Friday, January 13, 2012

Official USEF Press Release!!

Neville Bardos and Sjoerd Named 2011 Horses of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation

RELEASE: January 13, 2012
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Cincinnati, OH – For the first time ever, the USEF crowned two horses with its highest honor, one from an International Discipline and one from a National Discipline. Neville Bardos and Sjoerd were named 2011 Horses of the Year at tonight’s USEF annual Horse of the Year celebration. Honored for their accomplishments in 2011 their roads through the last 12 months, while both exceptional, have been very different.

Videos of all of the Horses of Honor are available here:

Neville Bardos - Eventing

Horse of the Year Neville Bardos (Photo Courtesy of USEA)
Horse of the Year Neville Bardos (Photo Courtesy of USEA)
He shouldn’t have lived. But he did. He shouldn’t have returned to his life as an event horse. But he returned better than ever. Trapped in a burning barn for 45 minutes, Neville Bardos made a miraculous recovery from injuries sustained in a fire that claimed the lives of six other horses at his rider Boyd Martin’s barn in West Grove, PA. The now 13-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding won the USEF National CCI3* championship in 2009 and was 10th at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games – leading the U.S. effort. But his life changed dramatically in the early hours of Memorial Day in 2011. Martin pulled him out of the burning barn to safety. Neville Bardos was left with horrific injuries due to massive amounts of smoke inhalation and the subsequent damage to his throat.

Neville, who is owned by 10 members of a syndicate bearing his name, never seemed to feel as badly as he should have and he began making a miraculous recovery. Through the help of his vet (Dr. Kevin Keane), his groom (Lindsey Taylor) and the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center (where he visited the Hyperbaric Chamber) Neville defied the odds and made a miracle trip to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England in September. He rocketed around the cross-country course clean and fast and finished seventh at the world’s toughest CCI4*.

Braver than brave, Neville Bardos’ courage saw him through more than just a difficult cross country course it helped see Martin through the rebuilding of his own life. Shortly after the fire, Martin lost his father in a bicycling accident in Australia. Shortly after that Martin’s wife Silva lost her father to cancer. It was a nightmare summer for the Martin’s and Neville’s success helped them find their way through it.

In 2011, he was also second at the Red Hills Horse Trials in the CIC3*(in March), fourth in the Advanced at the Millbrook Horse Trials in August. If Neville Bardos had lived the rest of his life in the field this story would have had a no less incredible and happy ending. But Neville was looking to make a miracle and tonight was the next chapter in that mission.

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