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Changes Make For A Successful 2008 ASAC Convention

by Merritt Pryor


CONCORD, N.C. - Many say change is good. For the 2008 ASAC Convention, change was great! This year the venue had changed and the ASAC Convention was held at the beautiful Embassy Suites in Concord, N.C., which was located less than one mile from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The turnout was incredible. “The annual ASAC Convention exceeded our highest expectations this weekend. It was great to have so many of our ‘ASAC family’ with us. We hope those who missed it will be able to join us in 2009,” stated Brenda Pulis.


Brenda Pulis, Nancy Boone and Trip Stewart were

a big part of the 2008 ASAC Convention success!

Photo by Sandra Hall


Friday night kicked off the convention with the live and silent auction. The silent auction concluded during the awards banquet Saturday evening. When everything was totaled, $12,923 had been raised for ASAC while $430 was raised for UPHA.


Billy Whitley, Steve Hanks and Chuck Hutchinson

took time Friday night to catch up during the live

auction. Photo by Sandra Hall


Quintus and Brooke Vanderspuy took time to pose

for the camera in between bidding at the live auction.

Photo by Sandra Hall


Lewis Eckard spent time with Betsy and Paul Boone

during the ASAC Convention. Photo by Sandra Hall


Sammye Lucas, Brenda Kelly and Holly Gassen

spent time together during the live auction.

Photo by Sandra Hall.



Not only for the adult members of ASAC, the ASAC youth members had a well-planned action packed weekend as well. On Friday they had a party and a “horseless horse show”.  Saturday morning began early with the election of new officers for the up coming year. The officers that were elected included Meghan Toms as president, Dustin Lassett as vice-president, Kinsey Broome will serve as secretary and Ari Torrens was elected as historian. A pizza party followed the election. At 1:00 p.m. the ASAC youth boarded a bus and headed for Lowe’s Motor Speedway where they enjoyed go-cart racing and games.


Meghan Toms and Jenna Norton spent time Saturday

climbing a rock wall at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Photo by Sandra Hall


Informative meetings about the academy division, futurity and general membership filled the morning and early afternoon for the adult ASAC members. The slate of officers remained the same as they were in 2007, Ted Foreman as president, Steve Hanks as vice-president, Betsy Boone as secretary, Nancy Boone as treasurer, Vickie Byrd as N.C. correspondent and Shan Gentry as S.C. correspondent.


Saturday, after all the meetings were concluded, a cocktail hour began at 6:00 p.m. A wonderful dinner and the annual awards ceremony followed this social time. Each year it seems that after the ASAC Convention one award weighs on everyone’s mind a little more than any of the others. Last year it was when Brenda Pulis called Henry Jumper on the telephone, and he accepted his award from home since he could not attend due to health issues.


This year it was when Pulis announced the Martina Roseberry Sportsmanship Trainer of the Year Award. Prior to naming the recipient of the award Pulis gave a short speech but before she could finish, she and everyone in the room were in tears. After speaking of the determination, love and faith that had fortified this already strong family following the injury sustained by their daughter, Taylor, the award was presented to Beverly and Harrison Shiflet. The Shiflet family gathered on stage as Beverly and Harrison accepted the award, while given a standing ovation by the entire audience.


Beverly and Harrison Shiflet (3rd and 2nd from right)

were joined by Grant Shiflet, Jenna Norton and

Taylor and Matt Shiflet after they were awarded the Martina

Roseberry Sportsmanship Trainer of the Year Award, joined.

Photo by Sandra Hall.


The Martina Roseberry Sportsmanship Award for the juveniles was awarded to Caitlin Leith. Leith was described by Pulis as “the type of exhibitor ASAC had in mind when they set the standards.”


The Amateur Martina Roseberry Sportsmanship Award was presented to Marie Gwinn. In the presentation speech Brenda Pulis quoted Gwinn’s trainer, Betsy Boone as saying, “she enjoys her horses, not just placing.”  Boone went on to state that, “Gwinn is an amateur who rides and shows for the love of the sport.”


Beth Viering was awarded the Barbara Blackwelder Humanitarian Award. Besides being active in the AOT Club, Viering’s accounting and computer skills have proved to be very beneficial at the numerous horse shows where she has served as the show secretary.


Lindsay Newsome was awarded Margaret Stewart Memorial Youth Award. Pulis stated that the award went “to a lady who continues to stand out among her peers- a young lady who is dedicated to the American Saddlebred and ASAC as well.”


Christy Absher Johnson was described by Pulis as “just a kid at heart” as she was awarded the Frank Ogletree Youth Award. Johnson stepped up in October and took over as youth advisor only a few months before the ASAC Convention. In this short time Johnson, with help from the Youth Advisory Committee, pulled together a variety of activities to make the convention fun for the youth riders.


Rounding out the awards was the Sandra Hall Distinguished Service Award. Pulis announced Ray Cloninger’s name and then read the list of his many achievements from the past year. Included among them was being named the UPHA Show Manager of the Year as well as his induction into the Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame.


If the 2008 ASAC Convention is a precursor to the 2008 show season, we are all in for a treat!


Cagle James and Allie Wellington prepared
to dance
the night away after they both
received champion
high point awards.


Steve and Hollie Davidson of Cross Winds Farm

enjoyed their time with their friends and customers

during the awards banquet. Photo by Sandra Hall.


The Ingleside Farm gang was dressed to the nines

as they celebrated a successful show season during

the awards banquet.


Rick and Terry Felder enjoyed the live entertainment

Saturday evening after the awards were presented.

Photo by Sandra Hall


Jack Finch joined his wife, Donna, after she was

awarded the high point championship in the adult

country pleasure division with CH Riva Diva.


Editor’s note: See separate news item for a complete list of the ASAC High Point and other awards.

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