Without horses there would be no reason for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) so it is only fitting that an outstanding horse be honored as the Stone CHA Horse of the Year. To commemorate such an outstanding honor the winning horse receives a Stone Horse model, replicated to match the honoree, created by Peter Stone Company and a hand painted oil painting from CHA member Julie Fischer from Colorado with bark from her camp as the frame.
Earning the title of 2019 Stone CHA Horse of the Year was Smut, a 33-year-old grade mare owned by Dream Catcher Sables in Spring, TX. Described by some of her riders as “she has always known to be careful and moves smoothly, listens well and never gets spooky. She is just a wonderful horse and richly deserves to be school horse of the year” and “She is a magnificent horse. She has won me two belt buckles in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Top Hands Horse Show.” She is named after a fungus that grows on corn in the Midwest that is the same color as she is!
Sanna Rolling, who runs Dream Catcher Stables, had this to say when asked about Smut being the award recipient, “To own a horse that touches so very many lives and at the age of 33 in semi-retirement is still herd boss is awesome. This is the second time we have had the CHA Horse of the Year (Smokey in 2008). With the vast number of CHA program members, I never thought we could win twice.”
The CHA Stone School Horse of the Year Program honors the best of the school horses who are part of CHA member programs. The longtime sponsor of the program, Stone Horses, creates “model horses for real horse people.” Each equine finalist receives a plaque from CHA and were also honored at the Awards Banquet. The top five finalists included:
- Bambi from Clover Ten Thirty in Santa Rosa, CA
- Ginger from Methow Valley Riding Unlimited in Winthrop, WA
- King from Big Bear Horsemanship in Gettysburg, PA
- Onyx from West Equestrian in Sand Springs, OK
- Smut from Dream Catcher Stables in Spring, TX
Horses aren’t the only key to CHA and its mission though. Safety is top priority when it comes to every interaction with horses. Earning the 2019 Partner in Safety Award was Pegasus Farm in Hartville, OH. The program at Pegasus Farm has over 130 volunteers, 500 students, has been a CHA Program member since 1995, and an accredited site since 2012. To date they have held 17 CHA certifications including Standard English/Western, Equine Facility Manager, Instructors of Riders with Disabilities and Vaulting.
Nominators described the program at Pegasus Farm as “They are so professional and safety conscious. I enjoyed the facilities, horses and staff there. They provide a vast array of services for the special needs community” and “The staff, volunteers, students and horses made an exceptional impact, not only on my career as an instructor, but on my LIFE!”
For a complete list of past award winners, visit www.cha.horse/store/pages/50/Award_Winners.html. For more information about the next CHA International Conference, please visit www.CHAinstructors.com/conference.
CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the equine industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs, webinars and video horsemanship safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHAinstructors.com
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