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Diane Carney Receives the Award for Service to the Equestrian Industry at the National Horse Show

National Horse Show President Mason Phelps presents Diane Carney with the Peter Welles Family Trophy. Photo Shawn McMillen


The Peter Welles Family Trophy is Awarded for Outstanding Service


Lexington, KY - November 3, 2018 - Diane Carney was awarded the Peter Welles Family trophy at the National Horse Show for her outstanding service to the equestrian industry. Carney has dedicated her life to the equestrian sport, continually working to promote growth and improvement within the industry. Her versatility and in-depth knowledge as a successful rider, clinician, trainer and USEF licensed official, enable her to give back to the industry in countless ways.


Carney was significantly instrumental in the development of the hunter derbies, stemming from a dinner in 2006 in Chicago with George Morris and a core group of area professionals. While it may seem unimportant to some, the environment of the hunters in 2007 had a strong resistance to change and without the Chicago group working on their own, there possibly would not be the International Hunter Derby program as we know it today. Morris’ hunter concept meant higher, harder, hunter fences along with sizable prize money. While many at the time had doubt about the concept, the Chicago group pressed forward, creating a demonstration of the hunter concept, major sponsorship for the event, and national enthusiasm.  The Chicago group gave their word to Morris and they took on the task funding the project with $60,000 of personal money, donating trophies and supplying courses of derby jumps to the World Cup in Las Vegas and later to the derby demonstration at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Carney never faltered on her commitment to Morris and to what was to be the reinvention of hunters.


USEF CEO Bill Moroney stated, “The creation of International Hunter Derby was the catalyst for some of the most significant changes in the hunter industry in many years.  Diane Carney was all-in from the very beginning, putting her heart and soul into supporting this program.  Whether building jumps, organizing events or arguing the merits of program specifications, you can always count on Diane to step up and do her part for the advancement of equestrian sport.  Diane’s efforts are not confined to hunter derbies, she supports numerous programs and initiatives that bring opportunity, education and support to athletes, horses and organizations.  Congratulations to Diane on winning this well deserved accolade.”


Since the inception of the derbies, a new phrase of “the derby horse” was introduced with their owners earning over $12.3 million in prize money through the program and hunter riders setting unprecedented standings in the Million Dollar Club for the first time in history. Recognized by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, the prestigious Derby of the Year Award is presented annually. Carney also donated the bronze trophy awarded each year to the Leading Rider in the Series.


“Hunter derbies have up and changed the entire sport where not only the style of the horse is considered, but the rider now plays a major part and can outride the rest and win,” said renowned trainer Don Stewart. “We’ve gone back to the brilliance of the horses and the money has made it worthwhile to be in the hunters.”


In addition, Carney helped establish many aspects of the clinic programs from the grass roots level to the Gladstone Chicago Program to over 30 years of the George Morris Chicago clinic. Currently, Carney is volunteering to coordinate the USEF Athlete Pathway’s three Gold Star clinics for 2019.


“I think the Welles family sets a prime example for service to the industry,” said Carney. “I am honored to receive an award for what I love to do. It’s my job to educate and help others. On top of the joy from doing the work, to be recognized for service is a huge privilege and I am very grateful to be honored by the Welles family.”



About Diane Carney

Diane Carney is a lifelong, dedicated horsewoman, emphasizing horsemanship in every aspect of her world.  Her versatility and in-depth knowledge as a grand prix rider, hunter rider, clinician, USHJA certified trainer, event organizer, commentator, course designer, USEF R judge, USEF International Disciplines Committee member and USHJA Board of Directors member, gives her a well rounded perspective on the industry.


Carney’s judging resume includes the 2016 ASPCA/Maclay Medal Finals, the New England Equitation Championships, WEF, HITS Thermal, Bend Oregon, Blenheim CA, Flintridge and Sonoma, CA; LA Masters, Kentucky Summer, The Ridge at Wellington, the Sunshine Series USHJA $100,000 Hunter Prix, HITS $500,000 Hunter Prix, EA and IHSA, the USEF Pony Finals, Gulfport and the West Coast Equitation Final at the USHJA Championship.


Over the last 40 years, Diane has continued the mission of spreading knowledge and horsemanship through clinics and supporting programs that raise the level of horsemanship for riders, trainers and owners. In addition to the annual George H. Morris Chicago clinic, Carney will coordinate the USHJA Gold Star clinics for 2019. 



Carney coordinates the annual George H. Morris Chicago Clinic Thanksgiving weekend, November 23-25, at Rush Weeden’s Brookwood Farm, located at 18752 Edwards Road in Antioch, Illinois. Auditors are welcome for $100 per person per day, no reservation needed. The clinic runs from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily with lunch included. A book signing sponsored by Rider’s Boutique will take place Saturday at 5:30 pm.



For more information contact Diane Carney at 847-922-6167 or Visit the website at