In 2005 the Missouri Horse Shows Association established the MHSA School Horse Hall ofFame. The yearly recognition was to emphasize the important role that lesson horses play in the development of riders, and to acknowledge wonderful examples of how these equine partners aid trainers to shape the riders we have all become. It was decided that prior to the annual Celebration of Champions Banquet & Awards each year, when we recognize the outstanding horses and riders of the previous season, that MHSA would also open nominations up for consideration for this honor. Barns, students, and members are able to nominate their favorite lesson horse for the School Horse of the Year, to then be inducted and have a permanent place in the MHSA School Horse Hall of Fame.
We are proud to recognize these outstanding horses who have taught generations to love riding through their patience, their wisdom, and their ability to touch our hearts.
2013 School Horse of the Year: SNEEKERS
Rosie Erganian of Sunny Oak Farm in central Missouri, lost her dear friend, Sneekers in 2013. Not only did Sneekers teach all the upper levels of Hunt Seat riding, he was also a faithful servant to the therapeutic riding students at Rosie’s farm.
2005 School Horse of the Year: INKY
Inky began his career as a four year old at Stephens College. He soon learned to love the routine and the program, and taught many students to ride. In his teenage years he moved to Brenda Benner Stables north of Columbia, Missouri and fell in love with their tiny riders; the ten and unders. After a full career at Brenda’s, Inky retired to enjoy the love and care of one of his tiny students, and is now buried on their farm. Inky was loved by everyone at Stephens College and Brenda Benner Stables.
2006 School Horse of the Year Co-Winner: BUBBA
Shown as a country pleasure horse in western, english and driving, Bubba also taught at Team Wildwood for Lynn Frazee. He was a perceptive horse, always knowing just how much his students could do and how much to push them. The first day at the canter, Bubba made it easy. The next day, he made them give him the correct aids, or no canter. Bubba won the Saddle and Bridle Working Western Grand Championship and also the Saddle and Bridle Juvenile Western Pleasure Grand Championship at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show. He was dearly loved by his owner, Donna Donovan, and all the folks at Wildwood Stables in Hallsville, Missouri where he is buried. His closest friend toward the end of his life was Miles Drummond, who took extra care of him.
2006 School Horse of the Year Co-Winner: FRED
Owned and loved by Gayle Lampe, Fred spent most of his life teaching at William Woods University in Fulton. A grand five gaited horse, Fred taught all five gaits as long as he was capable, then taught walk trot and canter for many years after that. Always cheerful and enthusiastic, Fred was the cornerstone of the Wood’s saddle seat program, teaching beginners the proper way to ride a Saddle Horse. Fred was adored by all the students at William Woods, and lived to the ripe old age of 29 under their loving care.
2007 School Horse of the Year: SNICKERS
Snickers came to Maggie Montgomery at Wild Venture as a young, naughty horse. No matter what anyone wanted him to do, he would so something else. Throughout the years, Maggie’s kind, gentle method of teaching got to him, and he became a stellar school horse. Always having that show horse look in his eye, Snickers gave his young riders a picture perfect presentation. Many good riders boast that Snickers launched their promising careers.
2008 School Horse of the Year: BART
Drew Training Stables in Troy, owned by Liz Drew, became Bart’s home after he finished his career at Stephens College. As a Stephens student, Liz had used Bart in her special project and had come to love him. She and Bart graduated from Stephens and moved to Troy, Missouri together. For both of them, this began a long career of teaching saddle seat, western and dressage.
2009 School Horse of the Year: ROANIE
Roanie has carried literally hundreds of beginners around Brenda Benner Stables’ arena. She is the horse of choice to take into the show ring for the first time. Few folks remember when Roanie came to Brenda’s, as it seems she has always been there. Small in stature, but large in personality and heart, Roanie continues to “spread the love”.
2010 School Horse of the Year: ROSIE
Rosie won as much in the ASB Country English Pleasure and Open English Pleasure divisions as any horse in Missouri ever has. After her lengthy career, she took over the lesson program at Rocky Brannon’s Gateway Manor Stable in Lake St. Louis, Mo. Owned and loved by Margie Torkelson, Rosie lived out her years making the riding experience exciting and safe for many young riders.
2011 School Horse of the Year: ICEMAN
Gorgeous, white and bold, Iceman thrilled audiences with his performances in Academy classes. Loved by the Gateway Manor Stables team, Iceman packed his little people with the pizazz of a show horse, yet was gentle and careful with his “little people.” For Rocky Brannon at Gateway, Iceman was a “hard act to follow.”