By Sarah Thomas MHSA Medallion Secretary

The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show once again hosted the MHSA Junior Saddle Seat Medallion Finals, held this year on an unusually warm September evening. But, the temperatures outside were only rivaled by the hot, hot, hot level of competition displayed by the riders who had qualified through the 2014 show season for this prestigious class.

Nine accomplished riders from throughout the Midwest participated, in hopes of winning the Scott Haines Memorial Trophy, the Dean Hodge Memorial trophy, a championship cooler and neck-sash, and, of course, the $2,000 in scholarship funds provided by the joint efforts of William Woods University and the MHSA/Bridlespur Kick-Off Horse Show. All of these top riders came with their “A Game” fully in play, and their skills were called upon to perform flawlessly on the rail and then in a pattern that included changes of lead and working without irons.

Displaying precision and elegance on and off the rail was the 2014 MHSA Saddle Seat Equitation Medallion Finals winner, Alice Rowland, aboard Autumn’s Rainmaker.  Alice, who was reserve in the 2013 Finals only to Pleasure Equitation Triple Crown winner, Nadine Van Zomeren, was joined in center ring by Ever Glades Farm trainer/instructor Missy Hughes Smith, Sarah Track of William Woods University, Judy Werner, who presented the Dean Hodge trophy, Sarah Thomas, the MHSA Medallion Secretary, and Margie Torkelson, the MSHA treasurer.  Alice and Missy later reflected on the importance of grassroots organizations like MHSA, which provide riders with opportunities to compete on a variety of levels, from academy to larger shows like the St. Louis National Charity. Alice expressed her appreciation of all that MHSA offers, and most particularly, the MHSA Medallion classes.

This year’s reserve champion was Brooke Boyer riding under the direction of Kent Swalla at Glendale Stables.  The remaining top ten riders were Lauren Brannon, Gabriella Snyder, Laurel Silcott, Angela Garza, Lauren Beck, Halle Workman, and Anna Ehlen.  These riders, who have racked up blue ribbons all year long in prestigious equitation and performance classes, all turned in impressive performances

MHSA thanks all of the supporters of the 2014 MHSA Saddle Seat Medallion Finals. This program would not be possible without the support of  US Bank, MHSA Bridlespur Kickoff Horse Show, William Woods University, Brenda Benner Stables, Jean Mutrux, Fitz the pony, and the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show.

The 2014 Saddle Seat Medallion Finals is complete for this year, but the work for 2015 has already started.  Please help support our scholarship fund by donating money to the MHSA Medallion Scholarship. Contact Jane Gaines or Sarah Thomas for more information on donating to this worthy cause.  If you have a dedicated young rider, make sure and nominate them for 2015 finals. More information is available at

Best of luck to all Medallion exhibitors in 2015 and thank you for your support!