Equestrian legend Gayle Lampe marks 50 years at William Woods University

Gayle Lampe, pioneering professor of the Equestrian Science Department at William Woods University (WWU) and an internationally-renowned expert in the field, is marking a rare milestone few individuals ever reach in any field. The month of September is the 50th anniversary of Ms. Lampe’s association with William Woods, where she began her career as a professor of Equestrian Science in 1968.

Reaching a half-century at William Woods is just the latest historic accomplishment Ms. Lampe has achieved in her storied career. In June of this year, she was inducted into the International Saddlebred Hall of Fame, chosen by her peers in the American Saddlebred Industry for her ground-breaking influence both nationally and internationally in the field of Equestrian Science.

“My biggest pleasure has been seeing our graduates go on and have highly successful careers in the horse business, and sharing my passion,” said Lampe. “I have had so many amazing memories during my time at William Woods, from performing on my horse Born To Win in front of our Board of Trustees,  to teaching President Barnett to ride when she first became president, to seeing my students win World Championship titles or coach their own students to titles. It has been a great ride!”

Ms. Lampe spent 41 years as the director of the Saddle Seat program at WWU, where she established the first four-year degree program in Equestrian Science at the university. She still serves as an adjunct professor at William Woods, teaching part-time to new generations of aspiring equestrians.

“In addition to her spectacular career and massive significance in the field, Gayle Lampe quite simply is the Equestrian program at William Woods,” said Jahnae H. Barnett, President of William Woods University. “She established our Equestrian program, built it into a nationally and internationally-known program, and has served as its number one ambassador now for five decades. Her influence on The Woods is unparalleled.”

In addition to her induction into the Saddlebred Hall of Fame, Ms. Lampe’s accomplishments in her 50 years at William Woods are numerous. They include being:

  • A 2015 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the only equestrian to receive the honor;
  • A holder of judges’ cards in nine equestrian disciplines who has judged competitions in 43 states as well as in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa, and conducted clinics in 25 states and three foreign countries;
  • Coach of the gold-medal winning U.S. Saddle Seat equitation team at the 1996 World Cup competition in Louisville, KY;
  • Winner of the 1979 Ladies Park Horse Under Saddle Championship at the Grand National Morgan Horse Show;
  • Winner of 2003 Ladies Five-Gaited Championship title at the World Championship Saddlebred show at the Kentucky State Fair;
  • Winner of the Ladies Five-Gaited National Championship at the United Professional Horseman’s Association American Royal National Championship Horse Show in Kansas City in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010;
  • Past recipient of the United Professional Horseman’s Association Equitation Instructor of the Year award; Missouri-Kansas Horse Person of the Year award at the American Royal Horse Show; Lurline Roth Sportsmanship award at the American Saddlebred Horse Convention and Audrey Gutridge award at the World Championship Saddle Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair.
  • Awarded the title of “Master Instructor” by the American Riding Instructor’s Association in 2007;
  • Author of the book “Riding For Success, Both In And Out Of The Show Ring” (1996, revised edition 2013);
  • Two-time recipient of the William Woods Distinguished Professor award;
  • Instrumental in substantially increasing the number of horses in the WWU Equestrian program, including soliciting donations of horses to William Woods University from actors William Shatner and Patrick Duffy; singer Wayne Newton; former baseball star Don Mattingly and former Governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura.