The Equine Welfare Advisory Committee of the American Saddlebred Horse Association congratulates “one of our own,” Victoria Gillenwater, member of the EWAC, who has been awarded the C.J. Cronan Trophy by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). The CJ Cronan Trophy is presented to an equestrian competing under saddle in a non-hunter and/or non-Western disciplines. Recipients of this award, along with the other major discipline trophies, are then voted on to name the overall Equestrian of the Year.
Previous recipients of this prestigious award include Nancy Leigh Fisher, Elisabeth Goth, Mary Gaylord McLean, Michele Macfarlane and Gillenwater’s own trainer, Jacques Van Niekerk. 2018 represents the first time that the award has been received by both trainer and amateur owner.
Victoria Gillenwater owns Scenic View Farm in Knoxville, Tenn., renowned for its breeding and training of world champion Friesian, American Saddlebred, and Hackney horses. The farm was founded by Gillenwater and her parents, Paul and Dorothy Gillenwater, in 1980, and has been under her leadership for the past 18 years. Since Gillenwater took the reins, virtually every horse at Scenic View Farm has been raised, many bred, owned, and shown by her or her long-time trainer, Jacques Van Niekerk.
Equally popular both in and out of the show ring, Gillenwater and her horses have won 16 People’s Choice Awards all while amassing more than 20 World Championships with three different breeds: American Saddlebred, Friesian, and Hackney pony. Skilled as both a rider and a driver, her championships have been in saddle seat, hunt seat, dressage hack and driving. World Champions include Callaway’s Show Me State, Anne Ster, Zander fan Camelot Ster and Power Parade. Internationally, she has won the Ladies Canadian Roadster Horse Championship with Autobahn.
At the 2018 IFSHA World and Grand National Championship Horse Show, Gillenwater won four world champion titles, including the Friesian Amateur English Pleasure Saddle Seat World Championship with her multi-titled stallion, 2018 USEF Saddle Seat Friesian National Champion, Zander fan Camelot; the Friesian Country English Pleasure Saddle Seat Walk/Trot World Championship in both the amateur and open divisions with Dauwe van de Badwei; and the Partbred Saddle Seat Open World Championship with LS George. Gillenwater had never ridden Dauwe or LS George before they entered the gate. Gillenwater also received top five finishes with USEF Friesian Reserve National Hunter Champion Filippus fan Camelot and In Hand mare Magie.
As well versed as she is in an array of disciplines, Gillenwater is a particularly accomplished saddle seat competitor. In addition to this year, her long list of accolades include three individual gold medals and gold and silver team medals at the U.S. Saddle Seat International, ASHA Frank Ogletree Youth Award and Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award recipient, and serving as Vice Chairman of the Saddle Seat World Cup.
Gillenwater is a horsewoman who has enjoyed the opportunities and challenges offered across the Saddlebred and Friesian world to learn new disciplines for herself and her horses. Her enduring dedication to the horses includes stints on both the ASHA and IFSHA boards, and her passion for equine welfare continues through her service both on the ASHA Equine Welfare Advocacy Committee and the Gillenwater Equine Foundation.
Please show your support for the breed and Gillenwater by voting here: https://www.usef.org/awards.
-- via ASHA