|Cooper Madden-Hennessey and Chip along with their
trainer and mentor, Alison Kost (left), who runs Oakendale
Farm in Bristol where Cooper rides.
Earlier this year, Salisbury Trust Wealth Advisory Services, a division of Salisbury Bank, announced its second annual Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award program to the Eventing community in the region. The Award offered to pay entry fees to four horse and rider pairs to compete at local USEA recognized events: Riga Meadow Horse Trials in July, Town Hill Horse Trials in September and Kent School Horse Trials in October.
The program was open to horse and rider pairs of all ages and skill levels, and applications came in from riders in the tri-state area as well as Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. The large and deserving field was narrowed in July to Caitlin Heller and her horse, Alakazam (“Zam”) from Poughquag, New York; Cooper Madden-Hennessy from Bristol, Connecticut and his horse, Certified Chip (“Chip”); Lisa Russo and her horse “Dustin” from Bethel, Connecticut; and Sarah Proper from Millerton, New York and her horse, Hypnotiq “Braeden”. Each participant’s scores were tallied throughout the sponsored events and the horse and rider with the lowest average score won the Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award.
Today, Salisbury Trust announced the winner: Cooper Madden-Hennessy and his horse, Chip. At 16 years of age, Cooper Madden-Hennessy was one of the younger competitors. But neither youth nor gender ever made him think twice about his desire to own, care for and compete on horses. At just 14, lacking the resources of more seasoned eventers, he bought Chip, his first horse, by partnering with a friend. At the time, Chip was a western pleasure Quarter horse who was judged as unlikely to excel at dressage or eventing. Taking this as a challenge, Cooper put in long hours of training, and six months later, was told by the very same Dressage judge that Chip had a lot of potential. After battling two severe injuries, Chip's willingness to learn has only heightened Cooper reports. Cooper and Chip earned a total average score of 43, at the Beginner Novice level, to earn the top prize.
Meredith Tiedemann, Vice President and Trust Officer, says, “The applicants for the Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award were asked what ‘sportsmanship’ means to them. Cooper’s response was ‘Sportsmanship isn't just applied to sports. It can be applied to everyday battles that we face. But most importantly you must inspire others around you to do the same.’ Cooper and Chip were an inspiration to us all this year.
About the Award
The Salisbury Trust Sportsmanship Award was created to honor the spirit of Eventing. The Bank chose to sponsor four horse and rider pairs whose perseverance, integrity, horsemanship, sportsmanship and humor exhibit this spirit, enriching not only the equine community but our community in general.
Salisbury Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut and presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, South Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts as well as Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank has been serving families and businesses for over 160 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and investment services.