LEXINGTON, Ky. - A crowd of 420 on Friday night opened the Annual Kentucky Walking Horse Association (KWHA) High Point Awards banquet and convention. In addition to the festivities, numerous meetings were packed into the fun filled weekend of January 17-18 at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.

Following the Friday night buffet and awards presentations of ribbons, silver and crystal, meetings were held on Saturday. The fun concluded at the gambling tables of the casino, silent auction, a 50/50 drawing, and dancing Saturday evening into Sunday morning. The weekend concluded with a Judges’ Clinic on Sunday directed by Jackie Brown, KWHA HIO DQP Coordinator. Special awards were presented in various categories. Tyler Oliver won the Juvenile Sportsmanship award while Chris Burton was presented with the Amateur Sportsmanship title. Kevin Bailey was awarded the Professional Sportsperson of the Year. Owner of the Year went to Glenda Kirkland. Trainer of the Year by Points was awarded to McQuerry Stables as it was the previous year with over 5000 accumulated points. Trainer of the Year by votes went to Kevin Bailey.

The Juvenile Horse of the Year was Jessica Smoot’s Mark’s Eliminator, while Billy Ford claimed the Amateur Horse of the Year with Third Generation. The Plantation Horse of the Year went to Gabriel’s Glory and Glenda Kirkland, who also won this category last year with Boomerang’s Threat. David Smith and Flash The Money captured the Show Pleasure Horse of the Year award. The Performance Edge won the Racking Horse of the Year for owners Robert, Wright and Ledford. Larry and Susan Wood and Kodachrome’s Annie Oakley proudly accepted the Halter Horse of the Year, and Buford Martin’s Ryan’s Fable won the Open Horse of the Year.

Another special presentation was made by Denzil Allen, First Vice President. “Commissions as Kentucky Colonels are presented for contributions to the community, state or nation, and for special achievement of all kinds. With your commission as a Kentucky Colonel, the Governor recognizes your service and accomplishments on behalf of others.

“A list of Kentucky Colonels is a Who’s Who of outstanding men and women around the world. The certificate . . . has hung on the walls of such distinguished leaders as President Lyndon B. Johnson and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill. John Glenn, America’s first man in space, was commissioned while orbiting Earth . . . Other well-known Colonels include: Carol Channing, Ann-Margaret, Tiger Woods, Dwight Yoakum, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Foxworthy and Whoopie Goldberg.” It was announced that for the last three years a certain reporter had done the job of covering the KWHA and some of its shows and that they would like for her to come forward to receive her framed commission as a Kentucky Colonel. This reporter, Linda Scrivner, was very surprised, but extremely appreciative and humbled to become a Kentucky Colonel.

Three presentations were made to the Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped Program. Wayne Altom, treasurer, presented a check, followed by a presentation by the KWHA Auxiliary President Candy Pugh of $1ooo. Sue Alexander, Spring Jubilee Horse Show Manager, made an additional $1000 contribution to their new Equine Management Program. Mark Palmer accepted the contributions and discussed the new program which he said would be similar to a 2 week camp where handicapped children could learn about taking care of a horse as well as riding. He explained about programs worked out with the Shriner’s Hospital and gave some heart warming examples from the experiences these children shared.

The Don and Louise Cooper award was then presented by Mark Palmer. This award is presented to someone each year who contributes and participates in the KWHA in a nonriding capacity. This year’s award went to a woman who selflessly gave to the organization and spent many hours assisting with the Handicapped Program, Margaret Coy.

Crystal Plaques were given in recognition to the many members for their 2002 National Celebration Winners.

In a tradition that started in 2001, three persons were inducted into the KWHA Hall of Fame, which honors members who had contributed to the success of the KWHA. Kenny Smith and Denzil Allen, Members of the Hall of Fame Committee, presented to new honorees: Tom Scott, Steve Liddell, and Clyde Abbott. Mr and Mrs. Tom Scott came forward to accept the award while Scott’s activities were related to the crowd. Scott was a horseshoer and shod both World Grand Champion The Pusher C.G. as well as the World Grand Champion Saddlebred the same year.

Holly Liddell received father Steve Liddell’s award since his health prevented him from being present. Steve Liddell served as KWHA president for three terms and owned many world champions, the most recent of which was Backfield In Motion.

Next on the agenda was the Kentucky Stallions Owners’ Association (KSOA) High Point Awards. Dan Reynolds announced the winners. Mind Games was awarded the KSOA Stallion of the Year, owned by Todd & Ecklar and reserve was awarded to Eb’s Black Charger, owned by Triple T Investments. These two positions were reversed for these awards last year.

Following the KWHA High Point Awards, Candy Pugh, KWHALA President announced the high point Ladies Auxiliary Awards. For the Participation Awards there was a tie for first between Sue Alexander and April McQuerry. The reserve winner was Dr. Marion Pennington.

Following the Board of Directors Meeting, the KSOA Meeting, the Ladies Auxiliary Meeting and the Juvenile Auxiliary Meeting held Saturday morning, elections were held in the General Membership meeting which had standing room only due to the largest crowd in several years. Earl Rogers, Jr. was re-elected President. Also re-elected were Denzil Allen, Vice-President; John Alexander, Second Vice President; and Wayne Altom, Treasurer.

New board members elected for two-year terms were: Billy Howard, Duane Rector, Earl Rogers, Jr., Gary Oliver, Joe Herald, Kemp Martin, Ray Burton, Dwayne Brinegar, Johnnie Zeller, John Tudor, and J.T. Olds.

The KWHA Ladies Auxiliary officers for this year are President, Patti Reynolds; First Vice-President Margaret Coy; Second Vice-President Marie Broaddus; Treasurer JoAnne Zeller; and Secretary Ann Cotton. Complete results follow and may be printed, searched, or viewed at www.walkinghorsereport.com.