Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eventing: In Memoriam: Rebecca Broussard (USA)

Lausanne (SUI), 4 January 2011

Rebecca Broussard, one of the most loyal supporters of Eventing in the United States, passed away at her home in Montana on 24 December 2010 after losing her battle against cancer.

Born in Jeanerette, Louisiana on February 17, 1942, Becky Broussard was one of the best known “behind-the-scenes” names in US Eventing, owning top horses for Phillip Dutton, Karen O'Connor, Cathy Wieschoff, Amy Tryon and Ralph Hill, among others. She was also the founder of The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, which began in 2002 and now includes an FEI World Cup™ qualifier. The Event, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, attracts riders from across the US.

Becky had long talked about her love of helping riders in the West compete on the world stage and her vision also included plans to bring riders from Europe to Montana in the future. She provided financial support for US riders to travel to Strzegom (POL) for the 2009 HSBC FEI World Cup™ final and, last summer, helped organise a historic flight of 18 horses from the East Coast, including many Olympians, to compete at The Event at Rebecca Farm.

She was deeply committed to all aspects of education, but Eventing in particular benefitted from her generosity both to the US Eventing Association (USEA) Adult Riders' education scheme, which she supported through the Le Samurai Fund, and the North American Young Riders' and Juniors' Championships, which she sponsored for many years. 

In recent months, Becky had turned her attention to the educational development of the next generation of riders aiming for the US team. It was her greatest desire that a grant be created to assist these riders in attaining the skills and experience required for success at the top level. To honour that wish, a fund has been established in memory of Becky Broussard to benefit talented riders on the USEF Developing Riders List. The fund will be administered by the USEA Endowment Trust and grants will be awarded annually to successful candidates.

She was a board member of the US Equestrian Team, a Trustee on the Endowment Foundation of the USEA, as well as a member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee for the USEA. She also served on the Governor’s Advisory Council for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and was a member of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation’s International Council.

Becky Broussard is survived by her husband Jerome, daughters Rebecca and Sarah, grandchildren Lorraine and Raymond Nicholson, Tommye and Alexander Kelly, brothers Barry Shaw and John Chaney, sisters Rosemary Thomas and Mildred Shaw, uncle Pat Neff, nieces Jamie Horton, Marcus Shaw, Sam, Emma and Grace Thomas.

"My mom touched the Eventing careers of so many riders", her daughter Sarah Broussard-Kelly said. "She will truly be missed, but she has left behind a legacy that will live on forever. Not only at The Event at Rebecca Farm, but through all of the lives that she has touched that will keep her and her memory alive. "

The USEF Pegasus Medal of Honor for 2010 for Becky Broussard’s service to the sport will be awarded posthumously at the USEF’s Annual Meeting at the end of January. The Medal of Honor will be collected by Jerome Broussard and daughter Sarah Broussard-Kelly, who is a member of the USEF Safety Committee.

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