned by Laura Graves, make up the 2020 class of Roemer
Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame Inductees. Established to honor and preserve the
achievements of the people and horses that made outstanding contributions to,
and represent the most influential and dedicated within, our sport, Dr.
Clayton, Mr. Rockwell, and Verdades are perfect candidates for induction.
As the inaugural McPhail Chair in
Equine Sports Medicine, the world-renowned equine-biomechanics expert and
researcher Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS, has quite
literally rewritten the rules of dressage. As a result of her research on gaits
and movement, US Equestrian dressage rules had to be revised to reflect the
truth of ho w horses piaffe and pirouette, to name two prominent examples. Dr.
Clayton's groundbreaking dressage-focused research has influenced the sport
from the ground up, from our choices of arena footing and the way we care for
growing young horses to bitting, training, conditioning, and veterinary
care. Dr. Clayton is also currently president of Sport Horse Science, LC,
which is dedicated to translating research data into practical advice for
riders, trainers, and veterinarians through lectures, articles, and private
consultations. Additionally, Dr. Clayton is USDF gold, silver, and bronze
medalist, a longtime USDF
Connection contributing editor, and served as a past member of the
US Equestrian Federation's Dressage Committee.
Gary Rockwell is a USEF ‘S' Judge with Young Horse and Freestyle designations, as well as an FEI 5* Judge, having served as such for numerous Olympics and World Cup
Finals. As a former member of the US Equestrian Team,
Gary and his Danish Warmblood mare, Suna, rode at CHIO Rotterdam in 1993 to
earn a team silver medal, and a team bronze medal at the 1994 World
Championships at the Hague, Holland. Eventually Gary became a 5* FEI Dressage judge
in 2008. Gary
currently serves as a member of USDF's L Program Faculty, as well as an
Honorary Instructor for the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program. Gary served as a
member of the USDF Judges Committee from 2010-2012, and then as chair since 2013.
The great Verdades (Florett AS x
Liwilardo/Goya), “Diddy”, burst onto the international stage in 2014 and
subsequently led the US to multiple medal podiums including Olympic Games, FEI
World Equestrian Games (WEG), and FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. Along with
his owner and rider, Laura Graves, the 2002 KWPN gelding amassed local,
regional, and national wins before becoming a seemingly overnight success.
Graves and Verdades were still practically unknown when they placed second at
the 2014 US WEG dressage qualifying competition and proceeded to stun the world
by finishing fifth individually, the highest-scoring US pair at those Games.
Other major achievements include team and individual Grand Prix Special silver
medals at the 2018 FEI WEG, team bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, silver
medals at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 FEI World Cup Dressage Finals, and team gold
and individual silver at the 2015 Pan American Games. On January 8, 2020,
Graves announced Verdades' retirement via social media.
USDF President Lisa Gorretta, in
her congratulations, added that “with the current circumstances facing us as a
result of the COVID-19 pandemic, USDF has been presented the unique opportunity
to open up the annual convention, providing the entire membership a chance to
experience USDF governance in action, as well take part in the celebration of
the year that was and to recognize luminaries within our sport. I hope that
everyone will join us for what is sure to be an unprecedented convention
USDF offers its sincerest
congratulations to Dr. Clayton, Mr. Rockwell, and Verdades on their induction,
and thank them for all the contributions that they have made, and continue to
make, to dressage in the US. For more information on the Roemer Foundation/USDF
Hall of Fame, please visit the USDF website at www.usdf.org.
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 www.usdf.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (859) 971-2277.