During the 2016 USPC Annual Meeting and Equine Symposium being held February 4-7 in Orlando, Florida, five individuals will be awarded the Founders’ Award, an honor reserved for Pony Club’s most worthy volunteers. This prestigious award is made each year to those who have made a significant contribution to Pony Club at the Local or Regional and National Levels over a period of 20 years or more. The recipients of the Founders Awards for 2015 are: Benjamin Hurt Hardaway III, Alita (Bunny) Hendricks, Nancy Ambrosiano, Michael Amos, and Judith Fannin.
Benjamin Hurt Hardaway III Co-Founder and former DC of Midland Foxhounds Pony Club, Ben was born in Columbus, Georgia, where he also met and married Sarah Mcduffie. They had three children, Sarah, Mary and Susannah, who were all active members of the club. Ben is a life member of USPC and served on the Board of Governors from 1957 to 1962 with a second term 1968 to 1970. Ben was an active member of Midland Hunt where he enjoyed foxhunting and creating the Hardaway Crossbred hounds which are in 80 percent of crossbred packs in America today.
Alita (Bunny) Hendricks Bunny joined Woodlawn Pony Club at age 11 and obtained her “A” just weeks after her 16th birthday. Earning her BA degree in Elementary Education allowed her to teach elementary school for 21 years. As a new “A”, Bunny was a regular volunteer instructor for Suncoast Pony Club in Florida, teaching mounted and Horse Management meetings, coaching rally teams, teaching camps, and holding rating preps. Bunny is currently a National Examiner and Chief Horse Management Judge. She has been her region’s HMO and RIC, presented numerous H-B and H-A preps and numerous volunteer positions at the regional rallies. She is a proud parent of one son, and has been married 35 years to husband Mark.
Nancy Ambrosiano A Pony Club member since the age of 6, Nancy graduated with her “A” from Princess Anne Hunt Pony Club in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has taught Pony Club in Connecticut, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and California. Nancy is still active with the USPC Quiz Committee and has helped judge classroom, barn, and mega-room at Champs West and Festival several times. She has chaired Communications, and served on Governance, Regional Administration, Marketing, National Youth Congress, and Foxhunting committees. She was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 2005 and has served two 3-year terms on the USPC Board of Governors.
Michael Amos Mike’s daughter joined Walnut Creek Pony Club in 1992, and like all Pony Club parents, his first Pony Club jobs were hauling, feeding, mucking, raking, painting, or constructing jumps. Mike became the Treasurer and Joint DC of Walnut Creek Pony Club in Cincinnati and he was an all-around volunteer at the Midsouth mega-rally in 1993 in Lexington, Kentucky. Wanting to get more involved, Mike became an Assistant Horse Management judge in 1994 and just a year later a Chief Horse Management Judge. From 2000 to 2016 he served on the Board of Governors. He has been the VP of Regional Administration for two terms and Secretary for one term. His greatest accomplishments in Pony Club include implementing the age extension, creating the Midwest Championships, and presenting workshops on conflict resolution and organizing regional leadership training camps.
Judith Fannin Judith started riding at age 10. Although her start was in mostly western classes, she was introduced to dressage and jumping at age 14 and was hooked. After her husband, Larry bought 10 acres she started teaching and became involved with Clearwater Pony Club as a sponsor. Both of Judith’s daughters ended up joining the club and Judith became the DC for several years before taking over as Regional Supervisor of the Sunshine Region. In 1987, both Judith and her oldest daughter, Janet decided to become National Examiners. After 24 years as an NE, Judith retired, but still loves the challenge of working with the young riders and the camaraderie of the incredibly knowledgeable National Examiners.
To see the full bios of each of the Founders being awarded at the 2016 USPC Annual Meeting and Equine Symposium click HERE.
The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (Pony Club) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. There are approximately 9,000 Pony Club members in over 600 clubs and riding centers throughout the country. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including several of our Olympic team members, business professionals, government leaders and career military officers, have roots in Pony Club. Youth members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Pony Club also offers educational opportunities to a growing number of adults through Horsemasters membership. For more information visit ponyclub.org.