Certified Horsemanship Association Honors Williams and Stimmel at Banquet

The Certified Horsemanship Association would be nothing without its volunteers, and CHA values all of the time and effort that its volunteers offer to help achieve the mission of promoting excellence in safety and to “Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses.” Two awards, the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Distinguished Service Award, honor those who have made a great impact for CHA and its members. This year Terry Williams of Blanchester, OH, was honored as the CHA Volunteer of the Year, and Marcie Stimmel of Menifee, CA, was honored with the CHA Distinguished Service Award. The awards were presented during the banquet at the 2015 CHA International Conference in Amarillo, Texas, on October 24, 2015.

Williams has been a member of CHA since 1985 and is currently a CHA Master Instructor, a Certified Overnight Guide, Site Visitor, and a CHA Clinic Instructor for Standard English and Western and for the Equine Facility Manager Certification. She is also on the CHA Board of Directors and is quite familiar with the role of regional director. Williams is a previous CHA award winner since she was the 2011 CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year. She has managed more than 40 CHA certification clinics.

Williams is currently the chair of the Research and Development Committee and is working on the update of the CHA Riding Instructor and Trail Guide Manual, which is slated to be published in 2017 for CHA’s 50th Anniversary Year as The Equine Professional Manual—The Art of Teaching Riding. One person who nominated Williams for the award wrote, “She has worked tirelessly on this project. She is not only very organized and diligent about the details, but she has handled a large committee with varying opinions with incredible tact. She is an absolute pleasure to work with. Every time we interact, I am impressed by her professionalism, dedication, and patience.”

Williams was on hand to accept the award. “In 1985, as a recent graduate of Otterbein College’s Equine Science and Stable Management Program, I attended a CHA Instructor Certification Clinic. It changed my life forever,” she said. “Not only does CHA change lives through safe experiences with horses, but CHA shaped me into the person that I am today. One volunteers to help others accomplish a mission—in this case promoting safety within the horse industry. Along the way I met a lot of whole-hearted people who I am glad to call my friends.”

“It is such an honor to be recognized for giving a part of myself to an organization that does so much for others and the horse industry,” she continued. “It was especially nice to be able to share this moment with my friends. Thank you to CHA and all the other volunteers that make CHA such an important organization.”

Every year since 1996, CHA has given the CHA Volunteer of the Year Award to honor the volunteer that has worked hard to help enhance the association. Past winners include Laura Jones, Tara Gamble, Lori Maciulewicz, Tammi Gainer, Ann Streett-Joslin, Tim Alderson, Jack Breaks, Lynn O’Brien, Beth Powers, Bill Enns, Lynn Squire, Christine Guenther, Dodi Stacey, Jo-Anne Young, Michal Kays, Susanne Valla, Barbara Christian, Lew Sterrett, and Susan Harris.

It seems fitting for Stimmel to receive the CHA Distinguished Service Award. Stimmel was originally involved with CHA in the 1960s when it was called Camp Horsemanship Association. At that time she was teaching Patty Elrod, who was the niece of CHA’s founder, Dan Hemphill. Elrod connected Stimmel and Hemphill, and Stimmel was asked to write a horsemanship manual. That manual would become the first Composite Manual of Horsemanship© for CHA, and it has been CHA’s best-selling manual ever since. For two years, Stimmel also taught clinics at a camp in Oklahoma for riding instructors trying to get certified with the newly formed Camp Horsemanship Association.

She was recently surprised to see her name in the manual when her daughter-in-law Carolyn Stimmel of Kelly, WY, was going through the CHA certification process. She was so excited to receive the Distinguished Service Award. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I had no idea I was getting something like that. I was so thrilled.”

Stimmel has been on the back of horses since she was a toddler riding behind her mother at their ranch. Her mother raised and trained horses, and Stimmel was very involved with her family’s ranch activities. She has ridden a variety of disciplines throughout her life, including polo, rodeo cow pony and relay races, hunters, jumpers, western, and dressage. While she was parenting two small children while living in Texas, she still found the time and dedication to show and promote an Arabian stallion throughout Texas and New Mexico. She showed in Arabian shows in driving, English pleasure, trail, costume, and more. Stimmel is also an accomplished dressage rider. The Arabian stallion would become the Third Level Champion in dressage for New Mexico for multiple years under Stimmel. She later showed her Thoroughbred mare in dressage up to Prix St. Georges.

Stimmel also taught riding lessons at North Farms in Midland, TX; at Pinto Ranch and Pinto Ranch Camp in California; and out of her own residences. She has coached drill teams and vaulting teams. Her vaulting teams were involved in competitions in California and also in demonstrations in a variety of states. Stimmel was an American Horse Shows Association (now USEF) licensed judge in dressage and combined training for 25 years, as well as an AHSA board member. Her two daughters, Tina Dyer and Hillary Shanklin, have continued her equestrian legacy and now own Viejo Springs Ranch in Junction, TX.
In 2009, CHA added the Distinguished Service Award as a lifetime achievement award for an individual who has gone above and beyond through the years to promote and uphold the mission of CHA. Past winners include Jim Glunt, Susan Harris, Phil Peterson, Patrick Mullins, and Fred Bruce.

For more information about the 2015 CHA International Conference, please visit and search hashtag #CHAiCON on Facebook. For more information on the 2016 CHA International Conference, visit

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit






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