Steve Heckaman of Aubrey, Texas, has been named the recipient of NSBA’s 2019 Jack Benson Award.  

Named for the late NSBA member Jack Benson, the award is presented annually to an individual who unselfishly gives his or her time to promote NSBA and its mission and create greater interest in the pleasure horse industry. This award has been presented since 1989.

Steve has been involved with NSBA almost since it was created. “I remember being at an NSBA event in Kerrville, Texas that was probably the first class I watched,” Steve said. “There was an open meeting in North Texas in 1983, and I went to it. NSBA was offering lifetime memberships. They passed around a sheet of paper and you could sign up to be an NSBA judge.

Steve served as NSBA president in 2002-2003. “I didn’t initiate it, but something that happened during my tenure was finalizing NSBA Dual Approval of classes at the AQHA World Show,” he said. “Dianne Eppers started the process when she was president, but it took a little while to work through.”

Even the Jack Benson trophy itself has ties to Steve. “When I was president, we had run out of the castings for the trophy we had given, and several of us thought it would be a nice gesture to have the trophy be a likeness of Jack Benson, so we sent several photos to Marrita McMillian Black, who sculpted the current trophy.” 

Read the complete story in the  May issue of The Way To Go magazine.