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ASHA Frank Ogletree Youth Award: Devin Sell

The ASHA Frank Ogletree Youth Award goes to a youth who has exhibited a sportsman like attitude throughout his or her career. They must have demonstrated participation and achievement as well as having served as true role models for their peers.

Like the previous winners of this distinguished award, this year’s honoree aptly fits the above description. Her love of all things horses began as a baby and for her fifth birthday party her parents provided pony rides. Soon after they were looking for a place for our honoree to have lessons. She took her first lesson with Nancy Brannon in 2007 and has never looked back. The late Sam Brannon told her parents, “She has something special.”

Only three months after taking her first lesson she rode into the show ring as an academy rider. She honed her skills riding American Saddlebreds like Cielo Yellow, Rock The House, Talk Of Summer, Hightime’s Encore and Gimmie Sugar. In 2014, she won the Kentucky Regional Walk/Trot/Canter Pleasure State Championship aboard Choiceco.

She got her very own Saddlebred in 2015, showing He’s A Gale Force in the junior exhibitor five-gaited pleasure division. Some of her highlights include a 2018 reserve in Lexington Junior League’s Bluegrass Select Series Five-Gaited Pleasure class; a 2018 KASPHA championship; a 2019 KASPHA High Point Championship and a 2019 ASHA Pleasure Horse Award – the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Championship. This past season in addition to showing He’s A Gale Force, she also showed My Dear John in the junior exhibitor country pleasure division. After winning a hard earned seventh place ribbon at the World’s Championship Horse Show she stated, “it was the best week ever.”

Having completed the USEF lettering program as a four-year high school athlete, she now trains for continuing and expanding her riding career and is a member of the Georgetown College intercollegiate saddle seat riding team, helping to expand that program.

Outside the show ring she has been a member of her barn’s youth group and has served as the club’s president for the past two years, leading numerous community service activities while promoting the American Saddlebred. 

In fact, her group earned ASHA’s Community Service Award for 2018. Volunteering at World Cup, the Kentucky Special Olympics state equestrian competition, the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show and the ASHA Youth Conference has readied her to be one of the leaders of tomorrow.

Our recipient feels blessed to be a part of the American Saddlebred community and looks forward to her final junior exhibitor season in 2020. One of her favorite quotes is by Oprah Winfrey: “Be thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Our recipient’s trainer, Nancy Brannon, had this to say about our honoree. “Always an exceptional student and rider, most importantly she is a good person. Through her equestrian pursuits she has learned the value of kindness, patience and hard work. She is always ready to offer support to our younger riders and she is always willing to help with the mundane tasks that are the foundation of any animal related activity.

“To me, sportsmanship and character go hand in hand. True love of the equestrian sport is not about the blue ribbons, it’s about the journey. She truly embodies the best of our equestrian sport,” said Nancy.
This young lady does embody all that is required to be the recipient of the ASHA Frank Ogletree Youth Award. 

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