A 1975 William Woods University graduate, Liz McBride-Jones of Raeford, N.C., received the Helen K. Crabtree Equitation Award during the 2006 United Professional Horseman’s Association Convention Jan. 5-7, in St. Louis, Mo.
The award was presented to her by a 1977 graduate, Sarah Ledford Byers of Simpsonville, Ky., in honor of her accomplishments in the horse show industry. Gayle Lampe, WWU professor of equestrian science, is a past recipient.
Jones and Byers were not alone representing WWU at the convention; numerous WWU alumni, friends and their current students were honored with awards.
This gathering of professional horse people takes place annually; some in attendance are already legendary trainers and others are just starting out. But they all hold one thing in common—they are all members of the United Professional Horseman’s Association (UPHA), an organization for professional horse trainers begun in 1968 as a way to improve the horse show industry and clarify their professionalism within the industry.
Awards for the past year are a large part of the convention, and WWU alumni and friends made a great mark this past season.
Dawn Fire, a William Woods donor, was honored with two Horse of the Year honors. Her own Boogie Nights took home the award for Morgan Classic Pleasure Saddle, and Erotic Dancer, owned by her Peeper Ranch, won the Morgan Amateur Park Saddle division. Fire has been a generous supporter of WWU, donating horses, participating in clinics given by instructor Gayle Lampe and visiting often.
Two students of 1984 WWU graduate Lisa Jensen of Bedford, N.H., were honored with awards. UPHA Senior Morgan Challenge Cup Reserve Champion award went to Brooke Gove, and the UPHA Junior Morgan Challenge Cup Champion went to Katherine Alderman. The finals for the Morgan Challenge Cup are held at the Morgan Grand Nationals in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The UPHA 11 & Under Challenge Cup Championship went to Caroline Skinner, instructed by 1983 WWU graduate Renee Capelle Biggins of Simpsonville, Ky. These finals are held at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.
The UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup Championship went to Brittany Rock, instructed by Kelly and Mark Hulse. Kelly Baltz Hulse, of New Bloomfield, Mo., also graduated from WWU, in 1989.
The 2005 UPHA Hackney Roadster Pony Classics Champion went to K & J’s Aviator, trained by 1993 WWU graduate Maureen Lydon of Simpsonville, Ky. The UPHA Classics were designed to stimulate interest in young horses, and to provide owners and trainers an opportunity to receive substantial prize money. Since their installation, these classes have since become the major competition for three-year-olds, and to win one is quite an honor.