January 2016 - Winner's Circle
Written by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 02 January 2016 04:32

USHJA Special Award Winners

Graeme “Butch” and Lu Thomas were honored with the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association’s Lifetime Achievement award during the association’s annual convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Orlando, FL.

The award honors members whose lifelong involvement in the sport and the USHJA itself has benefited the industry. Recipients of this award have dedicated their lives to furthering the disciplines of hunters and jumpers on a national platform.

The dynamic duo and husband and wife team of Butch and Lu Thomas, with their son Guy, own and operate Willow Tree Farm, which includes a show facility in Woodside, and a breeding and rehabilitation facility in Burson.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Butch had a successful riding career before moving to the United States, including riding on the New Zealand Olympic Equestrian Team from 1966 to 1971. A renowned rider, coach and trainer, Butch has outstanding leadership qualities that have contributed to the success of many riders and horses at the highest level.

Also a highly regarded rider and trainer, Lu Thomas has an equally impressive resume that spans the hunter and jumper rings. With successful rides in the FEI World Cup Jumping Finals and at prestigious hunter competitions such as the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Lu now focuses on teaching students to excel in the equitation division.

Several other West Coasters received special acknowledgement during the USHJA convention.

Harry and Mollie Chapman of Wilsonville, OR, received the Mrs. A.C. Randolph Owners Legacy Award, created to acknowledge a past or current owner who has been a true patron of the hunter/jumper industry and who has created a legacy of giving back to the industry through continued support and dedication.

The Chapmans asked Rich Fellers to train for them privately in 1989 and have supported his show jumping career ever since. Their best-known of many show jumpers is 2012 Olympian and World Cup Finals champion Flexible, who is still going strong for Fellers.

Famous for his love for the horses and hands-on involvement, Harry hauled Flexible and others to shows for many years and a hand-shake represented the trainer and owners’ arrangement.  Harry started as an amateur jumper rider and later took up Roadster-To-Bike competitions on American Standardbreds.

Laura Wasserman of Beverly Hills and owner of BOSS received the Hunter Owner Recognition Award. And Marnye and Larry Langer further burdened their trophy case by receiving yet another industry award: this time as recipients of the President’s Distinguished Service Award.

Congratulations to all and we at California Riding Magazine thank you for what you all do for our sport.

Three Riders In George Morris Session


Zone 10 has three riders participating in the USEF’s 10th annual George H Morris Horsemastership Training Session, Dec. 30 through Jan. 2 in Wellington, FL. Ransome Rombauer earned her place as a result of finishing second in the Emerging Athletes Program, and Mitch Endicott and Eve Jobs earned “wild card” spots.

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