by Jennifer Maack-Condren

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The 2008 show year has concluded, the points have been tabulated and the first high point banquet in Missouri was held on Saturday, Jan. 17, for the Southwest Missouri Horse Show Association. Approximately 60 people were in attendance for the annual meeting, election of officers and banquet held at the Heritage Cafeteria in Springfield, Mo.

SWMHA is a multi-breed organization consisting of Tennessee Walking Horses, Missouri Foxtrotters, Saddlebreds and Arabians. Points are tabulated for affiliated shows within 150 miles of Springfield. An array of awards was presented in 49 divisions across the different breeds.

 President Brian Nichols began the annual banquet with a business meeting and election of officers for the 2009 show season. Rick Morrison will serve as the 2009 president and Pat Denney will continue her duties as secretary-treasurer for the coming year. Ron Denney will serve as president-elect for 2010. The 2009 horse show was the main topic of discussion and a committee was formed to begin planning the early summer event.

Each year, members donate items to be auctioned as a fundraiser for the coming show season and this year, members generated money to sponsor several classes for the horse show in a short period of time.

After some time to visit with old friends and enjoying a nice dinner, it was onto the awards. Armed And Proud received the top award of the night by earning the 2008 High Point Champion for points earned in the Amateur Show Pleasure class with Jennifer Condren in the irons for the Bill Maack family. The winning team is prepared by Jim Huffman of Ozark, Mo. Huffman also trained the Reserve High Point Champion Magic Impression and Hayley Miller for Dr. Glenn and Beverly DeGraffenreid. Miller received these points in the juvenile specialty division.

Out-going president Brian Nichols thanked Pat Denney for a job well done as secretary-treasurer. In-coming president Rick Morrison presented Brian Nichols with a gift for his duties while president. With show season just around the corner, members of the SWMHSA are eager to get into the show ring for the 2009 season.