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Hope Hand (1949-2022) Honored with 2022 USEF Lifetime Achievement Award


    Lexington, Kentucky – December 13, 2022 – Paralympian, eleven-year USEF Board member, and United States Para-Equestrian Affiliation (USPEA) founder Hope C. Hand of Newtown Sq., Penn. was honored with the 2022 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Lifetime Achievement Award. Hand died June 12, 2022, of pancreatic most cancers in her house surrounded by her household earlier than being honored with this title. An accolade that envelopes a passionate profession and private journey for Hand. An honor she would settle for with a big smile and snicker. Hand was the Government Director of the U.S. Para-Equestrian Affiliation, a two-time U.S. Paralympian, and worldwide board member representing the para-equestrian sport. She was an equestrian athlete first, driving as a 10-year-old with Spina Bifida, leaving her wheelchair on the bottom to benefit from the approach, problem, and love of bonding and driving a horse. When her daughter Amy researched the Para-Equestrian self-discipline and the Paralympics for college, Hope (a aggressive athlete in lots of sports activities) was excited that she might probably attain the world stage on horseback. There was no aim too excessive for Hand, a lifelong theme all the time encouraging others all through her equestrian profession. As a horse household she was surrounded by the game. Her daughter was a pony clubber. She lived alongside the property the place the Radnor Fox Hunt would run. She attended all completely different exhibits in many various disciplines, and maintained friendships that lists like a Who’s Who of well-known equestrians. She by no means hesitated to introduce herself and there was no bridge she wouldn’t cross.

    Hand’s first Paralympics was Atlanta 1996. In 1997 she earned gold and bronze on the British Invitational. In 1997 she competed within the Bradshaw Problem Cup on the Competition of Champions, with fellow crew members Steffen Peters and Guenter Seidel. On the 1999 World Dressage Championships Denmark, Hand earned a bronze. She was on the U.S. 2000 Sydney Paralympic crew and served as Staff Captain. Along with her expertise and want to develop the Para-Equestrian self-discipline, in 2006 she was instrumental in serving to embody Para Dressage into the USEF and FEI. She served on many boards and committees via a number of many years together with the FEI, USEF, Para Dressage, Technical committees, Path Worldwide, USDF, Reins for Life, NAJYRC, U.S. Pony Membership, and extra. Her personal venture started in 2009 when she created the non-profit, the USA Para-Equestrian Affiliation. She noticed the necessity to have USPEA assist to market, develop the grassroots, encourage younger equestrians, and assist help and promote the worldwide riders, drivers, and occasions. The USPEA was the primary motive U.S. Para Dressage grew to become a typical phrase and talked about in different equestrian disciplines. She was happy with what she completed however by no means stopped. Because the Para-Equestrian self-discipline grew to become identified she continued to concentrate on new athletes, coaching coaches, and creating alternatives on the nationwide and native degree. She labored passionately with a smile on her face. This ornament actually represents a lifelong dedication and like to the equestrian sport.

    President of United States Eventing Affiliation, Diane Pitts, famous, “I had the true pleasure of attending to know Hope Hand via numerous governance actions with the USEF. She was all the time very gracious however extraordinarily targeted and a fierce advocate for para-equestrian athletes. Within the transient time I started working along with her, Hope taught me a lot concerning the self-discipline of para-equestrian. She additionally demonstrated the facility of dedication and the willingness to search out options to points by creating new concepts and new pathways to success. Shedding Hope is a significant blow to all equestrian sports activities.”

    USPEA Secretary and worldwide para-dressage athlete Ellie Brimmer added, “I first met Hope at my FEI classification. She mentored me as I discovered my footing on the worldwide scene. We grew to develop into excellent pals over time, and she or he gave me the boldness to really feel like I had the talents to take up a number of my present management positions. Hope was tenacious in her quest to develop the para dressage sport in the USA. She understood development comes from all ranges and collectively we did issues like attend growth clinics in Virginia and FEI conferences in France. With out Hope, para sport in the USA wouldn’t be the place it’s at the moment, and as she receives this award, it ought to drive the remainder of us locally to proceed Hope’s imaginative and prescient of the USA para dressage program as a world powerhouse, with a robust basis of grass roots athletes which have the instruments to have the ability to attain the elite degree.”

    Hand was an vital determine in so many elements of the para-equestrian self-discipline, however she was additionally the one which made the world go round for her household. Her daughter Amy Hand Capozzoli expressed, “My mother remains to be getting the popularity she actually deserved, but by no means requested for. What an unbelievable individual: daughter, sister, athlete, pal, equestrian, spouse, mother, mom-mom, world-renowned chief, and advocate in para-equestrian sports activities. She wore many hats and was by no means idle, all the time on the lookout for the subsequent nice life journey. I’ll proudly settle for this nice honor and award for my mother in Lexington, KY subsequent month on the Pegasus Awards dinner on January twelfth. I’ll all the time attain for the celebrities, mother, in order that at some point I may even see you once more. I like you extra.”

    Hope Hand incomes the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award is a tribute to her lifelong love and dedication for the Para-Equestrian sport and for all riders that took one further step additional in their very own lives and equestrian paths due to Hope Hand. Hand actually represented the definition of this accolade.

    From USEF: “The Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges the horseman or lady whose lifetime expertise and accomplishments within the equestrian world exemplify unusual devotion to competitors with horses and whose equestrian profession and horsemanship have regularly elevated the game’s excellence.”

    If you need to attend the presentation of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in the course of the Pegasus Awards Reception and Dinner, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, please go to

    Attend the USEF Lifetime Achievement Presentation
    2023 US Equestrian Annual Assembly and Awards
    The place: Hyatt Regency Lexington, 401 W. Excessive St. Lexington, KY 40507
    When: Pegasus Awards Reception and Dinner – Thursday, Jan. twelfth

    Hope Hand Memorial Grant Fund

    USPEA will likely be establishing a Hope Hand Memorial Grant fund in reminiscence of our beloved Hope Hand for use towards direct athlete grants for competitors and training.

    Donations could also be made to USPEA and earmarked for the Hope Hand Memorial Fund. Donations made be despatched to: USPEA c/o Ellie Brimmer, USEPA Secretary, 12359 Westhall Pl., Wellington, FL 33414.

    Donations for the grants could be made via PayPal at:

    For extra details about the USPEA, please go to

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