Sports

Hall calls for Esworthy

David Esworthy (right) was presented the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year Award in 2008. Esworthy
David Esworthy (right) was presented the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year Award in 2008. Esworthy's most recent honour was the announcement he will be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
— image credit: Langley Times file photo

Nearly eight decades after beginning a lifelong affiliation with horses and the equestrian industry, Dave Esworthy is being inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Esworthy, who turns 83 in a couple of weeks, was among the inductees announced on Tuesday.

The 2012 class — which will be inducted on Sept. 20 — includes nine individuals and one team. The final list was chosen by a selection committee comprised of members of the BC Sports Hall of Fame board of trustees, the media and the sport community.

The committee sifted through a list of more than 120 nominees.

Esworthy was chosen in the builder category for his involvement in the sport provincially, nationally and internationally. He has served as a rider, judge, steward, horse show organizer, horse show chair and industry advisor.

He found out he had been selected last month, although he could not share the news.

“It was a bit of a shock,” Esworthy admitted, adding he had “not even a clue” he had been nominated.

“This is probably the biggest (honour) I have ever had in my life,” he said.

“This was so unexpected.”

Carla Robin, the president of the Langley Horse and Farm Federation, had nominated Esworthy in September 2010.

Sigga Mekkinosson and Dalene Paine also wrote letters of support.

“Dave is one of those humble people who works quietly behind the scenes,” Robin said.

“People don’t really realize the extent to which he has influenced the equestrian sport locally and nationally and internationally.

“He is an incredible man and I thought he should be recognized for it.”

Robin first met Esworthy in the 1980s when she became involved in the sport.

“He truly wants to see what is the best for people and for the horses.”

Always working to give equestrian greater recognition and credibility, Esworthy served as president of Horse Council BC, Equine Canada, and assisted in the preparations for equestrian events at the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games.

Perhaps his biggest impact is the countless individuals he has mentored, who have gone on to become accomplished athletes, officials and administrators.

“Dave has experienced every role in the development of equestrian sport and his greatest accomplishment is being a true horseman,” she wrote in her nominating letter.

“Dave has continuously fostered a true sense of sportsmanship and constant improvements to the sport.

“His lifelong dedication to mentoring those involved in the equestrian sport throughout B.C. and Canada has created a legacy of knowledgeable, enthusiastic and accomplished athletes, officials and administrators.

“When provincial and federal issues arise to this day, Dave is frequently called upon for his advice, which he has always given freely, without judgement and with great consideration.”

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