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UPHA Associate Member Of The Year Award - Shirley Smith

Nancy Trent presented the UPHA Associate Member Award to Shirley Smith.

(photo by Jane Jacobs)


(Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Nancy Trent on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007 at the UPHA/AHHS Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.)

The recipient of this year’s Associate of the Year Award is a woman of quiet demeanor, steely strength and unending service to the UPHA, the American Saddlebred horse and the people of the horse community. In fact, our recipient, Shirley Smith, the long time secretary of the UPHA Associate group, puts the capital letters in the word “service”; service to her local horse community and to the national horse community she loves. Shirley’s contribution to the UPHA has been consistent and unwavering for years working on both the local and national level.

Shirley’s “love affair” with the horse began with her first Saddlebred named “Beauty.” From Beauty (she was black!), Shirley progressed through the years to her ownership of many American Saddlebreds placed in training with a virtual “Who’s Who” of Missouri trainers: the late Howard Roberts trained Best Blast, Sug Utz, Dave Shocklee and Chicago Time, Kent Mead trained My Playtime, Jerry Cook with Champagne Splash, Virgil Helm with Yankee’s Newsleader and My Genius Image and Ron Hulse with a horse that would become a world champion–Champagne Tiger. And Shirley got in on the act too!

Shirley has truly enjoyed her horses and because of them, has given so much of her time, expertise and energy to the horse industry. Shirley’s commitment to the UPHA and the horse community in general has been constant. She has been actively involved on the local level with the Mid America Saddlebred Club (a charter club) for 15 plus years. As part of this group, Shirley has been active in different aspects – from overseeing the club’s clinics to the Mid America Show.

Most recently in 2004 and again in 2005, Shirley assisted with the exceptional equitation and academy classes. In addition, her efforts as chair of the club’s barn tour event, which was designed to present the American Saddlebred horse to the general public was a yearly event for four years and was highly successful.

The American Royal has also benefited from Shirley’s volunteer efforts and exhibiting over the years. In 2000 and 2001, Shirley co-chaired the Saddlebred show with Sally Jackson. She is always ready, willing and able to volunteer her help to the UPHA National Show. The task can’t be too big or little, high profile or behind the scenes for Shirley. She meets each task with the same enthusiasm.

For the UPHA Associates, Shirley graciously accepted the job of board secretary during the presidency of Sally Jackson and the officers since that time have been, as I am myself, overjoyed to have her enthusiasm and true devotion to the organization, coupled with her considerable business skills at our meetings.

Shirley Smith – a quiet, unassuming, incredibly capable woman, who for 23 years, negotiated the Federal Court System and managed the professional lives of not one, but two Federal judges, has given so much knowledge, so much expertise, to the Associate group.

Tonight we thank her and we honor her. Ladies and gentlemen, the recipient of the Associate of the Year Award – Mrs. Shirley Smith.

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