Industry professionals honored at 2015 AQHA convention
March 11, 2015
Three industry professionals were recognized by their peers March 8 at the 2015 American Quarter Horse Association Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Don Burt Professional's Choice Professional Horseman of the Year, Professional's Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year and Professional's Choice Most Valuable Professional awards were presented by AQHA Corporate Partner Professional's Choice during the Association's Awards Banquet.
The 2014 Professional's Choice Don Burt Professional Horseman of the Year is Gary Roberts of Murrieta, California. Roberts is known for his unparalleled work ethic, honesty, integrity and the quality of training. He takes the stewardship of the animals in his care seriously and provides excellent and compassionate care for them.
Roberts donates his time to judge local 4-H and open shows and makes himself available whenever needed to assist both youth and professionals. He has given countless hours to the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association and local open associations. As an AQHA judge, Roberts has served on the PCQHA board of directors and was instrumental in developing joint National Reining Horse Association- and AQHA-approved events in California.
He and his wife, Kelley, currently own and operate a large barn, training horses for western pleasure, western riding, trail, reining and performance halter. Kelley was the 2013 Professional's Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year.
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The 2014 Professional's Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year is Stephanie Lynn of Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Lynn is the epitome of a true horsewoman. She has dedicated her life to the advancement of the American Quarter Horse. She has been training and showing horses for more than 35 years. She has trained and coached numerous world, national and All American Quarter Horse Congress champions in various divisions and disciplines.
Lynn is an AQHA judge and steward who has also served on the Association of Professional Horsemen's Council for the past seven years. She helped develop the Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics and town-hall meetings. She is currently the chairwoman of the AQHA Show Council, serves on the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission and has taught at AQHA judges educational seminars.
The 2014 Most Valuable Professional Award goes to Holly Hover of Cave Creek, Arizona. Hover moved to Arizona 16 years ago and never looked back. She is happy to help the Arizona Quarter Horse Association in any way, shape or form: from bringing in sponsorships for the Arizona Sun Circuit and Arizona Fall Championship shows to hosting clinics.
Hover is always willing to go the extra mile for her clients and is known for her upbeat and friendly attitude.
She has been involved with the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup, youth committee and the steering committee for the AQHA Level 1 Championships. She is actually credited with developing the idea for the AQHA Level 1 Championships. She holds judges cards with AQHA and the American Paint Horse, National Reining Horse and National Snaffle Bit associations. She has also judged at the AQHA World Championship Show 11 times.
When asked what she is most proud of, Hover humbly talks about the many friends she has made in the horse industry.
About the Professional Horsemen of the Year Awards
Being name an AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year is one of the top awards of the equine industry. These individuals were nominated and voted on by their peers.
Congratulations to the 2014 professionals of the year. Look for more information on this year's winners in the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.
For more coverage of the 2015 AQHA Convention, visit http://www.aqha.com/convention.
AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit http://www.aqha.com/news.