GURNEE, Illinois – July 31, 2019 - The National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) in support of the NSBA Foundation today announced a contribution of $150,000 from the Mary F. Atkinson Charitable Trust of Lufkin, Texas.

This generous donation will help the newly created Tomorrows Horsemen program on the pathway towards protecting the future of the equine industry by providing knowledge and education to future professionals who select horse training as their career.

"It is my vision that this partnership will expand to as many as 50 states providing education on budgets, customer relations, marketing plans, mentoring, and the unique skillset needed to develop the next generation of horse trainers," said Marijo Meredith, quarter horse breeder, lifetime member of the AQHA and NSBA, and daughter of Mary Frances Atkinson.

This donation was an important milestone toward the goal of establishing and funding the Tomorrows Horsemen Program, and the NSBA has high hopes of additional pledges from new and existing members supporting the program for years to come.


The Tomorrows Horsemen program is a catalyst for future generations and has the single goal of helping trainers learn solid business practices. The NSBA program will strengthen the business practices of equine trainers in specific ways: 
• Financial planning, budgeting, and overall fiscal responsibility 
• Business planning, strategic development, and positive managerial practices 
• Insurance contracts and employer responsibilities 
• Customer Service and communication

 “Today there is great hope that the future of the horse business can learn to build healthy, vibrant futures while providing skill and growth to sustain, survive and thrive in the equine industry, where no customer or professional should be left behind,” said Dianne Eppers, Executive Director of NSBA.

Tomorrows Horsemen is funded as a special project of the NSBA Foundation. For more information on the NSBA Foundation contact Foundation Director Lynn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Follow NSBA on Facebook, IG, Twitter and YouTube. 

About the Mary F. Atkinson Charitable Trust 
Joe F. (Hody) and Mary F. Atkinson married in 1948. They were part of the family-owned and operated Atkinson Candy Company, founded in 1932. The family-owned and operated candy company based in Lufkin, Texas, is where they produced the wildly popular Chick-O-Stick. 
Frances Atkinson’s daughter, Marijo Meredith had a passion for horses at an early age that blossomed into a lifetime commitment to horses. Marijo and her husband Rick Meredith, a former AQHA and NSBA judge built Sweetwater Farm and have spent a lifetime dedicated to the horse industry. Marijo and Rick have owned, bred and raised multiple AQHA World Champions, All American Quarter Horse Congress Champions, and World Show qualifiers and winners. Frances Atkinson passed away after a short illness in January of 2018. 

About the NSBA 
Established in 1983, the National Snaffle Bit Association has expanded from its roots of the pleasure horse to recognize various disciplines and eight breed associations in competition. NSBA’s mission is to grow the show horse community through various equine programs and events where every activity benefits horses, breeders, owners and exhibitors alike. 
National Snaffle Bit Association, Inc. - 1391 St. Paul Avenue, Gurnee, IL 60031 - Phone: (847)-623-6722 - Fax: (847)-625-7435 

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