Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 20, 2017 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has announced this year’s recipient of the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, Jane Forbes Clark. This award honors and recognizes a trustee on the USET Foundation board whose character, philanthropy and leadership is exemplary and has contributed to the organization’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence and building for the future.
The award was created in honor of the late horseman, Bruce Duchossois, who had an extensive impact on the equestrian community. Duchossois was recognized for his leadership, generosity and outstanding character as the first to receive the award in 2015. The award is now presented each year to a USET Foundation trustee who best exemplifies these characteristics.
“Jane has exemplified leadership, philanthropy and generosity to this country’s high performance programs and United States equestrian teams for almost four decades,” remarked USET Foundation President and CEO Jim McNerney. “She has served as president of this country’s federation and as president of the USET Foundation. There is perhaps no one who understands the sport and has supported our athletes more than Jane. I have tremendous respect for her and can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”
For the majority of her life, Clark has been an active supporter of multiple disciplines and has sought to help the U.S. achieve greatness in equestrian sports worldwide. Clark served as the president and CEO of the USET Foundation for many years before retiring from her position in 2012. She was most recently recognized as the 2013 Owner of the Year by the international equestrian governing body, the FEI. She has provided funding for hundreds of U.S. equestrian athletes both as a trustee of the USET Foundation as well as by personally sponsoring riders from a variety of disciplines.
“I am thrilled to be given this award by the USET Foundation,” expressed Clark. “Bruce set the highest example of what it truly means to be a trustee with his integrity, his thoughtfulness, his compassion and his sense of humor. The USET Foundation was given a gift to have had him in our work, and I am honored to accept this award given in his name.”
Through the USET Foundation, Clark has provided for some of the most successful and elite U.S. riders to advance internationally in their careers. From athletes she has had long-time partnerships with such as Leslie Burr-Howard and Robert Dover to up-and-comers such as dressage rider Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Clark has opened up opportunities for many throughout the sport.
She has owned four Olympic medal-contending horses, numerous international level driving horses, Grand Prix dressage horses, grand prix show jumpers and has a strong string of young horses coming up through the ranks. Burr-Howard won team silver at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta on Clark’s own Extreme and Clark provided Molly Ashe-Cawley with several horses including Nueville, whom she rode to victory in the 2006 Dublin Grand Prix.
Clark’s interests expanded into dressage where she not only purchased her own Grand Prix mount to learn on but also provided the likes of Robert Dover with three of his Olympic mounts. Prior to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Clark learned that Dover no longer had a mount for the games. Not one to allow a talented U.S. athlete to miss out on competing due to unfortunate circumstances, Clark immediately stepped up and leased the horse Metallic for Dover. Dover and Metallic took home team bronze. He and Clark’s Rainier also secured team bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and for his final Olympic performance, Dover piloted Clark’s FBW Kennedy to one last team bronze success in Athens in 2004.
Clark’s generosity grew even further when she stepped up to sponsor James Fairclough’s driving team at Top Brass Farm when the team was at risk of no longer being able to compete. She now sponsors Chester Weber and his team of four-in-hand competition horses. With a hand in what seems like almost every aspect of equestrian sports, a horse-and-rider pair in show jumping, dressage and driving represented Clark at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.
Clark is a true philanthropist and advocate of equestrian sports no matter the discipline and has exemplified her generosity by the countless opportunities she has afforded U.S. athletes. Her leadership skills led to a successful reign as USET Foundation president and her determination and goals mirror the foundation’s mission of supporting athletes and promoting international excellence both in the present and future.
The USET Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international and high performance horses and athletes in partnership with US Equestrian.