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November 9, 2012

Kiki Umla Receives Service To The Equestrian Industry Award At Alltech National Horse Show

Kiki Umla, one of the grand ladies of the sport, was honored at the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show with the Welles Family Trophy, in recognition of Service to the Equestrian Industry.  

 

The trophy is presented annually to a special individual, one who has made a commitment and contribution to the sport and to the equestrian industry.

 

Umla, born on the Mainline in Philadelphia, and now a resident of Wellington, Florida, was presented with trophy on Saturday night in Lexington.

 

Umla's career started with the legendary Hugh Cassidy on Long Island in the late 70's and early 80's at such famous shows as North Shore, Piping Rock and C.W. Post College.

 

Umla joined forces with Gene Mische, the legendary founder of Stadium Jumping, in the early 90's. When she first joined on at the Winter Equestrian Festival, she was known the "Queen of the Five Dollar Ring" when the shows were held at Pierson Road and South Shore Blvd.

 

It was also there that she met one of her dearest friends, the late Scott Brackan. She and Scott became a first class hospitality team, running the VIP tent for Stadium Jumping; a job that lasted for over four decades and set a standard that has often been imitated, but never equaled in the industry.

 

Michael Morrissey, the President of Stadium Jumping, reflecting on Umla's career, said, "There is no one that was more loyal and more of a friend to the Stadium Jumping family than Kiki Umla. Kiki has been the connection, the bridge between Stadium Jumping and our customers," he said.

 

Umla has worked such shows as the Winter Equestrian Festival, Lake Placid, the Hampton Classic, Cleveland, New Albany, Newport and Attitash. She was the VIP Hostess at the Taylor Harris Club at the Alltech National Horse Show.

 

"I'm just overwhelmed by this award," Umla said following the presentation. "For me to recognized and rewarded for doing all of the jobs, over the years that I loved so much, is such an honor. I thank all of those responsible for this wonderful award."

 

"It was a very special ceremony for a very special lady," said an emotional Mason Phelps, Jr., the President of the National Horse Show Association. "Kiki has dedicated her life to the equestrian industry and no one is more deserving of the Welles Trophy."

 

The second edition of the Alltech National Horse Show, just completed in Lexington, Kentucky, received rave reviews for the second year in a row, with many of those competing calling it, "the finest horse show in the United States." More than 300 riders and 500 horses from 13 countries competed in the classes during the show, which presented more than $600,000 in prize money during the six day run.

 

"It was a very special ceremony for a very special lady," said an emotional Mason Phelps, Jr., the President of the National Horse Show Association. "Kiki has dedicated her life to the equestrian industry and no one is more deserving of the Welles Trophy." 


The Alltech National Horse Show, 130th edition, will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2013. For more information, please visit www.nhs.org.

 
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