EQLiving readers voted on their favorite athletes in each discipline. The list of athletes nominated in each category represented the top of the sport, with Olympians, legends, and many riders who have left their mark on their fans for not only their superior athleticism but also their strength of character.

Favorite Jumper Rider

  • Winner: McLain Ward

Photo: Alden Corrigan Media

Repeat winner McLAIN WARD is a true legend of show jumping. He has won more championships than any other American rider. He is a five-time Olympic medalist, winning team gold medals in 2004 and 2008 and team silver medals in 2016 and 2020. He has also won individual silver medals at the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Championships and recently won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Rome in 2023. He is an inspiration to riders of all ages and genders, and he continues to set the standard for excellence in the sport. 

Favorite Dressage Rider

  • Winner: Steffen Peters
  • Silver: Laura Graves

STEFFEN PETERS was born in Wesel, Germany, in 1964 and started riding at age 7. He began competing internationally at 16 and moved to the United States in 1985 to pursue his riding career. Now based at his 22-acre Arroyo Del Mar training and boarding facility in San Diego, Peters has achieved great success at the highest levels of competition, including competing in five Olympic Games, winning team bronze medals in 1996 and 2016, and team silver in 2020. 

Favorite Eventing Rider

  • Winner: Boyd Martin
  • Silver: Phillip Dutton
  • Bronze: William Fox-Pitt


BOYD MARTIN is a three-time Olympian and two-time Pan American Games medalist. He has won over 40 grand prix events, including the 2021 Pan American Games team gold medal, and is a six-time USEA Rider of the Year. Martin has succeeded in the face of incredible obstacles, including broken bones, a burned barn, and his wife’s traumatic head injury, proving no amount of adversity can stop a true champion. Visit Martin’s farm in the May/June 2022 issue. 

Favorite Polo Rider

  • Winner: Nacho Figueras

Photo: George Kamper

IGNACIO “NACHO” FIGUERAS is a 6-goal polo player and the face of Ralph Lauren’s Black Label fragrance and clothing line. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1977 and began playing polo at age 9. Nacho has won numerous polo championships, including the 2002 and 2008 Argentine Open. He was named the Most Stylish Man in the World by GQ magazine, inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame, and is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. He is also a philanthropist and works with several charities. Visit Nacho and family in the Oct/Nov 2017 issue.  

Favorite Reining Rider

  • Winner: Mandy McCutcheon
  • Silver: Tim McQuay
  • Bronze: Tom McCutcheon

Photo: Alden Corrigan

Horses were the way of life for MANDY McCUTCHEON’S parents, reining legends Tim and Colleen McQuay. Mandy began showing in reining at 12 and topped her first NRHA Futurity in 1993 on Hollywoods Striker. Now, her total stands at three NRHA Non- Pro Futurity wins, four NRHA Derby titles, and three National Reining Breeders Classic championships, and in 2021 she hit the $3 million Rider Milestone. Mandy and family are also actors in the TV series “Yellowstone.” Visit the McCutcheons in the Winter 2013/14 issue.

Read the full results in the September/October 2023 issue:

Favorite Young Athletes


  • Winner: Hunter Holloway
  • Silver: Mimi Gochman
  • Bronze: Alex Matz

Photo: USEquestrian

26-year-old HUNTER HOLLOWAY had a successful junior career, winning the ASPCA Maclay Championship and the Washington International Equitation Championship in 2016. She is the youngest person to win a national standard Grand Prix at age 12. Recently, she had a third-place podium finish at the 2023 World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska. 


  • Winner: Kat Fuqua
  • Silver: Christian Simonson
  • Bronze: Erin Nichols


16-year-old KAT FUQUA, the daughter of grand prix dressage parents, was riding almost before she could walk. Kat trains grand prix dressage, shows baby grand prix (I-2), and also competes in grand prix jumpers. She has over 40 grand champion and champion hunter titles, 2 Hall of Fame titles, and was an FEI Nations Cup Dressage Young Rider’s Team USA Bronze Medalist. 


  • Winner: Mia Farley
  • Silver: Zoe Crawford
  • Bronze: Cassie Sanger

Photo: Erin Gilmore

23-year-old MIA FARLEY is a fast-rising eventing competitor who started riding at 3 years old. Her mother was a trainer, so she grew up around the barn. Mia was raised in San Clemente, California, and headed east to work with David and Karen O’Connor’s team and competed with two horses this year in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. 


or back to the full 2023 Gold List