The Academy Championships were held Saturday, March 21, 2009. Once again they had a saddle giveaway and World Champion Horse Equipment donated a Barnsby Stryder show saddle. During the 2009 Academy Program, each exhibitor and instructor filled out a ticket at every show, giving the participants up to five chances to win. Olivia Hayes of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was the winner. Nine-year-old Olivia has been involved in the program for two years now, riding under the instruction of Beverly Lamp, and looks forward to many years in the show ring with her new saddle. The academy program is an important part of the industry and has introduced countless riders to the walking horse, many of which have gone on to become world champion riders.