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2020 Greatmats National Horse Trainer of the Year Contest

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7 Generation Stables

Blue Ridge Elite Horsemanship

Bluestone stables

Fisher Equestrian Center

J Bar D Ranch

JENSEN Performance Horses of Newton, Kansas

Lucia Clemetson Performance Horsemanship

McNutt Performance Horses

PONY PLAYGROUND HORSE OBSTACLE COURSE, LLC

Paradis performance horses

Ridin’ with Dave

Roberto Flores Horsemanship

Rocking T

Rockin’ Diamond K Horses

Run-A-Muck Ranch

Southern Oaks

Taylor Merrill Training

Trained By an Angel

W. Brown Performance Horeses

Waggoner performance horses

Whoa Dammit Ranch

cracker box palace

krowicki’s touch of magic stables in new egypt, new jersey

7 Generation Stables

9/26/20

NH

Karen Greenwell is amazing.

Blue Ridge Elite Horsemanship

Oct. 2020

Phelan, CA

Stacy Kendall has been training horses professionally for over 40 years and teaching students for more than 35 years. Her horses and riders have won at the highest levels in many breeds and disciplines. With a strong emphasis on safety as well as fun, Stacy is the real deal and deserves this title! She also founded and runs a network of more than 15,000 volunteers who save horses from wildfires and other disasters. Nobody is more deserving!

Bluestone stables

10/1/20

Ft Collin Colorado

Natalie Chamberlain is an amazing trainer! She is also a riding intstructor

Fisher Equestrian Center

Jan. 20, 2018

Gails Equine Facility, Horseheads, NY

Richie Fisher is not only an NRHA judge, he trains reiners and barrel horses, and does colt breaking. Specialty is problem horses and riders who need confidence. He is a great organizer, very upbeat, and instills confidence through his riding lessons. He is the most common sense, kind horse trainer I have ever seen. I learned a lot from him.

J Bar D Ranch

October 2019

Geneva, Nebraska

I've been riding with Jackie Wilkins and her husband, Jim, for a couple of years now. They are a family owned and operated business in a small town most people have never heard of and will never visit. While I initially had a difficult time riding with Jackie, I came to realize she pushes for improvement, to challenge you, and to make you and the horses better at what you do. I had my horses boarded with them and received some training, to the point I could finally ride her again, up until it was time for her to move on to a new family, and then they even stepped in to help me find her a good new home. Jackie came out with her own book this year that takes a step back from the well-known aspects of training and really looks at how we form relationships with our animals and the deeper meaning and connections that are grown there. I've been lucky enough to see the horses they've bred go through their girls program, where a group of girls comes and starts the groundwork on their yearlings. Both beneficial for the young ladies who need a bond and to find strength in themselves, and also a solid start to their herd. I've watched Jackie do liberty work with "Shark", the horse pictured, and see just how much love and pride she takes in not only her riding and cow working, but also the fun and friendship and trust in their horses. She has been particularly great to have in my life this year as I return to riding after the birth of my first son, feeling as if I've lost some of my skill and confidence. As a women in horse training with a son of her own, and to see what she has accomplished, it pushed me to know that any effort I made to get back into riding was a step in the direction I want to go. I have never felt unwelcome going to their ranch, and she and her husband are always open for questions, or advice, going out of their way to treat everyone with a genuine experience to grow in horsemanship.

JENSEN Performance Horses of Newton, Kansas

Fall 2018

McFarland Farms, Nickerson KS

Kellie Jensen goes above and beyond for all her clients. As a breeder, she is the only one I trust with my prospects. She is a true horsewoman and role model. She has several young girls, and she truly brings out the best in everyone. She keeps a supply of show clothes and equipment so each girl can participate without feeling out of place. She has a great group of lesson horses that the girls can compete with ... as an older rider, she has brought my confidence back, as well as letting me enjoy the horses from my breeding program. I have learned so much ... The other thing I love is her positive attitude and professionalism... it shines through with her clients! I'm proud to be a part of TeamJensen !!

Lucia Clemetson Performance Horsemanship

05/16/2020

Ephrata Washington

Lucia Clemetson Performance Horsemanship

McNutt Performance Horses

Feb 2020

Scottsdale

Crystal McNutt has been training horses for 25+ years in Scottsdale, Arizona. She specializes in futurity and non-pro horses. She has also been a board member of the Arabian Reining Horse Association for over 15 years. Crystal promotes reining and Arabian reining whenever she can, and she is always finding opportunities to help others become involved in horses.

PONY PLAYGROUND HORSE OBSTACLE COURSE, LLC

Unsure

Congress Hill

Nikki Davis-London is a great trainer, and instructor she's full of life and super nice. She always puts her best foot forward and doesn't give up. She works with clients who need all levels of horses and instruction. She has even been working with a young lady born with a disability working toward getting her own horse.

Paradis performance horses

8/15/2020

Deerfield Fair Grounds, Deerfield NH

Haley Paradis is the best horse trainer ever. She is so kind and very helpful. I have been with her for 3 years. I was her first youth kid when she got out of college. I rode for a few weeks with a helper at the barn then she came home and she started training me. I couldn't ever imagine riding with a different trainer. I don't think I could ever be this advanced with any other trainer in this short of time.

Ridin’ with Dave

06/11/2020

Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth, Texas

Dave Schaffner by far, is the best horse trainer and teacher of horsemanship that I have ever had the pleasure to ride with and learn from. He's trained on our Cowhorses and is so wonderfully thorough. Dave has from beginners to seasoned horsemen & women that thrive under his keenly natural ability to teach and train. In the picture is Dave riding with my 16year old daughter at the 2020 RSNC world finals, riding in the 11HC 2cap class. There were 532 teams, they placed 39th. My daughter had been only been Ranch Sorting with RSNC for only 8months at the time of the picture.

Roberto Flores Horsemanship

2015

Acton, California

Roberto is not just a horseman or trainer, he has a heart that beats as one with the horse. He has a unique ability to translate that beating heart into words for the client whose horse he is training. He not just trains the horse but he spends time educating the owner/rider on what makes that horse unique to the training he is providing. There are a lot of great horsemen, however it takes someone with the ability to hear the heart beat of the horse to be a true master of training the horse and rider.

Rocking T

09/15/20

Mart, TX

Horses are Traci Pratt's entire passion. They have been her whole life. She's trained horses for over 20 years.

Rockin’ Diamond K Horses

June 2020

Fredonia Kansas

Kaylee Shoaf has year of experience with starting and training colts! She's moved this to a full time position Feb 2020. I've never met someone more calm handed and understanding of colts. She takes her time with the colts to get them a great foundation started on them for their future careers!

Run-A-Muck Ranch

9/13/2020

Big Sky Horse Park Missoula Montana

Trisha Keifer-Reed is an amazing ambassador for so many aspects of the equestrian community. From eventing, dressage, Pony Club, and Working Equitation she really does it all. She focuses on each rider and horse combination to bring out the best in them. She was highly active this year in the merging of the two USA working equitation groups and works to promote good horsemanship in everything she does.

Southern Oaks

Unsure

Tallahassee, FL

Marsha Hartford Sapp... Wild mustang seemed Un adoptable 3 strikes out horse? rises to be a Bryer horse!! Incredible trainer

Taylor Merrill Training

2020

Santa Rosa

Taylor Merrill teaches horsemanship that others don't.

Trained By an Angel

2020

Bristow, OK

Angel Smart of Trained by an Angel did amazing with my 4 year old, Jewel. She turned out so awesome! She rode great even without a saddle or bridle.

W. Brown Performance Horeses

unknown

Fowlerville, Michigan

Bill Brown is a horse trainer, riding instructor, reiner and the truest definition of a horseman. He works countless hours on making his farm better while making the horses that come in better citizens of the equine community; and their humans, better horsemen and women. He has helped me in more ways than I can list and continues to do so, and he has done the same, if not more, for other equestrians who have come to know him.

Waggoner performance horses

August 11, 2020

Stephenville Texas

Shelby is a great trainer and proof you can be successful at a young age. She's always so kind and willing to help others.

Whoa Dammit Ranch

8/2020

DeKalb, Texas

Jesse Raddatz has been a blessing to my program, and has started several young horses for us, as well as hires out to work problem horses. For a 22 year old kid, he has a gift, and can gently turn about any horse into a safe and useable mount.

cracker box palace

6/20/20

Cracker box palace Farm Animal Haven, sodus NY

Sara Buys is a great horse trainer and a good person outside of training. She is the horse manager at CrackerBox Palace and she works with the horses there so they can find their forever home with no neglect or abuse. She also teaches young adults to become the next generation of horsemen and horsewomen. I've never seen anybody hold such a big impact on their students then Sara Buys holds on hers. Sara Buys has taught so many things to her students and horses. She helps her students to have relationships with the horses. Sara not only helps her students develop bonds with their horse but helps them develop deep relationships with other people that work at Crackerbox Palace Farm Animal Haven. Right now Crackerbox Palace has 35 Horses that Sara takes care of everyday with the help of only a few other workers and volunteers. She also takes care of the cows, goats, pigs, and many other animals. On top of that she was a second leading national point earner PtHA yearling lunge line, first in the state ESPHA yearling lunge line, first in the state PtHA of NYS yearling lunge line, has a PtHA youth certificate of ability, registers of merit in showmanship, equitation, pleasure, discipline rail, ideal, and horsemanship, register excellence in trail, and lastly countless grand championships at local level shows as well. She deserves this award because so many people love her as a trainer and a sister and a best friend. She is a great humanitarian and has so much integrity, that is why i'm proud to call her my trainer and to nominate her for this award.

krowicki’s touch of magic stables in new egypt, new jersey

september 20, 2020

new egypt, new jersey

Helaina Tilhgman is an easy going, honest, and extremely intelligent trainer who always makes it her top priority to be there for her students no matter what. She's brought out the true talents of so many horses over the years and always works hard to achieve her goals. ----------- She has two barrel horses she's trained completely, she's trained other people's horses and is the most amazing trainer i've ever known. she can ride a reiner, and english hunter jumper or western pleasure horse, you think of it she can train it. --------- She's such an amazing trainer and has done wonders with all of her clients.
Want to honor a horse trainer for his/her outstanding achievements, unique style, humanitarian or animal rights efforts, etc.? Then nominate him/her for the Annual National Horse Trainer of the Year Award, sponsored by Greatmats. The award, part of Greatmats National Award Series, is designed to recognize Horse Trainers who have made a difference in the lives of their clients, animals and community through the virtues of service, integrity and quality. Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series.

How to Nominate

To nominate the trainer for this award, email the following information to brett@greatmats.com before Oct. 26, 2020 or fill out the online nomination form by clicking the "Nominate Here" button above. Nominators will not be identified.
  1. Trainer's Name
  2. Name and location of the training facility (Must be located in the USA)
  3. A brief description of why you are nominating this trainer, including how he/she meets the criteria of high-level service, integrity and quality
  4. A photo and/or video of the trainer

How the winner is chosen:

  1. Voting will take place Nov. 2-16, 2020 for the Sixth Annual National Horse Trainer of the Year Award. The two horse trainers with the most votes will be named grand prize finalists.
  2. Greatmats will interview the two finalists to determine the winner

Prizes

Grand Prize:
  1. $250 in Greatmats Products for the Facility
  2. National Dance Instructor of the Year Certificate
  1. Runner Up: $150 in Greatmats Products
  2. Third Prize: $100 in Greatmats Products
  3. 4th-10th Place: $50 Greatmats Coupon toward purchases of $200 or more

Voting Instructions:

Visit the contest page during the voting period to vote for the National Horse Trainer of the Year. Click the vote button next to the photo of the Horse Trainer you'd like to win. Feel free to share the ballot with friends and family and encourage them to vote.

Greatmats National Horse Trainer of the Year History

Nearly 25,000 votes have been cast in the first 5 years of the contest, which is part of Greatmats' Annual National Award Series. The Greatmats National Award Series is designed to recognize instructors, trainers and coaches, who have made a positive impact in their communities and the lives of their students/clients.

Greatmats is a national horse stall, stable and trailer flooring leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources.

View all of Greatmats' horse stall mats at http://www.greatmats.com/horse-stall-mats.php.

All media submissions, including text, photos and videos become property of Greatmats. Greatmats reserves the right to revoke titles of those determined not to represent the virtues honored by this award.

Past Greatmats National Horse Trainers of the Year