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UPHA Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award - Fran Crumpler

(l to r) Fran Crumpler was presented the

Shirley Parkinson Distinguished Service Award

by Shirley Parkinson and Joan Lurie .

Photo by Jane Jacobs.



(Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Joan Lurie Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, at the UPHA/AHHS Convention in Roanoke, Va.)

It is an honor to present this year’s winner of the Shirley Parkinson award. In order to tell the story of this year’s winner, I contacted the International Blazer and Pearls Society. They provided photographs and information about our winner. The archivist told me that our winner has loved horses from a very early age–even wooden ones.


I also learned our winner has been a long-time believer in the benefits of long-lining to put a great mouth on a horse, a theory she hit on at an early age. A highly skilled equestrian, our honoree showed great promise right from the start. She was not just a top rider but an accomplished linesman as well.


But the Blazer and Pearls Society is a refined group and its members must show an appreciation for the finer things in life, such as wine. Again our winner showed great promise at a tender age.


This year’s Shirley Parkinson Distinguished Service Award winner is Fran Crumpler. Fran grew up in the Chicago area. Although she lived in the city, she found great joy visiting her grandparents’ farm where she developed a love for animals and the outdoors.


After high school she attended Illinois Wesleyan University, earning a degree in education. She later received a master’s degree in special education from Rosary College.


During her college years she worked for Charlotte Stubblefield, teaching riding and showing some horses. Also working at Stubblefield’s was a young man by the name of Kim. They began a friendship that endures today, even surviving marriage. Together Fran and Kim own and operate Crumpler Stables, Ltd.


Fran taught school for several years, but her love of horses took her from the schoolyard to the barnyard. Fran has had some great success with her students, some of whom include Donna, Kristen and Tom Pettry, Annie Reed, Whitney Irwin, Sophia Fisher, Paige Tarver, Betty Cox, Sarah White and Rose Marie Wheeler.


She has trained world’s champions and stakes winners such as CH Bi Mi Fascination, CH Beau Ollie, CH Yankee Robinson, CH Marilyn McCoo and CH Steel In Love.


Fran is a highly respected judge, having officiated every major horse show. Her love of our sport is demonstrated by the countless hours of volunteer service she has given. She spent 12 years as chairman of the UPHA Equitation Committee. She is currently serving her second term as co-chair of the USEF Saddlebred Committee and is a member of the USEF Equitation Committee.


Beyond her dedication to our industry, Fran is an active member of her church, performs in the bell choir, is a friend to many and has a great fondness for Bulldogs. It is for all these reasons that I am so honored to present the Shirley Parkinson Distinguished Service Award to my dear friend Fran Crumpler. Please join me in congratulating her.

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