The National Snaffle Bit Association congratulates three NSBA members upon their recognition as professionals of the year with the American Quarter Horse Association. The trio were recognized during the Association’s General Membership Meeting held as part of the 2019 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.
Professional Horseman of the Year
AQHA has announced the 2018 Don Burt Professional Horseman of the Year is Gil Galyean of Purcell, Oklahoma. Gil has served AQHA in a number of capacities, being a member of numerous committees, including the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, AQHA Professional Horseman’s Committee and the AQHA Show Violations Hearing Committee. While serving AQHA, Gil also served as a past president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association and the National Snaffle Bit Association, and is currently a director-at-large for OkQHA.
Gil has been involved in the equine industry his entire life. His parents were also avid horsemen. His father was an AQHA judge and is in the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame, while his mother was heavily involved in the training business. Gil adopted his parents’ passion and spent his life watching and learning from industry greats and has now been in the training business for more than 30 years. These years have brought him many successes of his own, including multiple AQHA world and reserve world champions, multiple All American Quarter Horse Congress champions, in addition to being a member of the NSBA Million Dollar Club and Hall of Fame.
Professional Horsewoman of the Year
Chele McGauly of Elm Grove, Louisiana, has been named the 2018 AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year is. With nearly 30 years of service as a professional horsewoman, Chele has been involved as an active member of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Association, in addition to being an avid supporter and mentor of AQHA and AQHYA programs.
Chele has conducted Ride the Pattern clinics to benefit the exhibitors and the Professional Horsemen’s Crisis Fund at several championship events and has provided horses for judging contests and for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup. LQHA named Chele its Most Valuable Professional in 2017. Chele’s work ethic and perseverance also earned her multiple AQHA and AQHYA world show top ten placings, whether it was her showing, training or coaching.
Chele has been an approved AQHA judge since 1995. She has judged AQHA world championship shows, National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Derby, All American Quarter Horse Congress and European Championship of the American Quarter Horse.
Most Valuable Professional
Steve Meadows of Staunton, Virginia, has been named the 2018 Most Valuable Professional. Steve is an avid fourth-generation horseman and volunteer for AQHA, serving as an AQHA director, on numerous committees including the ranching committee, Animal Welfare Commission and as a past chairman of the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Council. He also served two terms as the Virginia Quarter Horse Association president and on the NSBA board of directors.
Regardless of his resume, Steve has taken his passion for the horse industry and passed along his knowledge to future generations, having given countless talks to 4-H clubs, judging teams, high school and college classes, and has been a Ride the Pattern clinician at the AQHA Level 1 Championships. Steve and his wife, Becky, continue to train together in Staunton, where he specializes in Ranch Riding horses, as well as Reining and Cow horses.
His hard work and passion for the industry has not only led to his involvement, but also multiple championship titles, including two-time AQHA world champion; three time AQHA High Point champion; six-time Congress champion; multiple NSBA, Palomino Horse Breeders of America and American Ranch Horse Association world champions, on top of earning 650 points in the Ranch Riding. Steve has also been an AQHA and NSBA judge since 2004.
About the Professional Horsemen of the Year Awards
Being named an AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year is one of the top awards of the equine industry. These individuals were nominated and voted on by their peers.
These individuals will also be recognized at the AQHA Awards Celebration November 17 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, coinciding with the 2019 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show.
Look for more information on this year’s winners in the AQHA Professional Horsemen News in the April issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal and features on these professionals in the November Journal.
For more coverage of the 2019 AQHA Convention, visit www.aqha.com/convention.
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the National Snaffle Bit Association and a link provided back to nsba.com.]
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 programs uphold keeping the welfare of the horse as the primary consideration in all activities and encourage the use of standard rules for holding and judging events.