Kassandra Barteau Awarded Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 6, 2009

          Lexington, KY (August 6, 2009) - The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is pleased to announce that Kassandra Barteau and Gina Frantz's Holsteiner stallion, GP Raymeister, were awarded this year's Fiona Baan "Pursuit of Excellence" Memorial Trophy.  Kassandra is originally from Orlando, FL, but now lives in Maple Park, IL.
          In her last year as a young rider, Kassie earned the title of Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Young Rider Champion. She was a member of the silver medal winning Young Rider Team representing Region 2. Kassie and GP Raymeister also earned the gold in the FEI North American Young Rider Freestyle Championship.  Kassie's overall average of 69.386% at this year's NAYRC earned her the honor of winning the Fiona Baan "Pursuit of Excellence" Memorial Trophy. 
          When asked how she felt about being awarded this prestigious trophy, Kassie exclaimed, "Winning the Fiona Baan trophy was a huge surprise. I never expected to win it, but it is a wonderful feeling. I loved the wonderful atmosphere at the Kentucky Horse Park and having the opportunity to ride in the new stadium.  It has been such a wonderful experience. I wished my mom could have been there, but I am so grateful for my amazing sponsor, Gina Frantz, and for ‘Ray.' As a young stallion he can get nervous in bigger arenas with large crowds, but in the freestyle he was really with me and I am so proud of him.  I'd like to give a big thank you to Gina Frantz, my mom, Cathy Morelli, and Kim Barteau."   
          This award, which is on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, has been presented since 1994 to the young rider competing in the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Rider Dressage Championships that receives the highest combined average score for all three of their dressage tests; FEI Young Rider Team, Individual, and Freestyle. 
          The "Pursuit of Excellence" is the legacy Fiona Baan left to all the FEI Young Riders, and indeed to everyone who ever knew or worked with her.  For nearly 30 years, Ms. Baan worked tirelessly with great dedication to the United States Equestrian Team (USET).  She was US Dressage Team leader for the 1976 Olympics, in which the US won the Bronze Medal, the 1987 Pan Am Games, and for the Bronze Medal dressage team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
          For more information about the USDF/Platinum Performance North American Young Riders Dressage Championships, visit the USDF Web site at www.usdf.org or contact the USDF sport programs department at najyrc@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 usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.