Sally O’Connor inducted into the US Eventing Hall of Fame | Eventing Nation

Sally O’Connor is honored by her family and friends at Great Meadow International. Photo by Erin Gilmore Photography.

This year, a new class will join the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed in the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members include past association presidents, volunteers, riders, founders, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners and trainers.

Typically, a new band is inducted into the Hall of Fame every four years. USEA is thrilled to welcome a new Hall of Fame class this year. These members of the eventing community will be honored for their lifetime achievements, contributions and dedication to the sport of eventing during an official induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame Gala at 2022 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention will take place this year in Savannah, Georgia, from December 7-11.

The USEA Eventing Hall of Fame Class of 2022 will be announced throughout the year as inductees receive their invitations in person at significant events for their contributions. The third inductee of 2022, Sally O’Connor, was surprised yesterday at the MARS Great Meadow International event in The Plains, Virginia with her invitation to attend the induction ceremony.

O’Connor has spent his life involved with horses, both in eventing and dressage. She had a strong eventing career in the 1960s and 1970s and competed in the dressage ring for many years, winning numerous championship accolades while studying under classic riders Franz Rockowansky, Nuno Olivera and Bengt Ljungquist. Sally moved to Draper, Utah to pioneer dressage and eventing in a new In 1973, while accompanied by her sons, O’Connor pioneered a race through the United States covering over 2900 miles on his own show horse Gungho.

In addition to his riding, O’Connor spent many years of his life as an FEI judge in both disciplines, AHSA/USEF “I” dressage judge and “R” judge. His influence on the sport of eventing, however, was nothing short of impactful. She has been a regular steward, including as Chief Eventing Steward at the 2008 World Equestrian Games. Many FEI Eventing Stewards working today at the highest levels of the sport were trained by O’Connor, who has also contributed to the sport by writing many comprehensive dressage tests used in competition over the years.

A prolific writer, riders across the country were influenced by his writings Practical Eventing and Common sense training, as well as numerous articles on dressage and combined training. For 15 years, O’Connor was the voice of the dressage events held at the three-day Rolex Kentucky event and served as a press liaison during the 2004 Olympics. She served on boards of directors of numerous equestrian institutions, including the Potomac Valley Dressage Association, the United States Dressage Association, the United States Pony Club, and served as vice president of education for the United States Combined Training Association (now United States Eventing Association ) . Her sons, David and Brian, both made their mark on the sport of eventing in their own ways, no doubt influenced by their mother’s powerful passion for the sport.

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