by Renee Isaacs

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky Walking Horse Association held its annual awards ceremony, Friday, Jan. 9, with dinner at the Embassy Suites in Lexington, Ky. Residing president, Joe Herald welcomed everyone to the event and asked Ray Perkins to say a prayer just prior to dinner. Woodrow Wilson of Winchester, Ky., volunteered to auction all of the donated items and the KWHA blue book pages as well, which brought the association nearly $11,000.

Denzil Allen announced the three members who were inducted into the KWHA Hall of Fame. The first member announced was Bill Bailey, a long time walking horse trainer of Russell Springs, Ky., whose son, Kevin Bailey followed in his footsteps as a trainer as well. Billy Howard, a racking horse trainer of Greensburg, Ky., and a KWHA board of director for 20 years was the second member inducted. The final inductee was the late William Jackson, the father of John Jackson of Frankfort, Ky.

Dan Grigson was the announcer for the event. The Don and Louise Cooper Award was given to Peggy Caldwell of Danville, Ky. Other awards given by the KWHA were the Blue Ribbon Shows of the Year. This year’s one-night blue ribbon show of the year went to:

1st KWHA Juvenile Auxiliary Show
2nd Lincoln County Fair Show
3rd Franklin County Fair Show
4th Garrard County Horse Show.

The Multi-Night Blue Ribbon Show of the Year went to:
1st North Carolina Championship Horse Show
2nd KWHALA Spring Jubilee
3rd Owingsville Lions Club Horse Show

The One-Night Show of the Year was awarded to the Boyle County Fair show in Danville, Ky. The Multi-Night Show of the Year was the Casey County Horse Show in Liberty, Ky. First through fourth place ties were given in approximately 70 high point divisions, including racking horse divisions.

On Saturday, Jan. 10, several meetings were held including the Kentucky Stallions Owners’ Association, KWHA Board of Directors meeting, KWHA Ladies Auxiliary Annual meeting, KWHA Annual meeting, as well as the annual dance and casino nights that was held from 8 to 12 p.m.

The KWHA Ladies Auxiliary had several items on its agenda. Brandi Todd-Mills is the 2009 president and assisting her as secretary is Jennifer Zeller. Dianne Wilson will be the first vice president, Laura Beth Comley will act as the second vice president and Marie Broadus will act as treasurer. Delores Todd and Kris Dunn volunteered to work on the Benevolence committee. The fundraisers for 2009 will be the cookbook and the 50/50 raffle tickets. For more information on the cookbook, contact Rebecca Taylor or Renee Isaacs to purchase raffle tickets.

Discussion included the dates of the annual kick off colt preview, which will be held March 7, 2009, as well as the Spring Jubilee Horse Show, which held on April 16, 17 and 18, 2009. If accepted, Eddie Ray Davis will be the judge for the three-day event.

After business was discussed in all meetings, everyone was ready for a night of fun. Dancing and playing casino was next on the agenda. Couples danced the night away while others had fun gambling with play money. The reverse drawing was exciting with $1,425 up for grabs to the association as well as to the lucky individual whose ticket was the last one drawn. It came down to the last two tickets and the two people who were left said that they would split the money. Justin Jenne of Shelbyville, Tenn., and Gwen Howard of Greensburg, Ky., each were happy to collect $712 and KWHA collected the other $1,425. All seemed to have enjoyed both days of the event and it looks like 2009 will be a better season for the association and some say the KWHA is off to a great start with many problems behind them.