The Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America (WPCSA) held its 2013 Annual General Meeting over the weekend of February 21-24, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Society members from across the United States enjoyed a packed-full agenda that included such events as Society Board, business and committee meetings, informative clinics, award banquets and presentations.
First Welsh of the Year Recipient Announced!
The Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America is pleased to announce that Section B Welsh stallion, Flying Diamond The Bailef LOM/AOH/AOE is the first recipient of the Welsh of the Year Award. Owned by Janice Early of Lazy J Welsh Pony Ranch, Linden, TX, trained and ridden by Wendy Stephens, 27 Training Center, Vivian, LA; Bailef and his entourage have crisscrossed the country to perform in competitions ranging from Dressage and Hunter to Cowboy and Trail Riding. Dozens of Welsh Enthusiasts recently supported the team’s trip to Calgary Canada as the first ever pony to compete in the “International Invitation Only Cowboy Up Challenge” held during the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, finishing in the top ten. The duo has also competed in the highly publicized “America's Favorite Trail Horse Competition” against 1,000 other equines and the little pony with the big heart garnered thousands of votes finishing third. Competition within the Welsh world has garnered Bailef numerous WPCSA National Awards, his Legion of Merit, the Award of Excellence and the Award of Honour. This year, his offspring completed his Sire Legion of Merit for purebreds and his Sire Award of Honour for Half-Welsh adding to his previous honors and previous WPCSA national and reserve national championships.
In 2012, nine nominees were submitted for Welsh of the Year, six of which were selected by committee to run for the award. WPCSA membership then voted a tightly contested competition culminating in the selection of the top winner awarded at Society’s annual meeting in February. Jackie Verkuyl of Gold Hills Welsh and program sponsor states that she is, “thrilled with the success of the first year of the program and very pleased with the quality of the nominees. The nominees demonstrate the versatility of the Welsh breeds and I congratulate each of them on their successes in and out of the show ring.” This exciting new program is designed to promote ownership, encourage involvement and spotlight the achievements of extraordinary Welsh breed individuals and Bailef certainly exemplifies that!
For more information on this prestigious award, the profiles of all of the Welsh nominees and how to qualify for this prestigious award, visit www.welshpony.org.
WPCSA 2013 Achievement Awards
Dr. Ruth Wilburn, WPCSA President, presented a Society Achievement Award to acknowledge Gretchen Aiken, Family Partners Welsh Ponies, Riddle, OR. Gretchen has generously shared her computer and technical skills with the society for years. In 2012 Gretchen spearheaded and managed a wildly successful on-line Stallion Auction which raised an unprecedented amount - over $12,000 - for the Society. Gretchen is also responsible for organizing the Society’s new Open Award Show program which debuted in time for the 2012 show season. The program required countless hours in developing, recording and maintaining throughout the year. During its debut year, 80 entrants participated in 9 open divisions. The WPCSA extends a heartfelt thank you to Gretchen for sharing her talents for the benefit of all WPCSA members.
WPCSA Junior Awards
This year’s All-Around High Point Youth Awards were presented at Saturday’s awards luncheon and Sydney MacWhorter was present to receive her award in the 13-17 age group while Kaitlin Hofer accepted her award in the 12 &under age group. Congratulations to all of these young people for all their hard work and success showing their animals at WPCSA rated shows.
WPCSA is also pleased to announce the presentation of Junior Merit Program awards at this year’s annual meeting. The WPCSA Junior Merit Program, initiated in 2010, is designed to recognize and encourage juniors to enjoy, compete, work with and learn about their Welsh. The Society was pleased to recognize Kaitlin Hofer, Elise Heim and Andrew Helm for their 2012 accomplishments. WPCSA juniors are encouraged to sign up and participate in this self-paced program in the year ahead so they can receive their awards at next year’s annual meeting. Details about the WPCSA Junior Merit Program can be found under the Youth tab at www.welshpony.org.
WPCSA Lifetime Awards – Order of the Dragon
The Breeder/Owner Order of the Dragon Award is one of the Society’s highest awards. This coveted WPCSA award is designed to recognize the breeders and owners of animals who have made a significant and lasting impact upon the breed as evidenced through their performance in the show ring. To achieve this highest honor, an individual must be named as the breeder on the original papers of 15 Legion of Merit winners or have been the owner or lessor of record at the time the last points were credited to 15 Legion of Merit winners, or any combination thereof. The WPCSA congratulates Tammy Burgin, Farmore Farms Welsh Ponies, Galt, CA as the 2013 recipient of this prestigious award.
Other WPCSA Lifetime Awards
The Society is also pleased to present Awards of Excellence (AOE), Legions of Merit (LOM) and Awards of Honor (AOH) to the following purebred animals:
Dam AOE: Glynmagic Lorelei AOE owned by Robin Pieper and Hidden Creek’s Rain Belle
LOM/AOE owned by Sally Steinmetz
Individual AOE: Bridlewood Fool’s Gold LOM/AOE owned by Carrie & Sydney MacWhorter, *Menai Lord Thomas LOM/AOE owned by Maggie Hall, Rosehaven Magic Rain LOM/AOE owned by Sally Steinmetz.
Sire LOM: Flying Diamond The Bailef LOM/AOH/AOE owned by Janice Early and Severn Donegal LOM owned by John and Margaret Almond.
Sire AOH: Flying Diamond The Bailef LOM/AOH/AOE owned by Janice Early
Dam LOM: Dandardel Annette LOM owned by Thomas and Christina Ahrndt
Individual LOM: Bridlewood Fool’s Gold LOM/AOE owned by Carrie & Sydney MacWhorter, *Ceulan Lynette LOM owned by Carol, David & Darci Maurer, Farmore Royal Tywyn LOM owned by Sandra Gebo, Gaslight Lillith LOM owned by Carol and David Maurer, Rosehaven Minuet LOM owned by Sally Steinmetz, Severn Festive Spree LOM owned by Karen & Kathy MacLeay, Silvandra’s Lady Hawk LOM owned by Cindy L. Thomas, Tide Creek Eira LOM owned by Amy & Candace Hale, Wynnbrook Arctic Fox LOM owned by Kristina Morris
The Society is also pleased to present Individual Awards of Honor (AOH) to the following Half/ Part bred Welsh animals:
Individual AOH: Cardod Sweetest Moment AOH owned by Audra Gavin, Sierra Haglund & Barbara Wynn, N.P.F. Sweet Charity AOH owned by Amy and Candace Hale.
Congratulations to these well-deserving animals and owners! Further information about these awards and the recipients can be found at www.welshpony.org.