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ASHAG Hall of Fame Inductee



Tracy Marshall presented Jim Ruwoldt

the ASHAG Hall Of Fame award.

 

 

(Editor’s note: The following award was presented on Jan. 26, 2008, at the ASHAG Awards Banquet held in Atlanta.)

 

2008 ASHAG Hall of Fame

 

The 2008 inductee into the ASHAG Hall of Fame is a familiar face on the local and national scene of the American Saddlebred world as he has been around for quite a while!

         

His love of horses began as a boy in Detroit, Mich., where he saved his money and rode when he could. His passion was really fueled when his two young daughters wanted riding lessons after their move to the “Sunny South” and Atlanta in 1968. The very next Christmas, a little wooden barn with a horse inside appeared under the tree with a tag that said owned by Cindy and Kathy. Thus the first horse, Dutch Treat, followed and riding lessons continued at Chattahoochee Stables under the direction of Jack Louder.

         

His first enjoyment was hunter and jumpers, but his daughters’ love of the beautiful Saddlebred soon won him over. He was a good rider himself and would jump anything and everything and galloped along the river. He wasn’t necessarily a pretty rider but a gutsy one – he even won the gentleman’s pleasure class on Darling Of The Day at the Greenville, S.C., show.

         

Never one to sit on the sidelines and watch, he soon became involved in horse shows and management. His daughter, Kathy, and then son-in-law, Steve Old, operated Oakcrest Stables in Marietta and the family was a familiar sight at Saturday night horse shows exhibiting Darling, Colt 45 and Mr. Imp. He took over as show manager of the Southeastern Charity Horse Show in the early ‘70s when the show was held at Stone Mountain Park and his wife served as show secretary for a number of years as well. He has continued to serve the Southeastern Charity Horse Show as a volunteer manager for many years except for a few when his travel schedule at work was so intense. Even then he did all the wiring for the temporary stalls at Wills Park in the late ‘80s. In 1990 he was elected into the Southeastern Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame.

         

Meanwhile his professional life was taking off, and he became vice president of World Wide Communications for the Coca Cola Company. He and his wife traveled all over the world with Coke and their many special events, most notably the Olympics. His interest and love of horses never wavered during that busy time – as a matter of fact it grew.

         

In the mid ‘80s, he purchased half ownership in the famed Willowbank Farm in Simpsonville, Ky. He has been actively involved in the management of the farm and has so enjoyed his partnership with Joan Lurie and the success of Willowbank. The mare, Darling of The Day, became their foundation broodmare and Lightning Lil and Atlantache were bred by Daybreak Farm and trace back to Darling as well as Happy Tracks who was a reserve world champion fine harness mare. Today the mare Sweet Attachment carries on the tradition with her offspring, Heir’s Encore and Heir’s Halo.

         

His involvement in the Georgia horse world grew as well. He was president of ASHAG in 1978 and 1979. He has served on the board of the Georgia Special Olympics for many years and is actively involved in the state equestrian games where daughter Cindy has been very successful with the renowned Tigger under the coaching of George Anne Nash.

         

He has served on the board of the American Saddlebred Museum and was very instrumental in the wonderful video presentation at the Museum. He currently serves on the board of the American Saddlebred Horse Association and of course, manages Southeastern Charity Horse Show.         

There isn’t a more loyal and supportive husband, father, friend and horse show and industry fan than our 2008 inductee- Mr. Jim Ruwoldt.



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