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UPHA Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award - Scott Matton

Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Lynda Freseth Friday evening Jan. 8, 2010 at the UPHA/AHHS Convention.

His infectious laugh can be heard for blocks. It reverberates at horse shows, at multi-function board meetings, at World Cup Events, most any conversation that has to do with Saddlebreds and at Knollwood Farm in Hartland, Wisconsin.

If you are in need of help, he is the man to call. Most times, you don’t even need to call. Andy remembers an incident at the Tankbark Horse Show one year. A horse had gotten cast in the stall and all the trainers in the vicinity were running toward the stall. The first one there was not even showing at that horse show and had just pulled up in his semi to pick up a horse. It was Super Man!!

Years ago, I had an equitation rider that still needed to get qualified for one of the finals. Here comes a semi in the driveway with horses, riders and trainer ready to have a class. When the class was finally over after two hours, he had replaced a shoe that my horse lost on the third run of the class and was driving out the driveway, horses and riders in tow saying, "We do what we need to do". I also remember when we had a horse that had decided that he wasn’t going to haul in a truck anymore, here came that same semi-driver in the driveway every afternoon after work for most of a week to haul this horse around town until we could figure out what satisfied him.

Scott Matton is a tireless ambassador for the Saddlebred. He travels up and down the road to attend board meetings for associations such as the ASHA, Mid-America and The Wisconsin Futurity. He is on the selection committee for The World Cup and horse show committees for Lexington Junior League, Madison Classic and Mid-America Spring, Summer and Fall shows. Service on both the UPHA and USEF equitation committees is a labor of love.

You may be thinking that he is really active in our breed. This is just a "chip off of the iceberg". Scott and his wife Carol run a very successful show barn, Knollwood Farm. With National and World’s Champions in all divisions, equitation is the division that they are both so passionate about. During their 17 years at Knollwood, they have brought over 40 families into the Saddlebred world from their extensive lesson program. Some riders have continued their interest and as a result gone from triple crown winners to becoming professionals in the saddle horse business.

If you are around Scott for any length of time, his optimistic and enthusiastic attitude will rub off. He always sees the cup half full, never half empty. One of his mottos is, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem".

No matter the issues being discussed, he will find a positive that can be added to the mix. His "can do" attitude gets him in trouble sometimes as he will tackle things that no human can accomplish and sometimes he can "get ‘er done".

I think that I qualify to talk about his boisterous and loud demeanor as I am married to one just like him in that regard. The volume button is turned on full tilt as it is hard to ride from the ground and that is their way to express their passion for the riders and horses that they mold. Although the volume is high, the output is always positive. Both are often misunderstood.

Whether you agree or disagree with Scott’s opinions on issues, I think that all share the knowledge that he has never made a decision that was based on "self" interest. Lessons can be learned from one who puts the good of the industry he loves ahead of personal interests and gain.

This second generation professional horseman has shared his lifetime dedication to the industry with his wife and his business partner, Carol. Wearing all of these hats has made Scott Matton a more than worthy recipient of The Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award. Thank you Scott for being my friend.

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