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UPHA Associate Member of the Year – Larry Gilpin


Editor's Note: The following speech was read by Nancy Trent, Friday Jan. 6, 2006 at the UPHA/AHHS Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

Tonight I have the distinct pleasure to announce that the UPHA Associate of the Year Award goes to Mr. Larry Gilpin. Before I go into Larry's many accomplishments within the associate group, I would like to tell you a little about the life of this extraordinary man.

Larry's path in the horse business began like many parents'- a horse-crazy little girl and a pony. Larry purchased Sir Patches Supreme for his then seven-and-a-half year old daughter Lana. For Larry, Patches was a modest investment for a man on the rise in the business world. For Lana, Patches was a dream come true. Always the supporting dad, as Lana's riding progressed and dad's career progressed, more horses were on the horizon. The first being WC Happy Valley Treasure.

From “Treasure” on, Larry has actively pursued and enjoyed Saddlebreds and road horses for over 25 years. Working a busy schedule through the years with such high profile corporations as Finger Hut, Kaiser Aluminum and finally Target, he has always found time to support the horse show world. During his 23 years with Target as their Executive Vice President, Larry pursued varied activities from overseeing the CART race cars sponsored by the company to getting his license as a minister. One of Reverend Gilpin's dear memories is presiding over the marriage of Donna Pettry and Kenny Smith.

Never one to not experience life to the fullest, Larry found himself drawn to driving harness and road horses. He has shown such noted road horses as Out For Fun, Homewrecker, and his current horse, WC Meadow Demon. His true passion for the fine harness horse led him to his all-time favorite, Very Presidential.

All this enjoyment of horses and the horse show scene drew Larry to apply his talents to the UPHA Associates. For that we all are grateful. During his tenure as president, he developed the billboard advertising that was initially tested at the 2004 American Royal. The billboard featured Carson Kressley who went on to be Associate of the Year in 2005.

Larry chaired the very informative show managers’ forum at the 2005 convention and has worked tirelessly in the development of promotional concepts for the UPHA. Judging has always been high on Larry's agenda and Larry's financial contributions border on legendary.

A versatile, talented, generous, and brilliant man whose good heart has led him down many paths- we at the UPHA should feel fortunate to have been blessed by his presence, interest, and participation in our organization.

I am so happy and privileged to present the Associate of the Year Award to Mr. Larry Gilpin and accepting for Larry tonight is his daughter, Lana.

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