Silver Linings


Name the breed of horse that fits this job profile: quintessential cow horse, reliable trail mount, trustworthy schoolmaster, athletic sporthorse and ruler of all western performance events. If you said, “The American Quarter Horse,” give yourself a horse cookie because you’re correct. To celebrate the ways in which American Quarter Horses have had a positive impact on those who ride and care for them, the American Quarter Horse Association and one of its corporate sponsors, MD Barns, offers the Silver Spur Award to honor the unsung heroes of the breed.

Nominees for the award were accepted and then narrowed down to the top five finalists. AQHA members have voted for their favorite nominee, but the winner is kept secret until the AQHA convention in March.

Here’s your chance to meet the five Silver Spur Award finalists. Which horse is your favorite?

**For the full article, pick up the February 2007 issue of HORSE ILLUSTRATED.**

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Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show barn, and was taught to harness and drive Welsh ponies. But once she’d taken her first lessons aboard American Saddlebreds she was hooked on English riding. Hunters and hunt seat equitation came next, and she spent decades competing in those divisions on the West Coast. Always seeking to improve her horsemanship, she rode in clinics conducted by world-class riders like George Morris, Kathy Kusner and Anne Kursinski. During that time, her family began raising Thoroughbred and warmblood sport horses, and Cindy experienced the thrills and challenges of training and showing the homebred greenies. Now retired from active competition, she’s a popular judge at local and county-rated open and hunter/jumper shows. She rides recreationally both English and western. Her Paint gelding, Wally, lives at home with her and her non-horsey husband, Ron.


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