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UPHA Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award – Larry Bacon

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

The Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award is presented to a trainer who has gone above and beyond his/her training of horses, or ponies, to promote the horse show industry.  Our recipient tonight has done just that. 

The first time I met tonight's honoree, to really get to know him, was back in the late 60s, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. It was shortly after that when I found out, if you don't like the attitude of a certain ex-Indiana coach, don't tell him.  He's come a long way since then, and accomplished great things. But, he still likes Bobby Knight.  

He was one of the original members of the UPHA and became a board member in 1988, when he was elected as a chapter chairman.  During this time our honoree was called upon to help members of the UPHA and the ASHA, at meetings in his area, dealing with the Horse Protection Act.  While chapter chairman, he ran the convention, which was held in his chapter.  He did such a good job that he eventually ended up with that job permanently.  Since that time he has served the UPHA as 1st vice-president (1991-1992), president (1993, 1994, 1995), immediate past president and finally treasurer.  He is currently, or has been, on the UPHA executive board, the USEF Hackney/Harness Pony Committee, the USEF Drug Hearing Committee, the board of the American Hackney Horse Society, vice-president of the American Road Horse and Pony Association,  holds a USEF “big R” judge’s card, and has done clinics for 4-H groups.  He has helped many young people get their start in this business.  Although not on the committee, he has worked diligently on the UPHA Yearling Sale.   He was inducted into the Indiana Horseman's Hall of Fame in 1994  and into the UPHA Hall of Fame in 1999.

In addition to all of the above he is the first there to help someone in need. If you buy a horse or pony from him, he always follows up the sale with at least one phone call to see how you are getting along and offer help if you are having problems.  I don't know about you, but I'm wondering how he ever found time to train over 80 world or world grand champion ponies and horses.

Larry Bacon has trained ponies, and horses, in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. His list of champions reads like the Who's Who of this industry. The first to come to mind are:  WGC Andiamo, WGC Poinsettia's Reality, WGC Revelation, WGC Triumphant, WGC Bruschetta, WGC Lady Lalique, WC Early Edition, WC Mr. Amigo, WC Cover Girl, WC Aisle Party, WC Sambuca, WC King's Rocket, WC Hustling Harriett,  WGC Dun Haven Crystal King, WGC Holiday's Prime Time, WGC Night Passage, RWC Fast Forward, RWC No Regrets, WC Mr. Terrific, WC Tijuana Starlet, WC Tom Terrific, WC Headliner, Holy Hill's Bright Flame, Southworth Swell, WC Night Passage, and RWC Arthur B. The newest addition to this championship list is Doc Sullivan. 

But he isn't just a pony trainer.  He showed the outstanding fine harness horse, Spirited Wing, who went on to be a great equitation horse. He has shown, yes I said shown, two three-gaited horses, Starheart's Enchantress and Oakhill's Night Owl.  He also trained the outstanding pleasure horse Pardon My Pleasure. In the past few years he and his family, have picked out and started the training careers of Saddlebred winners such as: WC Silver Charm, I'm Royalty Too, WGC Coco Loco and RWC Lady Bella.  Now, as if that wasn't enough, he has trained road horses as well.  Among them are: Chili Pepper, WC African Queen and the amateur world's champion horse  DeLorenzo. There are more divisions in which he has shown world champions.  He showed Forewood Command to win the world's grand championship in the Hackney horse division. And, he has also trained champion Shetland ponies and Morgans.  I believe you would have to say his capabilities have exhibited great diversity.

Larry and his partner of 46 years, his wife Barbara, are enjoying the fact that their son Brad, daughter-in-law Barb, and grandson Mike, are taking an active interest in the horse business. Their grandson Ryan is looking forward to appearing in the road pony classes in the very near future. And, another grandson Andrew is furthering his education in Idaho.

Ladies and Gentlemen won't you please help me congratulate the newest recipient of the Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award, Mr. Larry Bacon.

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