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Tierra Del Norte is Honored by AHA

from Releases and Staff Reports - December 3rd, 2015 - Show & Event News

TULSA, Okla. — Not all of the Arabian Horse Association’s top honors in Tulsa came with red roses.

TDNAHA President Theresa Oakley (left) and Treasurer Mimi Gaffey are presented a $500 award for the group’s first-place recognition for Club Excellence by AHA President Cynthia Richardson.

TDNAHA President Theresa Oakley (left) and Treasurer Mimi Gaffey are presented a $500 award for the group’s first-place recognition for Club Excellence by AHA President Cynthia Richardson.

Howard Schlatzberg photo

After dust had settled from the 2015 U.S. Nationals a few weeks earlier, the AHA honored winners of its annual Club Excellence Award program on Nov. 21 during the President’s Banquet at the AHA Convention. Although the limelight may have been dimmer than the lights of the big show, the underlying importance wasn’t, as the nation’s most active local associations received praise for their innovations and energy in building momentum for the venerable breed.

The northern San Diego County-based Tierra Del Norte Arabian Horse Association received top honors — and a check for $500 from AHA — for 2015.

Theresa Oakley, the TDNAHA President for 2013 and 2014, along with club treasurer Mimi Gaffee, received the award from AHA President Cynthia Richardson.

“Everybody keeps congratulating me, but I merely filled out the paperwork,” said Oakley. ” I accepted the award and got my picture taken, but this is the group’s award. They earned it.”

Oakley is thrilled with the award, marking the second year in the row the club has been recognized, but she’s quick to characterize the honor as one for the village of TDNAHA volunteers that supports the club.

“We’re very excited to be recognized and to receive an award for our effort, and it’s been great because it allows us to share with other clubs across the country what we’re all doing,” said Oakley. “It’s all about the volunteers. Yes, there are paid positions at shows — judges, stewards, scorekeepers — but the volunteers are the driving force. We have a good group, and we’re always trying to recruit more. The key is the common goal — we all do it for our horses.”

Tierra Del Norte’s schedule each year includes a pair of Arabian Community Shows at Deer Springs Equestrian in San Marcos, as well as the popular Fiesta Del Mar Show in April at the Del Mar Fairgrounds that wil attract top talent from Central California and Arizona. Clinics open to all breeds and disciplines also are held, and in 2015 they focused on the rising sport of western dressage.

“We think it is a great idea to get more people involved, both competing and also just having fun with their horse,” said Oakley. Western derssage is an up-and-coming thing, and we wanted to promote it and educate people about it.”

Another class that is on the rise is ranch pleasure, which Tierra Del Norte will include in its ACS events. In fact, effective Jan. 1, ranch pleasure will be an official AHA-santioned class for points.

“We offered it first in 2015 to get people familiar with it, and now that exhibitors can accrue points with AHA, we’ll probably see more participation,” said Oakley. “It’s another way for people to have fun and compete with their horse, perhaps not quite as competitive as a show horse that has been bred to do one participlar thing. They have fun with it.”
MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/TDNAHA

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