by Stephanie Rose

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 2008 South Carolina Walking Horse Association High Point Awards Banquet was held once again at the beautiful Embassy Suites in Columbia, S.C. on Jan. 10, 2009. Cocktails started at 6:30 p.m. with dinner following promptly at 7. The South Carolina Association members were dressed to the nines in their formal party attire. The hotel served a choice of filet mignon, chicken, or salmon with potatoes and vegetables for dinner with a chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

After dinner, President Larry Kyte held the business meeting. They recognized the officers and board of directors, nominated and elected new board of directors, held the SCWHA Championship show report and made the presentation to the Ronald McDonald House. The newly elected board members were Laurie Coats, Sandra Blackwell, Patricia Hiott, Kenneth Nations, Beverly Miles, Leon Rembert and Sarah Sheffield.

Following the business meeting, the award presentations began. Each high point division had a winner and a reserve champion. The association also recognized the 2008 Trainer of the Year, which was Robert Kellett for the second year in a row. They gave Horse of the Year awards along with sportsmanship and divisional riders of the year. S. Rowland McLaughlin Sr. was inducted into the SCWHA Hall of Fame and his family was there to receive the honor. The SCWHA gave its appreciation and coffee mugs to the 2008 High Point trainers too, along with recognizing all the individuals who showed in the 2008 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. 

Following the awards ceremony, Dr. Larry Heiden auctioned off the 2009 SCWHA calendar. Immediately after the auction, the Clay Brown Band performed until midnight for everyone to enjoy.