Ellis County Equine Association Presents Awards

Image: Hunter Hinz — Past president Becky Hansen, left, presents Hunter Hinz of Italy with the ECEA Walk and Whoa Champion for 2009.

Hunter Hinz — Past president Becky Hansen, left, presents Hunter Hinz of Italy with the ECEA Walk and Whoa Champion for 2009.

There was nothing but smiles on Saturday night as competitors in the Ellis County Equine Association gathered for their year-end banquet at Lakeview Camp and conference Center in Waxahachie to receive a menagerie of custom made awards in honor of their hard work to win championships throughout the horse show season.

“It’s so much fun to see everyone gathered together in clean clothes and not covered in dirt and smelling like a horse,” ECEA President Julie Hinz, of Italy, joked at the beginning of the ceremonies. “I do want to thank everyone’s hard work and all of the money donated by our sponsors, because without the help of sponsors and hard working members, clubs and awards banquets like this could not happen.”

In addition to horse show awards, ECEA honors four special members or families for their dedication and helpfulness to the club. Jennifer Alexander of Midlothian won the Billie Wesson Most Active New Member Award. Jimmy, Beth and Alyssa Ballew of Midlothian won the Randy McMullan Spirit Award. Sandy Neal of Italy won the Charlie Huff Hall of Fame Award. And, Gracen Avent of Waxahachie, won the Nancy Jessup Youth Sportsmanship Award.

Local winners from the horse show series included Leadline Champion Sadie Hinz, Walk and Whoa Champion Hunter Hinz, and Reserve Champion Yearling Performance Julie Hinz, all of Italy. Brenda Escamilla of Forreston won the Champion Aged Mare at Halter with her palomino horse Twice A Zillion.

Several exhibitors from Waxahachie and Midlothian who train at the Flying Dollar Ranch of Italy also won awards during the evening including Alyssa Ballew, Champion Aged Gelding at Halter and Top 5 Western 11 & Under; Jennifer Alexander, Champion Color at Halter and Reserve Champion Junior Mare at Halter; Chesley Hinds, Top 5 Western, Top 5 English, and Top 5 Green Horse; and Courtney Griffith , Reserve Champion English 12 to 18 and Reserve Champion Western 12 to 18.

ECEA would like to especially thank several local buckle sponsors which include Hobbs Feed Store, Sugar Grove Farm, Cactus Rose Farm, and Flying Dollar Ranch who are all from the Italy/Forreston area.

A full list of 2009 ECEA Buckle Series Horse Show winners, and more information about ECEA and its activities is available on the club’s website at www.elliscountyequine.org. Or you may call club president Julie Hinz at 972-483-7774.