Passion for the horse industry and passion for serving other seems to rise to the forefront for this year's leaders on the National Snaffle Bit Association's Foundation board of directors. This tram is tasked with assisting the Foundation in administering its core programs, including Equestrians With Disabilities Grant Program, Trainer Crisis Fund, Heroes On Horses, Animal Welfare Fund and the Youth Scholarship Program.
The Foundation is Your Opportunity to Get Involved by Caring and Sharing!
Now, let's get to know this year's officers and directors.
Rebecca Hogan, Chair
Since establishing her Chepota Farm Appaloosa breeding business 12 years ago, Rebecca Hogan has produced numerous ApHC World, National, Reichert, NSBA BCF and European Champions. She owns 11-time World and National Champion ApHC stallion Spot My Blue Boy.
Although she did not have an opportunity to fulfill her passion of owning horses until later in life, Rebecca never outgrew her love for them. She earned an animal science degree from Oklahoma State University and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University. Before she became solely involved in horses, she raised English Springer Spaniels and commercial cattle. In addition to her work on the NSBA Foundation, she serves on the board of directors of the Texas Appaloosa Association.
"I hope to help in building the Foundation beyond its infancy and into the national platform it is becoming," Rebecca noted. "It is gratifying to help the needs of people in the horse industry and those that look to the horse for healing and joy."
Amy Hassinger, Chair-Elect
Amy Hassinger, of Aberdeen, North Carolina, was a professional horsewoman with a successful national hunter jump business as a competitive rider, trainers, judge and coach for more than 20 years. She left her training business to focus her attention on the growth and development of her family veterinary business, Hassinger Equine Sport Medicine/Rehabilitation, the equine product company Equine Healthcare International, and her consulting business, the Hassinger Group. With a background in finance, Amy has used her experience in the horse industry to network and collaborate with business professionals around the globe. She appreciated the mission of the NSBA Foundation."The ability of a foundation to provide support for special projects is one of my many qualities that separates NSBA from other organizations," she said. Amy has a special interest in developing programs that develop the pipeline of new riders and new trainers. "Opportunities for individuals to complete on horses from a grass roots level is necessary to sustain growth in our organization. New trainers also need support and education in order to grow viable business. I plan to focus my time in 2016 to efforts that will benefit the next generation of riders and professionals," she said.
Alyssa Ypparila, Secretary
Alyssa first learned about the NSBA Foundaton's Equestrians With Disabilities Program two years ago, and instantly wnated to help. "I wanted to get as many EWD riders sponsored as I could," she said. "My attitude was, 'what's the worse they will say, no?' I've been told no before, and I'm not afraid to keep trying."
Now in her fourth year as a board member, Alyssa is honored to serve. "Horses are amazing animals and pose a way of healing and helping beyond human means," she said. "If i can help just one person feel better, heal and gain confidence, it's all worth it."
Alyssa Ypparila's obsession with horses began at the age of nine and never left. When an opportunity to work in the horse industry in Texas presented itself, Ypparila sold her house and almost everything she owned in Oregon and chased her dream. She is an equine Vet Tech at Premier Equine Veterinary Services as Sports medicine Rehab Manager.
Stephen Stephens, Treasurer
Stephen Stephens is a long way from his New Jersey roots in his current life as co=owner of Drive River Ranch in Weatherford, Texas. Where he specializes in training, lessons and stallion management. Along with the way, he owner and promoted the AQHA stallions Dynamic Deluxe, Dynamic In The Dark, and Consider His Source, and today Dry River Ranch stands AQHA Stallions IE Reason and Mechanic.
Stephen is know for his outside-the-box thinking, and has volunteered for nearly every position on the NSBA board including service as president in 2010. His work includes formation of the Stallion Incentive Licensing and Smart Points programs, but the development of the Equestrians With Disabilities classes at the NSBA World Championship show is his most gratifying NSBA project.
In addition to his NSBA Foundation involvement, Stephen serves as president and executive committee member of the Texas Quarter Horse Association.
The Knapp Family, of Van Meter, Iowa, has a long history of involvement in the horse industry, Susan Knapp has shared her love of horses with her daughters, Sara and Anna, with the blessing of her husband, Bill.
Susan, along with daughter Sara and son-in-law Patrick Heeley and daughter Anna and husband Jamie Zuidema, have been showing at AQHA events locally and nationally, earning Congress and AQHA World Show Championships, futurity wins and circuit awards for about eight years. "It really is a family affair," she said. "We get to travel a lot and enjoy being together at the shows.
Susan spearheaded the effort to build awareness of the NSBA Foundation and was instrumental in engaging others in the activities of the Foundation in her role as Chairman.
A member of NSBA since the association's inception, Carrie Oakley, of Pilot Point, Texas, has been a horse owner, breeder and active exhibitor in the industry for many years. In addition, she has owned two NSBA Hall of Fame horses, Hotrodder's Jet Set and Delea Siemon. An NSBA and AQHA would champion who is passionate about the pleasure horse industry, Carrie came through the ranks as a Youth, Amateur and Select exhibitor, and passed her passion for horses along to her daughter, Courtney, who also competes in Amateur and Non-Pro events. A professional inside and out of the arena, this Texan is also a real estate agent and equine insurance representative, and has won many awards honoring her achievements in and outside the horse industry. She has actively participated in United Way, Chamber of Commerce fundraisers and is involved in missionary work through her church. "I am driven to succeed at my personal and business endeavors," she said. Carrie and her husband Troy reside in Pilot Point, Texas.
Wayne Davis started his training business in Ortonville, Michigan in 1983. His wife, Judy, joined him in 1987, and the duo have been producing AQHA World and Congress and Honor Roll Champion horses ever since. Today, maintains two training facilities in Ocala, Florida and Ortonville, Michigan. In addition to his horse business, Wayne also operates Quality Bedding, which sell shavings to All American Quarter Horse Congress as well as several other regional horse shows and feed stores and horse farms. Quality Bedding has grown to become one of the largest shavings suppliers in the Midwest. Wayne's experience volunteering as a coach with participants in the Heroes On Horses program at the 2015 NSBA World Championship show promoted him to accept a position as director on the NSBA Foundation this year. "I was really humbled by that experience, and there wasn't a horse trainer out there who wasn't proud to be there," he said. "I'm very proud to be an American. I thank every United Stated serviceman I pass on the street or in the airport. If it wasn't for what they do, we would not be here showing horses." Wayne sees his position on the NSBA Foundation as a way to give back to the men and women who made showing horses possible. He intends to contribute by opening doors to the Foundation and introducing some of his many friends to the work of the NSBA Foundation.
Jennifer Hulcher, of Argyle, Texas, has been involved in the equine community for many years. Her hobby is also her vocation through her ranch, Equine Sale Water Therapy, which provides preventive maintenance therapy, conditioning and rehabilitation for horses across server breeds as well as event horses. Since first completing at NSBA events four year ago, Jennifer has met mayn friends and earned many awards and titles. Jennifer and her daughter Brookie Bancroft have been involved with ApHC for several years, earning national and world champion titles.
Jennifer has been an ApHC member since the early 1970's and has served on the Dal Worth Appaloosa Horse Club and Texas Appaloosa Horse Club boards, assisted the Appaloosa Youth Association as well as coordinated Texas World Show Team. Her community involvement makes her an ideal board member for the NSBA Foundation, including the Community Civic League, United Way, Angel Tree, Humane Sociert of Flower Mound. Teton County Animal Shelter, Jackson Hole Animal Shelter and Coast for Kids. One of horses, Ravishin Radical, has been used as an EWD therapy horse at Stable Strides in north Texas.
After being introduced to the NSBA Foundation through the Equestrians with Disabilities and Heroes On Horses programs at the NSBA World Championship Show, Laurel Champlin, of Garnerville, Nevada, has watched the Foundation grow and observed the impact fundraising efforts have had on riders who face challengers.
"Three year ago, my husband and life partner passed away," she said. "I am finally at a place in my life where I am ready to give back. I have the time and energy to give to this wonderful foundation an am excited for the opportunity to serve." She site the Equestrians with Disabilities and the Veteran Heroes On Horses programs as areas of special interest.
Laurel has been involved with NSBA since it began it 1983. She served as a horse trainer, coach, judge and breeder, before becoming an Amateur exhibitor later in her show career. In addition to the NSBA Foundation, she has been involved with other non-profit groups including Desert Club scholarship program, volunteered at Kids And Horses and as a board member of Pet Network.
Dr. Brad Beauvais
As a recently retired veteran who served in the United State Army Medical Service Corps, Dr. Brad Beauvais, of Cibolo, Texas, has a special interest in assisting wounded warriors and their families. The NSBA Foundation's Heroes On Horses has provided a perfect fit for Dr. Beauvais.
Dr. Beauvais' experience in finance, education and development of small businesses, as well as with non-profit organizations, provides a valuable asset to the NSBA Foundation board, however his passion for horses is also lifelong. He grew up raising and showing Quarter Horses with his family in South Dakota and passed his passion along to his daughters who also show successfully.
Dr. Beauvais operates Brunned & Beauvais LLC, a breeding and show prospect development business with his mother, Patty Brunner, in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Merry Sharp of Winter Garden, Florida, bought her first horse in 2006, and had seven horses by the middle of 2007. "I am relatively new to all this, but I have jumped in with both feet and am not looking back," she said.
Merry has also jumped into her new role as NSBA board member. Like many people she learned about the NSBA FOundation's EWD and Heroes On Horses programs while competing at the NSBA World Championship Show. Although she grew up in a family that has always been involved in the community and helping others, the EWD and Heroes On Horses programs found a special place in her heart. As a graduate with a masters in social work, Merry understand the powerful impact horses have on riders with disabiliies.
She operates a 15-acre horse farm in Central Florida where 27 horses currently reside, and a few foals are expected in 2017. Merry and her daughter Jaime are often found competing in NSBA, APHA, PtHA and AQHA events.
"My entire life, I've always been keen on volunteering to help our those in need," said Dominic DeStefano. of Edmond, Oklahoma. Dominic has done everything from walks for the cure, to providing home-cooked meals to the less fortunate during the holidays, to raising guide dogs for the Guide Dog Foundation. Perhaps it is no surprise that he was attracted to serve on the NSBA Foundation board.
"I've worked closely with members of the NSBA Foundation over the past year, and I believe we share the same passion and drive needed to make the charitiable foundation run efficiently and effectively," he said. As an active Navy pilot, he has a special interest in Heroes On Horses and EWD programs.
NSBA members may remember Dominic and is APHA stallion I Got Em Talkin, who presented the riderless horse during the 2016 NSBA World Championship Show's presentation of colors during Heroes On Horses. Dominic is also a board member with the Oklahoma Paint Horse Association.