Showing : Trainer of the Year Award

 Trainer of the Year Award

History of the Award:  At the 1993 ApHC Convention, Lew Eklund and Jack Stewart purchased a gorgeous piece of art at the Appaloosa Museumand Heritage Center auction; a bronze bust of the famous leader of the Nez Perce tribe, Chief Joseph.  The proceeds from this purchase were graciously donated to the Chief Joseph Foundation to assist them in the production of their first ApHC-approved Appaloosa show.  The artist responsible for designing the bronze was Mary Ann Barrington, an ApHC Director at the time, who donated her time and talent.  The casting fee was paid by Joseph V. Cavallo, also a past ApHC Director.

Trainers contribute so much to the Appaloosa industry and are, in so many ways, the very key to the success of the breed. Because they sometimes receive less recognition than they deserve, it was decided to institute an Appaloosa Trainer of the Year Award utilizing the above named piece of artwork that represents the very roots of Appaloosa heritage. It was the desire of the founders to make this award among the most prestigious in the Appaloosa industry. It was with this in mind that they initiated this honor, and chose the bronze bust of Chief Joseph as the award.
The original bronze is on display at the National Appaloosa Horse Show and World Championship Appaloosa Horse Show each year and spends the remainder of each year on display in the Appaloosa Horse Club Museum and Heritage Center. The name of each recipient is engraved on the base of that bronze. A replica of the bronze bust is presented to the recipient at the ApHC Year-End Awards Banquet held during the National Appaloosa Horse Show each year.

Eligibility Guidelines: 
1. The recipient must make his/her living training mainly Appaloosa horses. 
2. The recipient must show at both the recent year Appaloosa National and World Championship shows.  

Qualities Considered: 
The recipient must have the following qualities to be considered for this prestigious award: 
       Good sportsmanship 
       Promotes the breed 
       Friendly attitude 
       Well respected within the equine industry
A trainer meeting these requirements and having these qualities should take precedence over someone lacking in these qualities, but winning several classes. However, class winners will not be excluded from consideration for this award.  

Selection and Presentation: 
Nominees for the award are selected by an anonymous committee of current ApHC members. These committee members may include past winners and/or nominees. Committee members attend the National and World shows as well as many Regional shows and Appaloosa functions throughout the year.   
Winners are awarded a replica of the bronze Chief Joseph bust at the ApHC Year-End Awards Banquet.   

Nomination Information: 
If you are interested in nominating a trainer for the Trainer of the Year Award, please send a letter of support to the Appaloosa Horse Club by December 15th of the year the trainer would receive the award. Note the contents on of the envelope and address it to Keri Minden-LeForce for further review. These nominations will then be forwarded to the selection committee. 

Trainer of the Year Winners:

2013 Lonnie Cruse
2012 Steve Cruse
2011 Ray & Connie Burchett
Dawna Harwell
Rusty Miller
Carol Jones
John & Debby Letham
Kelly Hedges


Curt Fuller


Terry R. Thompson


Randy Cutbirth


Roger & Karla Johnson


Sue Scobee


Joey Jorgensen


Heath & Debra Wilkerson


Rob Meneely


Steve DalPorto


Jim & Sandy Jirkovsky


Jack Henning


Dan Lopez


Dave Parlier


About the Artist: 
Mary Ann Barrington, Stevensville, Montana, has spent a lifetime fulfilling her love of Appaloosa horses in many forms of western art. She and her husband Bill began breeding Appaloosas in 1968 and raised their three daughters in a western “horsey” atmosphere.  It is hard to imagine that this bust is her very first bronze, which was done for an art class in which she enrolled. When asked why she decided on Chief Joseph for her figure, she replied, “because I have always loved Appaloosa horses and their colorful heritage. I have done many paintings of Indians, I find them fascinating people to draw and paint.” This coupled with her love for the spirited Appaloosa breed, made Chief Joseph the difficult but logical subject to tackle. While Mary Ann donated her time and talent, it was her husband’s idea to donate the piece to the museum. This same piece eventually became the Trainer of the Year Award.