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 – Emery "Rocky" Jones

    Emery “Rocky” Jones, age 64 of Columbia, TN passed away on April 19, 2019 at home with his family. Rocky was born in 1954 to the late Henry and Geraldine Woodside Jones. He worked at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, TN for 47 years and knew everything about each breed of horse at the farm.  Read More
  • Members of Congress Should Reject HSUS Award

    The Humane Society of the United States recently released its scorecard for Congress. There’s much irony to be found in the situation considering the organization receives a “D” from CharityWatch and was recently embroiled in a major sexual harassment scandal in which the board of directors tried to cover for the alleged sexual predator CEO. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 22 19

    Read More
  • Year In Walking Horses Dedication: Honey Badger

    Do you know what a honey badger is? If not, don’t worry about it … the honey badger really doesn’t care what you think because they know how awesome they are. A small, fierce mammal also known as a ratel, the honey badger was made famous after a video about it, narrated by Chuck Norris, went viral. Read More
  • Year In Walking Horses Dedication: Howard Hamilton

    Howard Hamilton has spent his entire life devoting himself to his family and the horse and he does it all for one very simple reason — love. He and his family literally love the horse with all of their hearts; Howard certainly plays his part in doing what he can to ensure the horse, the industry and the industry’s youth thrive. Read More
  • The Money Tree Classic selects Beard

    Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary is proud to announce that Rollie Beard will judge the 36th Annual Money Tree Classic on July 5, 2019. The show will be held in Champions Arena.  Read More
  • Bedford Cancer Foundation announces plans for spring show

    The Bedford Cancer Foundation has announced it will again be sponsoring its annual horse show, scheduled to take place Saturday, April 27 at the Champions Arena on the grounds of the Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The show will feature 30 exciting classes including both flat shod and padded performance classes.  Read More
  • Obituary – Keith Champion

    Walking Horse owner and exhibitor, Keith Champion, passed away April 11, 2019. Keith was known for his humble attitude and great personality. Keith owned and exhibited Go Boy on Parade, Collectors Director, and most notably The Real Deal, and Be Cool. Read More
  • Obituary – Frank Eichler

    Frank Martin Eichler "Fritz" 88, of Cincinnati, Ohio, father of popular Walking Horse owner, Frank Eichler, who owns Rising Star Ranch and whose wife Debbie is popular exhibitor, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 15 19

    Read More