There were many happy faces and shiny cowboy boots on October 19, as competitors in the Ellis County Equine Association gathered for their year-end banquet at the Grasshopper Ranch in Palmer to receive a menagerie of custom made awards in honor of their hard work to win championships throughout the 2013 ECEA horse show season.
ECEA awarded buckles to the individuals racking up the most points over five shows in halter, English, Western, reining, yearling performance, and walk and whoa categories. Other awards included embroidered saddle pad and garment bags, chairs, hat boxes trophies and plaques.
In addition to horse show awards, ECEA honored several special members or families for their dedication and helpfulness to the club. The Matt and Jocelyn Newsome Family representing the Grasshopper Ranch won the Billie Wesson Most Active New Member Award. The Pepper and Deann Wells Family of Waxahachie and the Chad and Amy Newsom Family of Palmer won the Randy McMullan Spirit Award for their active participation in all ECEA events throughout the year as well as the recruitment of new members.
Sophie Schneider, age 12 of Kaufman, won the Nancy Jessup Sportsmanship Buckle. This is a very special award honoring a youth who showed a great attitude in and out of the show ring throughout the year and is voted on only by the youth membership.
Donna Duvall of Waxahachie won the Charlie Huff Hall of Fame Award, which honors long time dedicated members of ECEA.
Local winners included Sadie Hinz, age 10, of Italy who won Champion Western Rider Age 11 & Under and Champion English Rider 11 & Under, with her Pony of the Americas horse Plaudits Handsome Lad. Gentry Rogers of Milford earned Top 5 Awards in English 11 & Under and Western 11 & Under. Julie Hinz of Italy and her Paint gelding Zippo E Nuff won a buckle for Champion Green Horse (young horse under age of 5), Reserve Champion English Adult and Top 5 Western Adult. Julie also earned a Reserve Championship in Yearlings at Halter and Yearling Performance with a customer’s Quarter Horse filly AGM Precious Memory.
A full list of 2013 ECEA Buckle Series Horse Show winners, and more information about ECEA and its activities is available on the club’s website at www.elliscountyequine.org