The Liz Malcom Award is giving to someone in the horse world that helps others with compassion and dedication. Liz and her sister, Kathy Baldwin rode with us on the famous Mexico to Canada trail ride. Both these ladies are extraordinary in so many ways and have done so much for so many people. Their love of training and riding Tennessee Walking Horses is well known. Their life devoted to nursing says so much. Kathy organized a medical mission to the children in Belize. Liz passed away several years ago and we felt, like so many of you, that she and Kathy were truly part of everyone's family. We feel when we announce the winner this year, everyone will say, "well, yes, of course, Liz would be proud...."
This year’s award goes to Ray Larson of El Paso, TX. Ray has been a part of the Sheriff’s Posse in El Paso, TX for years. Despite serious health complications, he has remained steadfast to helping others including personally delivering hundreds of gifts to area children at Christmas. He committed his time to assist the riders on the Mexico to Canada ride, and as a personal favor to Tom shadowed a lone rider who was determined to make-up a skipped segment of the trail. Liz Malcom would smile knowing he received the award in her name to one of the most seasoned cowboys that ever lived but who possessed a heart of gold and is a friend to everyone he meets.
Mike Phillips Award is given to someone that is a modern-day trailblazer. Mike was a trail boss and close friend on the Mexico to Canada as well. Mike needed heart surgery but rode from old Mexico with me along the Rio Grande and continued every inch for over 1,000 miles until he had to go have his surgery. A friend, without boundaries to me and so many others, he never stopped wanting to care for all around him and to help people in any way. He and his devoted wife, Wanda, spent many years with us traveling until he passed away several years ago. His love of horses and trail riding was endless. His help with Back Country Horsemen and working on trails was well known. He overcame health issues to help all of us. This year's award will go to someone that Mike would have loved to spend countless hours with. The person we will name has done so much for all of us and you will enjoy learning about that person.
This year’s award goes to Boo Rollins of Claremont, VA. Boo was a lifetime tug boat captain on America’s rivers as well as international waters. Boo has been an avid horse enthusiast all his life. And despite health disabilities, he has attended many horseback events. Although he has mobility disadvantages, he became the driver for the cameras to get to all locations for the television show. His love of the television show, Del Shields, Kristen Biscoe, Tom Seay and the entire crew is overwhelming. He has been instrumental in the production of so many television shows. Mike Phillips would smile at how Boo has engineered a way to make rides and riders a great part of the show.
The Aileen Livingston Award is to honor one of the finest people we have ever known. I had the pleasure years ago to meet John Wayne and to spend a day with Roy Rogers, but it is Aileen Livingston that I tell people she is my most inspiring hero. Her love of horses and trail riding is inspiring despite health issues. Her compassion for life and those around her also has no boundaries. Despite a dozen reasons not to go, she rode with us across the country, hopping and skipping from place to place, all the way to California. Aileen is alive and well and will enjoy finding out who will be honored with the Aileen Livingston Award. I suspect they will converse on the phone a bit when we announce who this will be.
This year’s award goes to Donna Gladstone of Worth, MO. Donna has a heart full of kindness much like Aileen Livingston who is named for this award. On trail rides all across the country Donna is constantly endeavoring to make sure everyone is happy comfortable and having a good time. She has been the shoulder for many to cry on and an inspiration to everyone. When she is at any event everyone seems drawn to her and enjoys the warmth of her friendship. She is the most deserving of the Aileen Livingston award this year.