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2007 ASHA Scholarship Recipients

by Brenda Newell and Daniel Rieffer


ASHA Scholarships


Since 1991, the American Saddlebred Horse Association has awarded yearly scholarships to students involved with the Saddlebred industry as a means to fulfill one of ASHA’s principle missions – the education an encouragement of youths. These scholarships are available to applicants who are ASHA members, have completed grade 11, are under age 21 and who best meet the qualifications of financial need, academic success, commitment to the American Saddlebred and ASHA youth programs. In 2007, five ASHA Scholarships of $5,000 each have been awarded. To date, over $220,000 has been awarded in ASHA Scholarships to nearly 100 youth members in more than 20 states.


(Editor's note: A presentation was made on Friday night during the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show to the following students:)


Alex Browning

Campbellsville, Kentucky


Alex Browning is a 2007 Taylor County High School graduate from Campbellsville, Kentucky, where he and his family live on their farm. Alex naturally became involved in the Taylor County 4-H program early on, age nine to be exact. He’s made the most of his 4-H experience, serving locally as its president, and prior to that, vice president, in addition to receiving the Taylor County Outstanding 4-H award, representing his state on a national level as the Kentucky Senior Horse Judging Champion and riding a Saddlebred to champion as well as reserve champion titles at the Kentucky 4-H Horse Show. Working with horses as a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), Alex has received his chapter degree and is in line for state and national merit – having competed in horse judging, tobacco grading as well as agriculture and sales marketing.


During high school, Alex took advanced courses and earned recognition from Who’s Who Among American High School Students and the National Honor Roll. He also participated in show choir and played baseball, with the latter leading to membership in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).


Interest in Saddlebreds began for Alex at a young age, through his grandfather, Tommie Johns. He was only 18 months old when he won a judged lead line class on a pony, and he competed in his first Saddlebred walk-trot class at age six. Together, Alex and his grandfather traveled to every county fair within driving distance – training, grooming and showing their own Saddlebreds. Alex has shown in Equitation, Three-Gaited and Five-Gaited Show Pleasure, Open Driving Pleasure, Youth Roadster and currently, shows a park and a juvenile five-gaited horse. He says that’s where his real joy and passion originate – from the experiences he has showing, giving lessons and caring for the American Saddlebred.


In 2002, instead of attending the World’s Championship Horse Show, as the Browning family did every year, they were attending the funeral of Alex’s grandfather. Alex says that was the turning point in his life. The passing of his grandfather meant he had to step up and help more with the family farm. That’s when he really began to recognize what his grandfather had instilled in him – a love and passion for the American Saddlebred – and Alex realized he wanted a career in the Saddlebred industry. Since, Alex has joined ASHA, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows and currently serves as president on the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) Youth Council.


Alex took riding lessons at Burnette Farms and Tammy DeVore Stables. Now, he gives weekly lessons at a nearby farm, while also working for Cardinal Farms in Bonnieville, Kentucky. Over the past few years, he’s helped with the preparation of the Taylor County Fair Horse Show, where a class is named in his grandfather’s honor – the Tommie Johns Memorial Five-Gaited Championship.


Alex plans on attending a college with an equine program and continuing his work with horses.


Eileen Malloy Molzberger

Waukesha, Wisconsin


Eileen Malloy Molzberger of Waukesha, Wisconsin, began riding horses 16 years ago, but her focus shifted to the American Saddlebred within last few years – following her first saddle seat lesson and after attending her first Saddlebred show. By 2003, she had her first Saddlebred but could not afford to keep her horse in training. Eileen chose the challenge of training the horse herself, while taking lessons with Bonnie Kittredge of Woodwind Farm.


Eileen has supported the breed in many ways, including giving demonstrations on the breed, saddle seat riding and proper care of horses. As an active ASHA Youth member, she has participated in American Saddlebred International Youth Program (ASIYP) competitions – as an individual in 2005 and as a Woodwind Showstopper Youth Club team member in 2006, in which she earned MVP honors for the team Horse Bowl competition. Her show experience includes many levels, which began with barn, open and 4-H shows. After earning bronze, silver and gold medals in the ASHA Academy program, she has continued to compete at A and B rated shows. Showmanship and Junior Judging are two activities in which she regularly participates at horse shows. Eileen’s mentor is Dr. Laura Sukowaty, who has worked with and helped Eileen five hours a week, every week for over four years.


In addition to the hours she spent daily at the barn, Eileen was very involved in many school-related activities, such as an 11-day trip to Montana as a part of a work camp to rebuild a reservation, raising funds for summer camps for children with HIV / AIDS and raising funds to build a well in Darfur.


With an overall grade point average of 4.2, obviously, Eileen has taken her education very seriously and was on the high honor roll for eight semesters at Catholic Memorial High School. She also tutored two students all four years of high school. She has been honored with a number of academic and leadership awards, including the Student Achiever Award, Outstanding Achiever Award and is a member of the National Honor Society. She earned the distinctive International Baccalaureate Diploma, which requires students to take college level courses in seven different academic areas during the final two years of high school and complete 150 service hours, along with a number of rigorous academic criteria. By completing the program, Eileen has earned 28 college credits. The National Youth Leadership Council invited her to be a part of their conference each of the last three years. Her name also appears in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, and she was honored with the Wisconsin Glen Davis Award this spring. ASHA Charter Club, the American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin, has also granted her a scholarship.


Eileen will attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison this fall with plans to major in Biomedical Engineering, then, pursue a degree in Equine Veterinary Medicine.


Courtney McIntosh

Whitestown, Indiana


Courtney McIntosh of Whitestown, Indiana, is a fourth generation horse person, having spent her whole life around American Saddlebreds. Her grandfather is a trainer, as is her father, Mike, and her mother, Carla, runs the family broodmare farm. She started riding at a very early age in Academy classes, graduating into pleasure, three-gaited, fine harness and pleasure driving divisions. Showing in Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor, she’s brought home ribbons from Twin Rivers, Decatur, Indianapolis Charity and River Ridge. Courtney, however, is not motivated by show-ring accolades alone; she says she is just as happy in the training barn helping with the horses. When she is not assisting her father with the show horses, she is busy helping her mother take care of the broodmares and foals – handling the babies from birth and teaching them to lead. A nine-year member of the Boone County 4-H club, Courtney has displayed her love of animals through prize-winning 4-H projects.


Currently, Courtney is treasurer for her ASHA youth group, the Terrific Trotters. She volunteers her time assisting with fundraising, horse shows, community service projects, field trips and promoting the breed with the club, while serving as a mentor to the younger members of the group.


When Courtney is not occupied with horses, she’s usually reading a book. A member of the National Honor Society, she consistently makes the honor roll at Zionsville High School, where she is also a member of the Science Club. Courtney and her friends organized the Stewards of the Earth Society, a club with the goal of cleaning up her school’s English courtyard to ensure it will become a lasting legacy for the school. As a violinist in the school orchestra for six years and a member of the Honors Orchestra, she’s represented her school in performances in New York, Germany and Austria.


As she begins her senior year of high school, Courtney intends on continuing her life-long dedication to the American Saddlebred through contributions to the industry and promotion of the breed.


Terra Schroeder

Andover, Minnesota


Terra Schroeder is in her second year of college at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. She graduated with honors in 2005 from Andover High School in Andover, Minnesota, where she was also a member of the National Honor Society and completed many advanced placement, honors and “College in the Schools” courses. Many of those courses earned her college credit, which, in addition to the online summer courses she’s been taking, will help her graduate from college with two degrees in four years.


Very active in 4-H and FFA while in high school, Terra, at one time or another, has served as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and reporter in local chapters and clubs of both organizations – including the Wranglers 4-H Club, Anoka County 4-H Horse Committee, Minnesota State 4-H Association, Western Saddle Clubs and Blaine FFA. Her efforts were instrumental in the creation of county horse judging and horse bowl teams in her area. In addition to participating on those teams, Terra organized fundraising events.


It was during high school that Terra was introduced to saddle seat, when she started working at an Arabian and National Show Horse training facility – learning about grooming, showing halter horses and riding young western, hunt and saddle seat horses. She knew immediately that she had to learn more about this exciting discipline and started taking lessons at Manahan Stables in St. Francis, Minnesota.


Now, at William Woods University, she is completely addicted to the American Saddlebred and has ridden saddle seat each semester she’s been there. Terra is working toward Bachelor of Science degrees in both Equestrian Science and Business Administration. Last summer, she worked for Alliance Stud in Simpsonville, Kentucky, where she got her first taste of the American Saddlebred show circuit and loved every minute of it.


Terra’s future plans include using her education and dedication to assist in Saddlebred training barns and, eventually, open her own facility.


Youth-to-Youth Scholarship

The ASHA Youth-to-Youth Scholarship is an award given annually to an individual who has participated in ASHA youth activities, including Youth Conference, Youth Clubs, Saddle Time, Academy Awards, Junior Judging, ASHA Driving Challenge, American Saddlebred International Youth Program (ASIYP) Levels, ASIYP Letters and ASIYP Competitions. Recipients have shown initiative in broadening their knowledge of horses beyond the confines of the show ring and exhibited a commitment to well-rounded horsemanship. They are considered role models for the younger members of their barns, youth clubs and schools. Funding for the Youth-to-Youth Scholarship is based on donations from individuals and youth clubs. These are frequently the result of fundraising activities at horse shows and youth club meetings. The Youth-to-Youth Scholarship provides a unique opportunity for Saddlebred youth clubs to provide support for other individuals much like themselves.


Natalie Combs

Georgetown, Kentucky


Natalie Combs graduated from Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky, this year. She has a deep love for the American Saddlebred and takes every opportunity to promote the breed, including numerous presentations at school on the breed and saddle seat equitation. She even convinced her lesson barn to haul a horse to school in order to introduce the Saddlebred to her class. As an ASHA Academy representative, she’s ridden a lesson horse at Kids Day at the Kentucky Horse Park. For several years, she has been a part of her hometown’s Festival of the Horse celebration – beginning as a Little Saddler, then, inserting herself into either the Max or Maxine Saddlebred costume to leading a Saddlebred down Main Street in the Parade of Breeds. Working for the American Saddlebred Museum last summer, Natalie took every opportunity to meet other Saddlebred enthusiasts and promote the breed to first-time visitors.


Natalie’s involvement in ASHA Youth programs includes winning the Youth Photo Contest, earning several levels of Saddle Time, participation in the American Saddlebred International Youth Program (ASIYP) and completing the Academy Awards Program – receiving the bronze, silver and gold medallions. She has attended the ASHA Youth Conference regularly and served on the Youth Planning Committee for the conference. Natalie was instrumental in resurrecting her riding barn’s youth club, The Mighty Mallard Mustangs, and held offices as secretary and, this year, as president. Because of her hard work and dedication to this club, the Mighty Mallard Mustangs earned an outstanding achievement award with their first scrapbook in 2005. The club was again presented with an outstanding achievement award this year for their fundraising efforts.


In the show ring, Natalie has claimed ribbons numerous times, including reserve honors in pleasure equitation at Kentucky American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association and Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows competitions. She won reserve and champion at the Lexington Winter Tournament Association Year End Awards and was the Kentucky Academy Champion for Riders ages 14-17.


When she wasn’t competing in the show ring, Natalie was competing on the court, serving as her high school volleyball team’s varsity captain her senior year and junior varsity captain her sophomore and junior years. In addition to being a member of FCA and the Pep Club, she belonged to the Beta Club, National Honor Society, National Council on Youth Leadership, Health Occupational Students of America and was recognized by Who’s Who Among American High School Students. She was also in Chorus and Advanced Chorus all throughout high school.


Natalie will attend the University of Kentucky this fall and plans to study Physical Therapy and Athletic Training.


ASHA of Alabama Scholarship

Each year the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alabama, Inc., provides donations for a scholarship to be given to an ASHA junior member from Alabama. In 2007, this scholarship totals $2,500. The program was established in 1996 in an effort to highlight the many benefits close involvement with the American Saddlebred can have upon a young adult, promote youth involvement with Saddlebreds and reward individuals who have successfully promoted the breed within their communities.


Victoria Champion

Montgomery, Alabama


Victoria Champion is entering her senior year at St. James School in Montgomery, Alabama, where she has been on the honor roll every semester since junior high and has been enrolled in advanced high school courses in preparation for college. Her academic accolades include membership in the Mu Alpha Theta Math Society, National Society of High School Scholars and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. She excels as an artist as well, claiming first place in the Alabama National Fair Art Show, and she’s a member of the National Art Society. A cheerleader, too, her team placed first in the United Gymnastics All Star Competition and was chosen to participate in Disney World’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She is also an active member of the FCA, Key Club and Montgomery Pre-Med Explorers.


Victoria still finds time to dedicate to her love of the American Saddlebred. In 2003, she won a State High Point Award in Academy Walk-Trot Equitation, took reserve in Pleasure Walk-Trot and was a High Point Champion in both divisions in 2004. Additionally, Victoria has to her credit National Academy Champion for her age group and 2004 overall Reserve Champion. Recently, she’s enjoyed wins and reserves in pleasure and equitation at the Blue Ridge Classic, J.D. Massey Charity and American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas Horse Show.


As an active participant in community service projects, Victoria has committed her leadership abilities and desire to help others to organizations like the Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE), which is a therapeutic riding program for children and adults. She’s created several programs at schools, such as “Barn Buddies” and “Pennies for Ponies,” which are extremely beneficial to MANE. She has been able to utilize her involvement with MANE as a platform to educate people about the American Saddlebred and the breed’s many diverse qualities.


Victoria plans to pursue genetics as her career focus upon graduation in 2008.



Alex Browning – n/a

Eileen Malloy Molzberger – Ruby River photo

Courtney McIntosh – Avis photo

Terra Schroeder – n/a

Natalie Combs – Holifield photo
Victoria Champion – Jane Jacobs photo

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