Skip to content

UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame - Dave Patton


UPHA President Jim Taylor, with the Hall Of Fame
blazer, was joined by Shirley Parkinson for the

presentation to inductee Dave Patton.


(Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Shirley Parkinson Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008, at the UPHA/AHHS Convention in Roanoke, Va.)

It is a great privilege for us to present this hall of fame recipient. He is a great horseman, an outstanding leader, a true gentleman and a wonderful friend. He was my boss for a couple of years when he was president of the UPHA, and it was during that time that I really saw the capabilities he possessed beyond those he has as a horseman.


Our recipient’s love for horses and life was instilled in him by his father, Dan, who owned American Saddlebreds. He was born in West Virginia, and then moved to Kentucky where his love for the American Saddlebred grew. He attended the University of Kentucky, majoring in veterinary medicine. But just before his senior year, the United States Army called and said, “Uncle Sam Wants You”. And from the looks of things the army really taught him how to cut up.


Upon leaving the military, Dave Patton decided the show horse industry was where he wanted to be and began his career by working for some of the greatest. They included Bill Rogers, George DeAtley, John Scott, Tom Biederman, Bill Wise and Frank Bradshaw. While working for Paul Priebe, he showed at Milwaukee Spring Horse Show and it was there that he met his future wife, Sarah, who was working for North Ridge Farm. They were married 32 years ago and spent part of their honeymoon at none other than the Hotel Roanoke.


Scott Matton said when Dave moved to Stony Hill Stables, the Wisconsin barns were doing a lot of bickering and fighting among themselves. But Dave, in his quiet way, got everyone working together. Scott remarked that when Dave had someone coming to look at horses he would call other trainers to see if they might have something this buyer would like. He added that they all miss Dave’s participation in the horse shows.


From Stony Hill Dave went to work at Tamarack Farms and then returned to Wisconsin to work at Oakwood Farms. Then, deciding to go out on their own, Dave and Sarah purchased Northern Venture Farm where he successfully showed and trained many outstanding horses.

Some of these outstanding horses were Patrick O’Lee, Blaze Of Brilliance, Sultan’s Private Stock, Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover, Santana Dana, Summer’s Wine, Serengeti, Money Market, Cherished Jewel, What About Bob, The Spitfire Special, Reedann’s Old Spice, Secret Santana, Saboteur, The Marquis and Octoberfest.


He had horses for some of the outstanding exhibitors in the country, including Peg Paulus, the Joe Pucci family, the Vignieri family, the Dr. Hal Harding family, Rufus, Carolyn, Suzi and Tara Duff, Phil, Pat and Paul Treiber, Susan, Noah and Sarah Kieren, Ericka Gaiswinkler, Glen and Beth Werry, Ruth Sprenger, Alice Unger, Jim and Gaynor Shane, Betsy Groves, Barb Baron, Trisha Mark, Tim Starck and Heather Linzmeier.


Terri Anne Ullman, Tammie Roeber and Kris Martalock, all now professional horse people, were either owners or grooms who worked with Dave during his time in Wisconsin.

Dave also found time to give the UPHA a year as vice president and two years as president and then another two as immediate past president. By the way Dave, Tom says, “Thanks for handing me all the problems pertaining to the government and the show horse industry”. Some of you may remember when Dave was president and we were privileged to have the convention at Opryland. You may also remember Dave’s “idol“, Jerry Clower, being the entertainment.


Dave was also a board member of what is now the USEF, Chairman of the USEF Saddlebred Rules committee, member of the USEF Drugs and Medications committee, a member of the Board of Directors for American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin, a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Futurity, an instructor for the USEF Saddlebred Judges’ Clinics and was a USEF Large “R” judge. He has been busy judging major horse shows from coast to coast, including the Cow Palace, Rock Creek, Harrodsburg, Missouri State Fair, St. Louis National, River Ridge, Alabama Charity, Pro-Am and Statesville, N.C.


Dave has hobbies outside the horse industry. He belongs to the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the Wild Grouse Society. He hunts, and fishes. It seems when it comes to hunting that Dave can be easily fooled. Dick Obenauf told us a story about he and Dave going pheasant hunting a few years ago. Dick hadn’t gone far until he found a dead pheasant, so he shot, held the pheasant up and they went on. A short while later Dick fired again, and held up a pheasant. This went on all morning. Dave was really getting frustrated that Dick was getting all these pheasants. When they went to lunch Dick finally told Dave that he hadn’t shot a pheasant at all that he had been showing him the same dead pheasant he had found the first thing. Thankfully, Dave wasn’t so easily fooled when he was president of UPHA.


In addition to hunting, he is a gunsmith who builds, restores, and repairs guns. The gun shown here has also won Dave acclaim. It was featured on the front cover of The Firearms Engraver’s Guild of America quarterly magazine and was featured in Gun Digest.


Dave, you are the epitome of the criteria given for Hall of Fame qualification. You have had champion horses and ponies, you are highly acclaimed by your peers, you have conducted yourself in a professional manner and you have willingly given knowledge to help fellow professionals. And, you most certainly have worked hard for the betterment of this industry.        

Ladies and gentlemen, please help me congratulate the newest Tom Moore UPHA Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Dave Patton.

More Stories