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Shel Gafford Memorial Award​

Shel Gafford








Shel Gafford Memorial Award for "EXCELLENCE IN SPORTSMANSHIP" Annual Award

For anyone not fortunate enough to have known Shel, he was not only a gifted horseman and successful competitor but also a truly good sport and dedicated advocate to VADA. Shel was a seasoned competitor, having won the Gold and Silver Individual Medals in his last two years as a Young Rider at the NAYRC. He always rode to win, but never at the expense of his horse or another rider. Rather than “psyching” his fellow competitors, Shel was more likely to offer a helping hand or wish them luck. Furthermore, Shel was a tireless supporter of VADA. He served as President during some of our Association’s most difficult and trying times. It is largely due to his diplomacy and tenacity that VADA exists as it does today.


It is this spirit of unselfish good sportsmanship and generous volunteerism, which were so much a part of Shel’s nature, that VADA wishes to encourage and reward. If you are aware of a VADA member who is: 1) Actively involved in any aspect of competition and/or VADA activities (eg. Rider, owner, trainer, coach, show mom/dad, spouse, offspring, VADA Board Member, VADA volunteer), 2) who consistently exhibits the characteristics of good sportsmanship and unselfish support of VADA, and 3) has not received the Shel Gafford award within the past 10 years, please nominate that person for the Shel Gafford Award. Include in your nomination the person’s name, chapter affiliation, and a brief statement (200 words or less) explaining why you feel your nominee is deserving of this award.


Nominations must be received by November 15. The slate of nominations will be sent to the President of each Chapter, who shall, using the method they determine, poll the members of their Chapter and select their Chapter's choice for the award. In the event of a tie, the VADA Board of Directors shall select the winning nominee from the two candidates. Chapters MUST report their selections to Michelle King no later than January 4, 2022. The recipient will be notified that he/she will receive an award at the VADA banquet in February and will be encouraged to attend. The recipient will receive a special award and a check for $250.00. 

Download Nomination Application

Year

Award Recipients 

Year

Award Recipents

Year

Award Recipents

1995

Debbie Bowman and

Bettina Longaker (CH) 

2004

Barbara Ellis (FR)

2013

Nicky Vogel (FR)

1996

Ann Edwards (SVDA)

2005

Jessie Ginsburg (Nova) 

2014

Alison Douglas (Cent)

1997

Nancy Lowey (CH)

2006

Peggy Minnich (FR) 

2015

Barbara Wiefelstede (Cent)

1998

Catherine Sutton (CH)

2007

Janice Mumford (SVDA)

2016

Robyn Nunnally (SVDA)

1999

Molly Layfield (Cent)

2008

Robin Dannels (Nova)

2017

Sherri Booye (CH) and

Beth Rippel (SVDA)

2000

Marilyn Leonard (SVDA) 

2009

No Nominations

2018

Michelle King (NOVA)

2001

Alison Head (Nova)

2010

Sharon Ackley (FR) and

Gardy Bloemers (CH)

2019

Bettina Longaker (CH)

2002

No Nominations

2011

Candy Allen (Nova)

2020

Melyni Worth

2003

No Nominations

2012

Debbie Marriott (Nova)

2021


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