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Ann Tierney Smith: LURLINE ROTH SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD



Posted March 8, 2002
Editor's Note: The following speech was read by Fred Sarver at the ASHA Annual Convention Awards Banquet held on Saturday, February 23, 2002.
This award is made in the honor of Lurline Roth, and is given since its inception to a deserving woman who has given of herself to the American Saddlebred horse, who has supported ASHA programs, and has exemplified the true aspects of sportsmanship, in and out of the show ring. This year’s honoree is most deserving, as she served ASHA well, serving on its Board of Directors, chairing the foundation Steering Committee, as well as serving as zone director in her Charter Club, ASHAV.

The Tierney family defined the word service, and our honoree, Ann Tierney Smith is no exception. I have been fortunate to know our recipient for a long, well a very long time, both as a friend, as well as an employee of Leatherwood Farm. Although I knew Ann’s father, Laurence Tierney, it was her mother, Katharine Tierney that would introduce me to Leatherwood. Like her husband, Mrs.

Tierney had a philosophy that the giving of ones resources to community, and worthwhile endeavors was not an option, but a requirement for successful living. This did not mean just writing a check, but also the giving of one’s time. Ann learned her lessons well, and instilled the same qualities into her children, Laurence; serving as the President of the American Road Horse Association, and Barclay who served this organization as chair of the Sport Horse Committee.

It is important to note that Ann gives generously of her time to the Virginia Horse Center Foundation, where she serves as a member of its Board and works hard supporting the Bonnie Blue National Horse Show. She and her family hosted an annual barbecue at Leatherwood Farm for many years during the Blue-Gray Shrine Classic Horse Show, and contributed heavily to its success. Leatherwood Farm is also a sponsor of classes in several horse shows including Roanoke, and Lexington Junior League, the Kentucky State Fair and ASHAV.

I have spent time telling you why Ann is a deserving recipient of this award; now let me tell you a little about her.

Our story really begins more than 60 years ago, when Ann’s father, Laurence, and his brother Lewis Tierney built Leatherwood Farm.

I now refer to what we called the “Green Book” for a little history, and I read . . . “In 1938, Laurence and Lewis Tierney fulfilled their lifetime dream of creating a championship breeding farm. Nestled in the rolling foothills of the beautiful East River Mountain, the Tierney brothers discovered the perfect setting for their plans to raise a proud breed of horses, to train them, to perpetuate their fine lineage. They called their farm Leatherwood, named for the springs, whose waters flowed through the farm. Here, amid 168 acres of famed bluegrass, near Bluefield, was the beginning of Leatherwood Farm’s tradition of Champions.”

Ann and her cousins Matthew and Clark Tierney spent much of their childhood in close association with the farm, and its activities. Here Ann’s love of the American Saddlebred Horse would be nurtured.

Trainers played an integral part in Ann’s success in the show ring. In the early days, Johnny Lucas, Sr., and Christian Barham were the Leatherwood trainers.

It was in 1982 that Ann and her husband John Smith made history with the purchase of Sultan’s Santana and CH Starlike Sultan. Sultan’s Santana brought Leatherwood Farm much publicity and marked its return as a prominent breeding farm, but it was CH Starlike Sultan who had captured Ann’s love and devotion. Destined to be a great breeding horse, CH Starlike Sultan sired many show ring champions in his very short breeding career, among them CH Starlike Airs, Starmonius, and Ann’s wonderful five-gaited stallion, RWC Leatherwood Starlight.

Again, trainers have played an important role along Ann’s lifelong venture. In addition to Johnny Lucas, Sr., and Christian Barham, there was Bill Becker, Redd Crabtree, Sam Brannon, Jimmy Robertson and Smith Lilly. Some of the well known show horses that I have not yet mentioned are: WC Corrine Corrina, WC Dancing Time, Springtime Santana, and Seymour’s Southern Heir and Callaway’s Newsflash. Oops! I almost forgot the good filly, RWC Have You Ever.

Stallions that stood at stud at Leatherwood read like who’s who. Among them: Sensation Rex, Leatherwood King, Mighty Sensation, Leatherwood Genius, Sultan’s Santana, Starlike Sultan, Manhattan Supreme, Worthy Son, Windstorm, Shamrock Santana and many others, with Leatherwood Starlight now paving the way for the future.

Ann continues to promote the American Saddlebred Horse in and out of the show ring. It is my pleasure, and my honor to present the Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award to a most deserving person, a friend of the American Saddlebred Horse . . . Ann Tierney Smith.

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