Ottawa, Ontario— The Jump Canada Hall of Fame Committee was honoured with the 2006 Jump Canada ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award in recognition of their dedicated support of Canadian show jumping.


“It is unusual to honour a group of people, but this committee did such an outstanding job in putting on our inaugural Hall of Fame Event that we are delighted to do so,” said Jump Canada Chair Elizabeth Bordeaux.


The hardworking team, comprising Chair Mark Samuel, Butch Ferneyhough, Muffie Guthrie, Caroline Vaillancourt, Jennifer Ward, and Lindy Welsby combined their individual areas of expertise and put in countless hours to make a dream come true for Jump Canada.


To quote Mark Samuel, “By remembering the past…we help to establish a foundation for the future. Our industry, and indeed, our children, need to be aware that they are all a part of a magnificent legacy.”


From the early envisioning stages to forming the categories and choosing the inductees, right up to organizing the gala ceremony, these six volunteers put their heart and soul into the Hall of Fame, and their efforts were appreciated and enjoyed by more than 340 supporters who attended the inaugural Jump Canada Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony, held November 5 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, ON.


The gala sold out weeks in advance, and was a resounding success from the elegant reception, and gourmet dinner, to the heart warming video tributes that preceded each induction. With touching footage and interviews, masterfully filmed and put together, tears and laughter could be heard throughout the room.


The inaugural inductees into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame were Jumper – Big Ben, Hunter – Just Cruising, Pony – Farnley Soya, Team – The 1968 Olympic Gold Medal Team comprised of James Day riding Canadian Club, James Elder riding The Immigrant, and Tom Gayford riding Big Dee, Rider – Gail Greenough, Sponsor – BMO Financial Group, Builder (Organization) – The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and Builder (Individual) – Brigadier-General W. Denis Whitaker D.S.O., C.M., E.D., C.D.


Kept confidential until its announcement, the 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to the Hall of Fame Committee during the Equine Canada National Awards Banquet in Ottawa, ON, on February 10.


In its inaugural year, the 2001 Jump Canada ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award was given to Alan Chesler of Orangeville, ON, while Mark Samuel of Toronto, ON, was honoured in 2002 for his dedication to Canadian show jumping as the first Chair of Jump Canada.  In 2003, Chesler was once again named the recipient based on his dedication to the success of the FEI Children’s Final held in Calgary, AB.  In 2004, Craig Collins of Loretto, ON, was recognized for the hundreds of hours of volunteer service given to both Jump Canada and Equine Canada as a whole. Claudia Cojocar was awarded in 2005, for the countless hours she devoted to the development of coaching standards.