Lake George Outfitters and Gymkhana closed out their 27th year in style. Through the generosity of their 42 sponsors, they were able to pass out numerous ribbons and quite a variety of prizes including grooming supplies, buckles, clothing, gift cards, a photo yearbook, tack and a saddle.
Eighty-five children participated this year ranging from age four months to 17 years old. The age groups are broken into Lead Assist, ten and under, 11 to 14, and 15 to 18.
The pavilion at Lake George Community Park was filled with the participants, their families, and the sponsors who provided generous support of the program. “Without our wonderful sponsors, this award ceremony would not be possible,” said Jacki Anthony, President of LGOG. “We are extremely grateful.”.
Anthony, flanked by board member Justin Snare, Vice President April Achord, Treasurer Kendra Westfall, Secretary and Ginger Bruvold and Randy Westfall, board members, presented ribbons and certificates of appreciation to all the sponsors.
Special recognition was given to Steve Plutt for his efforts in maintaining the arena during each gymkhana and throughout the season for those who need a place to train and work their horses. Sissy Sonnier was also recognized for her efforts in presenting the colors at each gymkhana throughout the season.
Awards were given for each event for each age group, as well as those with the highest overall earned points. Special recognition was given to Jase Ankrum, Evelyn Jones and Amelia Jones, who graduated from Lead Assist to riding on their own toward the end of the season.
Eighteen participants were given special awards for participating in every gymkhana this season, a custom-embroidered sweatshirt, tack bag filled with donated samples from seven different vendors (courtesy of Ginger Bruvold from Outpost Feed and Ranch in Florissant), and a certificate of recognition.
Top awards in each groupwere: ten and under winner of High Point was Riley Schumacher; Reserve Champion, Eva Achord; and Most Improved, Sissy Sonnier. The 11 to 14 winner of High Point was Tristan Weaver; Reserve Champion and Most Improved was Kaylee Hatton. The 15 to 18 age group High Point winner was Peyton Hofmann; Reserve Champion, Mila Hancock; and Most Improved, Lilly Allen.
The Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by all parents and participants, was given to Kylie Simshauser.
“It’s always been about the kids and encouraging them,” Anthony said. “We are so proud of these kids and their accomplishments.”
A real sense of pride and success filled in the pavilion as these kids were honored for all their hard work and effort in a sport that not only depends on the individual’s skill, but also on their capability of working with a horse, which takes many hours of training, patience and preparation. Seeing the looks on all the faces and the reaction of those present, well-deserved pride and satisfaction was evident.