Betsy Boone grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was exposed to horses and ponies from an early age. She has shown horses since the early 1970s, and began showing Saddle breds later on in the same decade.
In the 70s and 80s, Mrs. Boone worked with several top trainers, and now works alongside her husband, Paul, at Boone’s Farm & Stables, in Concord, North Carolina, where she operates the Academy Program. Mrs. Boone is the Co-Chair of the ASHA Hunter Committee and Riding Program Ad Hoc Committee, and is also a member of the ASHA Pleasure Horse Committee, Charter Club Council, and American Saddlebred Museum, in addition to working with the Boones Farm ASHA Youth Club.
Mrs. Boone has served as Secretary of the American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas (ASAC) for 10 years, she is Chair person of the ASAC Academy Committee, and is the UPHA Representative for the ASAC Amateur Owner Trainers Club.
Mrs. Boone is certified by the American Riding Instructors Association with the top Level III Saddleseat Certification. In 1993, she started the Charlotte Charity Horse Show for her church, which has been a major fundraiser for the church in the years since. Mrs. Boone has also been instrumental in planning, participating and organizing the American Saddlebred Exhibition at the Charlotte Jumper Classic.
As a UPHA member, she has served as Secretary and Treasurer of her chapter, and assisted with several chapter fundraisers, including Casino Night, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Bike Ride, one of the chapter’s largest fundraisers. Mrs. Boone’s affiliations also include the North Carolina Horse Council and Carolinas Futurity. Additionally, she is a USEF “R” Judge for Saddlebred, Morgan, Hackney/Harness, Roadster, and Saddleseat Equitation, in addition to being a member of the USEF Safety Committee.
LOUISE CURRY GILLILAND
Louise Curry Gilliland was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she attended North High School and Wake Forest University. While in high school, Ms. Gilliland won a national art competition with a line drawing of an American Saddlebred. She purchased her first Saddlebred, My Sweet Child, in 1961 from Bill Becker at Sandy Knoll Stables in Winston-Salem.
In 1965, she started Winsdown Kennels where she bred Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis, a number of which were sold from 1967 to 1977 to become American Kennel Club champions. Many of the Pem broke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis winning today still trace to the Winsdown bred Corgis. Through out the 1960s and 1970s, she bought, sold and trained American Saddlebreds.
Throughout the 1970s, Ms. Gilliland was active in the automotive industry in terms of sales, mechanics and even racing. In 1978, she started Fords Forever Auto Wrecking, which specialized in hard to find Collector Fords and parts from the 1950s and 1960s. In 1980, she married Terry L. Gilliland at the start of an automotive race.
By 1986, Ms. Gilliland had Saddlebreds once again. In 1988, she started Winsdown Farms, of which she is still owner, manager and trainer. Ms. Gilliland’s son from her previous marriage, James Vantrease, shows the homebreds of Winsdown in futurities across the country. Winsdown has owned, managed and bred some of the top futurity sires, including Winsdown Hi Octane.
Now a resident of McAlester, Oklahoma, Ms. Gilliland serves as a research consultant to TSE Tattersalls, Saddle & Bridle, Superior Sales and the American Saddlebred Reference Directory. She has also served on several committees for ASHA, including Grand National and FEI Disciplines.
Nelson Green is a trainer whose protégés have won more than 100 World’s Championships in virtually every division offered at the World’s Championship Horse Show. Mr. Green has been a professional horseman for over 40 years. His first Saddlebred training job was at Cleveland Park stables in Greenville, South Carolina. From there in 1969 he advanced to Knolland Farm where he assisted Tom and Donna Moore.
A few of Mr. Green’s most high profile World’s Champions are Fine Harness World’s Grand Champions CHA Sweet Treat and CHRadiant Success, as well as Winter Day, Peppermint Sonburst, Absolutely Fabulous and many more. Mr. Green has won the performance divisions of the Kentucky and National Futurities numerous times and has trained 10 winners of the World’s Champion ships in the Five Gaited, Three Gaited and Fine Harness divisions.
Mr. Green is a founding member of the United Professional Horseman’s Association, a member of the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show Advisory Committee and a member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association Board of Directors. He also serves on the USEF Saddlebred Committee.
Germaine Johnson has been involved with the Saddlebred Industry in varying capacities since 1998. Included in her Saddlebred experience are showing, breeding, and a veterinary practice.
In 2002, Mrs. Johnson joined the ASHA Auction Committee, which involved procuring items to be sold, and working directly with the auction. This same year, she also joined the ASHA Youth Committee. It was during Mrs. Johnson’s tenure as an ASHA Youth Committee member that the Saddle bred Mania Program was implemented for ASHA Youth, which provides youth with the opportunity to decorate horses to be sent to ASHA for sale in its auction. The program also offers the youth a certain degree of ownership in the auction program.
Mrs. Johnson’s tenure as a member of the ASHA Youth Committee has also included involvement in planning and carrying out Youth activities at the annual ASHA convention, including being in charge of all Friday evening Youth activities. In some years these activities have included informative round table discussions, and most years have included field trips to Saddlebred barns and stables, on which Mrs. Johnson has served as chaperone.
In 2004, Mrs. Johnson served as Hosp itality Chairperson for the Kentucky Fall Classic. As Hospitality Chairperson, she planned and carried out the daily activities of the horse show for the exhibitors and their families.
Mrs. Johnson currently serves as Chair person for the ASHA Youth Committee, having held this position since 2008. As Chairperson, she oversees the ASHA Convention and all youth activities currently involving the American Saddlebred Youth.
James Ruwoldt was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He worked at the Jam Handy Organization from 1950 to 1970. In 1970, Mr. Ruwoldt left the Jam Handy Organization to become an independent producer of business communication. In 1972, he joined the Coca-Cola Co. Mr. Ruwoldt was eventually promoted to vice president of creative services where he managed a department of more than 100 people. He oversaw all world wide business meetings, conventions and special events, including the Olympics.
Mr. Ruwoldt has been involved in the Saddlebred industry for over 45 years. He was an original member of the board of directors that started the Southeastern Charity Horse Show in 1973. He served as manager for the show until the mid-1980s and had to step down as a result of travel for Coca-Cola. He became manager again in 1996 and continues to serve on the board of directors for the show.
Mr. Ruwoldt has been a partner with Joan Lurie at WilIowbank Farm for the past 20 years. The Roswell, Georgia, resident has been married to his wife, Bonnie, for 55 years. They have two daughters, Cindy and Kathy.
He has volunteered his time on the board for the Georgia Special Olympics, the board of the Tommy Nobis Center; a development center for disabled adults, as president of the advisory committee to the Northside School of Performing Arts, as president of the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia and as secretary for the American Saddlebred Museum. He currently is serving as treasurer of the American Saddlebred Horse Association.
WILLIAM G. WHITLEY III
Early in his career, William G. Whitley III worked as an assistant to his father at a private Saddlebred training stable in Wilson, North Carolina. Harrell’s Horse Farm in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Mr. Whitley also worked as an Assistant Trainer, won many North Carolina State Champion ships in the early 1960s.
Mr. Whitley also worked as an Equitation Instructor and Assistant Trainer at Greenfield Farm & Riding Academy, in Wilson, North Carolina, and developed a summer riding camp for students. In the late 1960s, Mr. Whitley developed a riding program for Atlantic Christian College, in which students could enroll in a riding class as one of their electives for physical education.
In the 1970s, Mr. Whitley worked as the Senior Portfolio Manager for the North Carolina Department of the State Treasurer, managing the $65 billion portfolio for the Teacher and State Employee Retirement System, retiring in 2004. Mr. Whitley served as Assistant Manager for the North Carolina State Championship Horse Show from 2001 to 2007, and in 2008 served as Manager.
As he has done since 1974, Mr. Whitley currently officiates about 30 shows a year, as Ringmaster. Included in these shows are the World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair, Morgan Grand National & World Championship, and UPHA-American Royal National Champion ship.
Mr. Whitley has coached Little League Girls Softball for 30 years, participates in each ASHA auction, and is currently a member of various USEF Committees. He is also associated with the Raleigh Host Lions Club and American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas, and has been recognized as Lion of the Year and received the North Carolina Lion’s Foundation-Dedicated Humanitarian Services Award, both in 1999. Mr. Whitley has also received People’s Choice Ringmaster of the year from 2001-2008.