Skip to content

Heart of America Names High Point Champions



by Jennifer Condren


LAKE OZARK, Mo. - The Heart of America Walking Horse Association held its annual high point awards banquet on Feb. 16, 2008, at the Country Club and Spa Resort, overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. Rain and brisk temperatures didn’t impede the anticipation or fellowship that comes with the annual event. Many had stories to tell of the recent ice storms and power outages while they enjoyed the amenities of the hotel after spending several days in the dark while others had ice and snow to face on the Sunday drive home.

A Board of Directors meeting was held on Saturday morning with a general membership meeting following in the afternoon with the main agenda being the election of new officers for 2008. President Ted Nichols began the meeting with discussion of the previous year’s shows and began the planning phases for the 2008 season. The new slate of officers elected was the same group that presided in 2007. Ted Nichols will serve as president for a fourth year.  Dr. Glenn DeGraffenreid will also repeat his duties as vice-president. Mae Maack will serve as the secretary-treasure for the 2008 business year. Jim Huffman, Jennifer Condren, Glenda Nichols, Eldon Jenkins and Rick Morrison were voted onto the Board of Directors to replace off-going members.

Following the general membership meeting, the HAWHA Futurity held a meeting for any interested member to attend, with the main focus also being the election of officers. Patty Ayers will serve as president, replacing Eldonna Wieberg since she chose not to seek re-election. Laura Conway will continue with the position as secretary-treasurer for 2008. Brad Huffman, Karen Skopec and Anne Hardin were elected into the vacant seats on the Futurity Board. Budgeting, fundraising and promotional materials were major discussions of the Futurity meeting.

With the necessary meetings adjourned, it was then banquet time. Jim Huffman Stables hosted, in what has become a pre-banquet tradition, a hospitality room open to anyone wanting to socialize prior to the dinner. The Huffmans go to a lot of work to put this together and it is always well attended.

Mae Maack and her volunteers did an excellent job in setting up the banquet room which sparkled with nearly 75 pieces of crystal and silver to be presented to the high point winners. President Ted Nichols welcomed new members and attendees to the banquet. Show dates and the HAWHA Spring Classic were discussed. The HAWHA Futurity had gathered numerous horse-related items such as a saddle, pictures and advertisement certificates for a silent auction. This kept the shopping enthusiasts busy throughout the banquet while they checked on their bids. This was definitely a successful venture for the Futurity.

Susie Graham presented Floyd Hampsmire with a plaque and words of appreciation for the job he has done spear-heading the DQP program as well as licensing and enforcement. “No one is certain as to how long Floyd has done this job or how many cars he has worn out working for Heart of America,” said Graham. Hampsmire’s wife, Helen, was also recognized and thanked for her support over the years. Hampsmire was very touched by this recognition. Graham also paid tribute to Jimmy Gonz, a HAWHA DQP who was recently lost in the prime of his life. Gonz made a difficult and sometimes tense job bearable and his joking and fun-loving style will be missed by all who knew him. HAWHA made a donation to the Jimmy Gonz Memorial Scholarship Fund as well.

Kim Nichols accepted a thankless job to tabulate the points accumulated during the year for all classes, horses and owners. This is no small job. High point awards were given out in 72 divisions as well as ribbons for second through fifth place. While President Nichols read the placings, Vice-President Dr. Glenn DeGraffenreid had his work cut out for him with the first place presentations.

Dennis Hills announced the HAWHA Futurity High Point awards for each division. Sire of the Year honors went to Harold and Sherry Roberts for City General. Jerry Manes and Margaret and Wade Hickman of Stoutland, Mo., had a very busy summer and their efforts were rewarded with 25 high point awards for horses under their training. Jim Huffman Stables of Ozark, Mo., earned 18 divisional awards. Horses shown under the direction of Ted and Glenda Nichols were also awarded their deserving share of the crystal and blue presentations with a total of eight. 

The Overall High Point Champions were awarded at the conclusion of the banquet. Armed And Proud received this distinguished title for the performance division for the Bill Maack family. Armed And Proud earned the most points in the Amateur Show Pleasure Specialty division with Jennifer Condren in the saddle, trained by Jim Huffman Stables. Winning Design received the award in the park pleasure division for the Manes Stables for the third year in a row. Magic Bomb H was honored with this award for the lite-shod division for David and Jane Turner, also for the third year in a row under the direction of Jerry Manes and Margaret and Wade Hickman.

As the good times of 2007 were recapped with the year-end awards, trainers, owners and exhibitors had the rest of the evening to enjoy the dance. Dave Barton and the Hard Livin’ Band entertained the crowd with their mix of country, pop and rock songs. Dave Barton has had walking horses for several years but who knew he had this kind of talent. 

More Stories

  • Obituary – Eddie McCrary

    Eddie E. McCrary, age 72, of Lebanon passed away on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at his residence. He is preceded in death by parents, Otho and Essie McCrary. He is survived by wife of 38 years, Judy Newman McCrary... Read More
  • USDA to host open session for industry

    On February 8, 2020 at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club in Shelbyville Tenn., USDA will host a public informational session to discuss 2019 show season compliance statistics and review the inspection process. The open session will be from 2PM – 4PM. All members of the public are welcome... Read More
  • ‘FAST’ thinking for the future

    FAST, a group within the walking horse industry behind much of the fundraising efforts used to support the walking horse industry, is gearing up for its inaugural strategic planning session, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 8 in Shelbyville, Tennessee... Read More
  • Obituary – Gary Hollin

    Gary Lee Hollin, 69, of Danielsville, passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Born in Manchester, Kentucky, he was the son of the late Roy Verdon Hollin and Pauline Sams Hollin. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Phyllis Lunsford... Read More
  • Obituary – Betty Tisher

    Betty Davis Tisher, 89, resident of Columbia, died Tuesday January 14, 2020 at Maury Regional Medical Center. Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 2:00 P.M. at Pleasant Heights Baptist Church with Dr. Robert Jody Gamble and Brother Bob Vasser officiating. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens... Read More
  • Obituary – James Allen May

    James “Allen” May, 66, husband to Becky Cummins May, entered into his eternal rest Friday morning, January 10, 2020 at his business in Augusta, Georgia. Funeral services to celebrate his life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Tuesday afternoon, January 14, 2020 at InMotion Church in Thomson, Georgia with Pastor Scott Franklin officiating. Read More
  • WHOA announces Board of Directors Election Results

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association is proud to announce the following candidates were elected to the WHOA Board of Directors by the WHOA Membership... Read More
  • Obituary – Kenneth Callicutt

    On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 with his family by his side, Kenneth Landon Callicutt went home to be with the Lord... Read More
  • Obituary – Paul Bryan, Jr.

    Funeral services for Paul Wilson Bryan, Jr., 82, will be held at Trinity Anglican Church, Thomasville, GA at 11:00 am on Thursday, January 9. Following the service, the family will host visitors at a reception at Trinity Anglican Church... Read More
  • WHAA hosts barn party and auction

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More