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News & Press: Press Releases

U.S. Pony Clubs Presents Founders Award

Friday, February 11, 2011   (0 Comments)
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News Release

Contact: Mary Robertson Pierson



The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., Presents the Founders Award to Five Volunteers

(Presented by Georgine (Gegi) Winslett, Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee)

In the Fall of 1987, upon the recommendation of the USPC Advisory Committee, the Board of Governors established the Founders Award in honor of Louise Lott Bedford, Howard C. Fair, and Alexander Mackay-Smith. They were the three individuals who, in November of 1953, called a meeting in New York City that led to the establishment of the United States Pony Clubs, which became a formal organization in February of 1954.

This prestigious award is given each year to one or more living persons who have made a significant contribution to USPC at the Local or Regional and National levels over a period of 20 years or more.

For 2010, USPC honored five individuals at the Annual Meeting Banquet, Saturday, January 29th, 2011, who have served Pony Club in many different and overlapping capacities.

Beth Dowd, Southern Pines, NC, began her many years of service to Pony Club in 1976, as a founding member of the Moore County Pony Club in the Carolina Region. She is a Life Member, was a National Examiner and Chief Horse Management Judge back in the 1980s, served as Regional Secretary for the Carolina Region for seven years, and later was Regional Supervisor for the Carolina Region from 1992 through 1998. She also served on the USPC Board of Governors from 1988 through 1991. Her committee service at the national level includes four years on the Know-Down (now Quiz) Committee, eight years on the National Testing Committee with service as the B Level Coordinator and the Apprentice Coordinator, and several years on the Foxhunting Committee, including as its Chairman. During her tenure, she produced a Pony Club Foxhunting video. She also had extensive service on the Horse Management Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. For all of her outstanding service, Beth was named a "National Activities Legend” at the 50th Anniversary USPC Annual Meeting in 2004.

Beth’s other interests and activities revolve around Foxhunting with Moore County Hounds, whipping-in for the Weymouth Bassets, carriage driving with the Moore County Driving Club, and breeding and showing Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Sussex Spaniels and other dogs. She is believed to be active in more horse-related organizations than any other person in the Sandhills area of North Carolina, and has a talent for getting things done.

Richard Lamb, Aiken, SC, is a "lifer” with Pony Club. His involvement with USPC started as a member of the Upper Valley Pony Club. He first became involved as a national volunteer with service on the Show Jumping Committee beginning in 1986 and has been active on that committee since then. He also served on the International Exchange, National Testing and Clinics Committees. He was a National Examiner for more than 20 years and was named a "National Instruction Legend” at the 50th Anniversary USPC Annual Meeting in 2004. Richard served two terms on the USPC Board of Governors from 2002-2007 and was a key member of the ad hoc Specialty Ratings Committee, where his forward vision contributed greatly to the development of the standards for the Show Jumping specialty ratings.

Richard Lamb is an incredibly diverse and experienced equestrian, having experience in hunters, jumpers, Eventing, breezing race horses and Foxhunting. In the mid 1970s Richard lived in Ireland where he helped in managing his father’s guest lodge and riding center while riding show jumpers, event horses and race horses.

For over 35 years Richard has been coaching and conducting clinics in all disciplines, working with young riders and adults at all ­levels. He is a noted Show Jumping course designer, having designed courses at venues such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Foxhall Cup CCI*** (00-05) in Georgia and numerous USPC Championships. Richard helped to develop and organize the equestrian venues and competitions for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 where he served as the Technical Coordinator for Show Jumping. In 2008, Richard successfully completed the Level III Assessment for the USEA Instructor Certification Program (ICP).

Ian Smith, Olympia, WA: For nearly 40 years, Ian Smith has been an inspirational leader of the Northwest Region, helping hundreds of Pony Club members to attain the highest USPC standards and to maintain those values throughout their lives. Ian founded Olympus Pony Club on Vashon Island in the 1970s and served as the DC for six years. He was an instructor, Games Coach and club sponsor for more than 20 years.

Ian drew many young people into Pony Club and mentored several respected national examiners. He supported and encouraged all members who came to his farm, taking them to horse shows and teaching them to the highest standard.

Ian was determined to spread the gospel of Games – he drove many miles hauling his games equipment to show other clubs and regions how to start their Games programs. He brought clinicians from around the country so that members in the Northwest Region had excellent opportunities to ride with the best instructors.

Ian’s leadership in coaching and teaching Games is legendary. He coached regional games teams and organized games rallies from the late 1970s into the early 2000s. He was an advisor for many regions, gave clinics whenever asked, and showed club leaders how to make their own equipment.

Ian served on the national Games Committee twice and was instrumental in establishing Games throughout the Western regions. Ian was named a "National Activities Legend” at the 50th Anniversary USPC Annual Meeting in 2004. His long and generous involvement in Pony Club was essential for the growth and stability of the Northwest Region. His belief in the importance of Games as a foundation for excellent riding leaves a legacy throughout the nation.

Robin and Bill Weiss, Jackson, WY: Robin Weiss first became involved with Pony Club as a member of the Meadow Brook Hounds Pony Club back in 1957. She and husband Bill became re-involved when their daughter Katrina joined the Jackson Hole Pony Club in Wyoming in 1989. By 1991, Robin had become a Jt-DC of Jackson Hole Pony Club and Bill was a sponsor. Bill served in the Intermountain Region from 1988 through 1994, and he served at the national level as a member of the USPC Task Force for the 80s. Robin served as Treasurer for the Intermountain Region and as RS for Inter­mountain, and was also a member of the USPC Task Force.

Additional national service for Robin has included service on the Board of Governors in the 1990s as well as being Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Chairman of the Development Committee, and Secretary of the Corporation. Robin was named a "National Legend” at the 50th Anniversary USPC Annual Meeting in 2004. From 2005-2006, Robin chaired the ad hoc Riding Center Committee.

While on the Board of Governors, Bill served as Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chairman of Development, and co-Chairman of the USPC Headquarters Committee. Bill was a visionary and his creative thinking helped USPC move forward in areas such as color publications and use of more sophisticated technology. One of his most notable efforts resulted in the construction of the second office building, which is located behind USPC National Headquarters on the Kentucky Horse Park. Bill directed the implementation of the second building project from start to finish with great skill and financial know-how.

Robin and Bill Weiss reside in Wilson, Wyoming, and were the founders of the Spring Creek Equestrian Center in Jackson, a 30-stall boarding, lesson and clinics facility. Their daughter Katrina is a Pony Club graduate.


The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including our Olympic team members, have Pony Club roots. Members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Activities are English-riding based, and members ride both horses and ponies, depending on the size of the rider and the discipline in which s/he is competing. Pony Club competition is team competition, much like the Olympic games, where members learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork. There are approximately 11,000 members in 600 clubs in 43 regions throughout the country.


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