Sophia Chavonelle Named 2016 USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 31, 2016

Lexington, KY (October 31, 2016) - The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is pleased to announce that Sophia Chavonelle of Windham, ME, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. This prestigious award honors one outstanding youth volunteer who has contributed, both nationally and locally, to USDF and dressage. As the winner, Sophia will be presented with a perpetual trophy, donated by the Akin family of Warwick, NY, in honor of Lendon Gray, which is on permanent display in the Roemer/USDF Hall of Fame. She will also receive a “keeper” trophy and be featured in the yearbook issue of USDF Connection.

At age 16, Sophia is already a standout in the USDF Region 8 dressage community as a rider, but her impact extends beyond her time in the saddle, and that's what makes her a treasure in her region. Sophia consistently looks for ways to lend a hand, and her willingness to help, positive presence, and charisma are greatly appreciated by show management and competitors, as well as her mentors and peers. In addition to her equine-related volunteerism, Sophia is a volunteer "Teen Trendsetter" at Windham High School, reading to young grade school children.

The USDF Youth Programs Committee selected Sophia based on her passion for both horses and dressage. The committee wholeheartedly commends Sophia for her dedication to dressage and the ability to be a positive role model for other youth, through exceptional volunteerism.

For more information about the USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, please visit the USDF website at, or contact the USDF office at

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, email, or call (859) 971-2277.