Toronto, ON, Nov. 4, 2019 – The 2019 JC Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, who has dedicated countless hours over many years to ensure the creation and continuation of world-class show jumping opportunities in Canada.

Underhill held the position of Equestrian Canada (EC) Jumping Youth Development Program Advisor from the program’s launch in October 2015 until November 2018. In that role, she built a solid foundation for youth development and advancement centred on talent identification, support and mentorship of teams and individuals at the FEI Children’s, Junior and Young Riders levels. Underhill’s strong focus on education – including organizing presentations featuring FEI officials and top athletes like Nick Skelton, Laura Kraut and McLain Ward – inspired Canada’s rising stars and provided them with the resources necessary to help them succeed on their equestrian journeys.

In 2017, under the guidance of Underhill as Chef d’Équipe, the Canadian jumping athletes had a landmark year at the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), racking up a total of seven medals – including an incredible sweep of the individual Young Rider podium. At the 2018 edition, Canada brought home another four medals, including team and individual gold in the Children’s division.

Underhill was also Chef d’Équipe for Canada at the 2017 CSIO 4* Odlum Brown BC Open in Langley, BC, where Canadians won both the Children’s and Junior FEI Team Events. Plus, she was instrumental to Canada’s involvement in the international Under 25 (U25) program, helping to fill Canadian teams for the first time and guiding the riders to top six finishes against strong fields at the prestigious U25 Team Event in Wellington, FL in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

While Underhill has stepped down from the position of EC Jumping Youth Development Program Advisor, she hasn’t strayed from her valued leadership role at EC: In August 2019, Underhill was elected for a one year term on the EC Board of Directors. Underhill is no stranger to EC governance, having served nine years on the Jumping Committee and several terms on its sub-committees, including the Jumping High Performance Committee.

“Beth is tremendously deserving of the 2019 JC Volunteer of the Year Award,” said Pam Law, Chair of the EC Jumping Committee. “While actively pursuing her own illustrious career as a professional and coach, she found time to volunteer on the Jump Canada Board for many years. Not only was she invaluable in providing input to us from the grand prix riders, she also created the online ranking system for our Under 25 riders, served as Chef for many youth teams in major competitions with unparalleled success, and brought her valuable and respected opinion to Jump’s table in many other areas.”

EC is very grateful to benefit from a volunteer with such expertise, generosity and devotion to equestrian sport, and is pleased to recognize Underhill with the JC Volunteer of the Year Award for 2019.

Underhill joins a long list of distinguished JC Volunteer of the Year Award recipients, including Craig Collins (2018), Mark Samuel (2017) and Marjorie Dennis (2016). For a complete list of award recipients, click here.

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Beth Underhill Recognized as 2019 JC Volunteer of the Year

PHOTO – Beth Underhill (left) of Schomberg, ON, was honoured as the 2019 JC Volunteer of the Year and received the award from Pam Law, EC Jumping Committee Chair, at the Jump Canada Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala, presented by BMO Financial Group, on Nov. 3, 2019 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, ON.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle C. Dunn

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