Saturday night, January 6th, the Alabama Hunter Jumper Association held its annual Awards Banquet at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. Nearly 300 members of the AHJA gathered to celebrate all the hard-won successes of the 2017 show year. Awards were presented for every recognized AHJA division, honoring those competitors who were in the top 6 or top 10 for points accumulated during the show year. The Fox Lake Farm crew had plenty of opportunities to cheer throughout the banquet, as many of our riders were presented with an award!
To start off the night, Brynn Smith received tied 9th place awards for helping pilot both Whispering Hill and Pixie Stix in the Walk Trot 9 & Under Hunter Division. Brynn also received a 9th place ribbon for Walk Trot 9 & Under Equitation.
Hannah Banks and Elliott ended a very competitive year of showing with 7th place in the Crosspole Hunter division. Hannah was also Reserve Champion in the Crosspole Equitation division. Bates Moody and Kaelin Taylor also ribboned in the Crosspole Equitation division, with Bates taking home the 8th place award aboard Roxie and Kaelin receiving the 10th award aboard Noah.
Our three Short Stirrup riders had a very successful night at the banquet. Emma Grace Early and Best Kept Secret took 3rd place overall in both the Short Stirrup Hunter and Equitation divisions. Julia McAdam and Cup of Joe were 4th in the Hunters and Reserve Champion in the Equitation, and Sarah Carson Hill and Mr. Congeniality finished out the year at 7th place in the Hunters and 8th in the Equitation.
Our three Long Stirrup riders were also recognized for their accomplishments. Paloma Caine and Capito were Reserve Champion in the Long Stirrup Hunters, and 3rd in the Long Stirrup Equitation. Ann Clair Walton and Gabriel picked up a 4th place award for the Hunters, and 5th for the Equitation. Sydney Velazquez and Requested took 8th place in the Hunters and 4th in the Equitation.
In the Pre-Child/Adult Hunter division, Campbell Swanner and All That were 5th overall. Campbell also took home the Reserve Champion ribbon for the Pre-Child/Adult Equitation. Lauren Velazquez and Lillian Reynolds finished 8th and 9th in the Pre-Child Adult Equitation as well.
Kate Knowles and Kingsley made a clean sweep of the Children's Hunter and Equitation divisions, receiving both Champion ribbons! Kate also received two perpetual trophies for her successes in the Children's divisions.
Clayton Mullis and Cruze received ribbons in several hunter and jumper divisions, taking 3rd in the Children's Hunter and Equitation, 4th in the .95 jumpers, and 5th in the 1.00 jumpers.
Mimi Colette Frei and Mariano placed 6th in the Children's Pony Hunter division and 7th in the Children's Pony Equitation.
Our own Amy Knowles, who works tirelessly as both a horse show mom to her daughter Kate and as the head of the Fox Lake Farm lesson program, received the Outstanding Parent Award, which was voted upon at the start of the banquet. Kate nominated Amy on the basis of Amy's dedicated work in creating better horsemen, riders, and well-rounded individuals both in and out of the barn. We are so proud to have Amy as part of the Fox Lake Farm team.
Fox Lake Farm also won an award which was voted upon at the start of the banquet: Best Horse Show. Our AHJA recognized hunter show is held every year in May and is only made possible by the hard work of all the Fox Lake staff and several dedicated clients. However, one person in particular is to thank for her efforts in making each show better than the last: Guerry Force, Fox Lake Farm's Barn Manager. Guerry received the award on behalf of Fox Lake Farm.
This past year was one of Fox Lake Farm's most successful show years to date. It was gratifying to see all of the hard work our riders have dedicated to this sport over the past year pay off in such a grand way. Each and every one of them deserves commendation for the improvements they made this year, not just as riders but as young horsemen as well. We hope they carry what life lessons they learn from us out into any other endeavors they may pursue. Thank you all for a spectacular year; we can't wait to do it all again in 2018!
We'd like to thank Ellen Blalock and Morgan Hurd for their excellent job in putting together this year's banquet.
Click through the gallery below to check out more photos from the banquet! Huge thanks to Madison Massey and Michael Gibbens for the photographs.