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UPHA Instructor Of The Year - Bonnie Kittredge

Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Dale Arnston Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 at the UPHA National Convention.

I’m here this evening to introduce you to one of the kindest, most giving people to the horse show industry I know. She started as a wee child on her grandfather’s horse with her brother holding on to her. She then graduated to another of her grandfather’s horses; a five-gaited horse she rode at the age of seven at Parkway Stable in Chicago, [Illinois].

She loved showing the three-gaited horse Bombardier. She has readied horses for the show arena including Bachra, a horse that later went on to be a top pleasure horse.

Now she has a wonderful teaching facility that has students of all ages. She teaches saddle seat equitation and gets all her students ready for the show ring.

I talked to a few of her students before this evening and they all told me she always gives them positive education in the ring. She strives to teach with positive reinforcement.

She has a family that certainly has stood behind her while she traveled the path of opening her business, Wood Wind Farm in McHenry, Il., more than 30 years ago.

Her oldest son Rick Jr. married Bonnie’s riding instructor Dani and now they have their own family. Megan, the middle child who lives up to the reputation of a middle child, has grown into a very qualified trainer and instructor and is always helping Bonnie with their business.

Then there is Patrick, the baby, who rode Sierra Sue as his mount and more recently rode Good Spirits, his road pony. He’s now off to college, and likes girls a little more than horses, but keeps in close contact with the family at Wood Wind.

Bonnie has been a member of the UPHA since 1973. She started an academy program with Dawn Atlas in 1974. She was chairperson of Chapter 10 from 1988-1990. She was on the committee for the rules for Showmanship at Halter. She was on the first committee for the Pleasure Olympics with Dawn Atlas and still plays a very active part on the committee.

She has managed our Chapter 10 Academy horse shows, twice a year, for the last 35 years. She also manages the UPHA Chapter 10 shows in the Spring and Fall and has done so for the last 10 years. The Fall show hosts the Horsemanship Challenge as well as the ASIYP competition and has been sold out for the past two years. The Spring show came very close to being a sellout as well.

This past Fall she initiated the Chapter 10 Pleasure Championships in country pleasure, show pleasure, five-gaited pleasure and western pleasure.

Bonnie is always promoting saddle seat riding and the American Saddlebred. She has "in house" schooling shows, day camps for kids around her town and she also goes to business expos to promote her business and our beautiful breed.

I could go on about many past achievements Bonnie has had with the UPHA, but it’s not necessary because I would just like to read to you what the requirements for the UPHA Instructor Of The Year are:

The instructor of the year shall be a person that has been involved in promoting the art of saddle seat equitation in an unselfish manner within our industry. He or she should be very informed in instruction and promoting saddle seat equitation and have an interest in and respect for the profession.

I am so pleased to announce my very good friend and good friend to our industry, Bonnie Kittredge, is the UPHA Instructor Of The Year.

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