The late Rebecca “Becky” Broussard, founder of a world-renowned equestrian triathlon held every July in the Flathead Valley, was inducted into the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors in the sport.
Broussard founded The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2001, and in the years since it has grown into a major economic catalyst for the Flathead, attracting over 10,000 spectators and bringing millions of dollars to the region each year. It has also given Kalispell global recognition in the equestrian sporting scene. The Event is the largest equestrian triathlon in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the world.
Former USEA President Kevin Baumgardner called Broussard “hands down, the most important person in eventing in the Western United States and arguably the most important person in eventing in the entire nation.”
Broussard passed away on Christmas Eve 2010 after a battle with cancer. She was born in Jeanerette, La., on Feb. 17, 1942. After earning a nursing degree from the University of Evansville in Indiana, she worked as a nurse in places as varied as Kentucky and Jamaica before arriving in the Flathead.
In Broussard’s honor, Flathead Valley Community College built the 32,000-square-foot Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science, which opened in 2013. The Broussard family gifted $4 million to the college for construction.
The USEA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) “educational organization committed to providing eventing enthusiasts with a competitive level suited to their individual skills.” Among her many titles and roles in eventing, Broussard served on the USEA’s Board of Governors and Executive Committee, as well as the chair of the USEA Endowment Trust.
The USEA inducted Broussard into its Hall of Fame at a December ceremony. In his induction speech, Malcolm Hook remembered Broussard as an endlessly generous and gracious friend, and a tireless advocate for her sport, who touched the lives of countless people both in and outside of the world of eventing.
“She was truly a remarkable and wonderful woman,” Hook said.
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