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UPHA Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award: Pam Roush




They say if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know to do it.  This must be the case with Pam Roush, our 2019 Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award winner.

During Pam’s juvenile career, she competed in equitation under the guidance of Ruth Gimpel. When Pam graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of Florida she continued to work with horses at Jimmy Glidewell Stables. Following graduation with a degree in Communications, Pam returned to Ruth Gimpel Stables where she worked as the assistant trainer for five years.   

She opened Avalon Stables in 1995 and today the 30-acre farm has a 44 stall barn, three full time lesson instructors who are teaching well over 150 lessons a week, and a thriving show string. 

In 1997 Pam joined UPHA and has served as the chapter chairperson or co-chair for 13 of the last 22 years. In fact, she was chairman when the UPHA Convention was held in Tampa.  She was so good at it that she was drafted to serve on the UPHA Convention Committee six years ago.  

Pam tends to gravitate to the things that need doing. That’s what drives her. Eleven years ago there were no small grassroots shows in the summer for Saddlebreds in Florida. Mary Jo Schmidt and Pam decided to start the Summer Fun Horse Show to accommodate anyone starting their show career. Now it’s a fun three-day show held at the Grand Oaks Equestrian Resort in Ocala, Florida.

Five years ago Pam started the Academy High Point Program to address the problem of low entries in some academy divisions. The 2019 Awards banquet was a huge success with 255 attendees. 

In 2016 UPHA Chapter 16 had an opportunity to run all the shows in Florida and they felt it was important that they invest in their own success, and so they did. UPHA Chapter 16 Spring Show, Gasparilla Charity Horse Show and Harvest Days Horse Show are all run under the UPHA CH 16 banner. These shows have won the Chapter Honor Show for the past seven consecutive years. No wonder she has been named the Chapter 16 Horseperson of the Year, twice.

Additionally, Pam is on the USEF Saddle Seat Equitation Committee and has helped with the USA Saddle Seat Invitationals and World Cup since 2015. In fact, she was a USEF Saddle Seat World Cup Coach in 2016, winning gold in South Africa in the three-gaited division.

Mary Jo Schmidt and Pam have worked on many horse shows together over the years and she says, “Pam is a great partner and brings a great balance.  My approach to a problem would be  ‘what the heck are you doing?’ and Pam would say ‘Perhaps we could do it this way.’  She is a true friend and a true UPHA supporter.”

Christy Parker’s parents bought her very first horse from Pam when Christy was 13 years old. “She was so glamorous in her tight rolled jeans and feathered hair,” Christy remembers, “I’ve looked up to her ever since and we have enjoyed some of the very best and most challenging times together. With an unbelievable amount of patience with riders, dedication and drive for business, and a tremendous passion for our breed and industry, there is no one more deserving of this recognition.” 

“Superwoman. That's the one word that comes to my mind when I think of Pam,” Lark Henry said.  “Our chapter wouldn’t be what it is if Pam wasn’t at the helm. She is the driving force of our success and always has a smile on her face even when conquering the biggest dilemma. She’s a beautiful person, inside and out, and this award couldn’t be presented to a more deserving individual.”

Congratulations to Pam Roush, the recipient of the UPHA Shirley Parkinson Professional Achievement Award. 

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