Dixie Stables and owner Lynn Pace recently received two awards at the joint annual meeting and banquet of the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia and the United Professional Horseman Association Georgia Chapter in Macon.
According to a press release, Pace was inducted into the Old Milton Hall of Fame at the Feb. 11 banquet.
“It was really good,” Pace said. “It seemed like every time we turned around, they were calling South Georgia again. I feel very honored. We are not very big, but we do a lot of stuff.”
Being chosen and inducted to the Old Milton Hall of Fame shows that Pace has earned the respect of her peers during her 40 year career at Dixie Stable. It honors her professional conduct, knowledge and contributions to the show-horse industry and pays tribute to the success of Pace’s horses and student riders.
Pace started her riding lessons at the tender age of 10 at the Sea Island Stables on St. Simons Island. After college, she bought what is now Dixie Stables in Allenhurst in 1968 and started offering lessons in 1972.
Dixie Stables also won of the Best Local Show Award for the 2011 Dixie Stables Spring Horse Show. According to the release to be chosen “best in Georgia,” the show must have good facilities, including stabling, warm-up area and show ring. The show must be well managed, run smoothly, and have good judging. Local participation, volunteer support, enthusiasm and sportsmanship are also important.
“We have our stalls open so people can see the horses and pet the horses and learn all about saddlebreds…we enjoy doing things like that,” Pace said. “People need to see what saddlebreds are. It’s the little things… that we have done year after year after year.”
The annual spring show is also a qualifying event for the Saddle Seat World Championship in Lexington, Ky. Equestrians from across southeast Georgia participate in show every year. Pace said it is a great way to see how much her student riders have learned.
“I really love to teach…and we found a niche here… We have the ability of teaching everyone and anyone can afford a riding lesson here,” she said. “The great thing about owning a local riding stable is that I can watch my students grow up with the horses, become terrific, productive adults and then get the opportunity to teach their kids.”
Two of Pace’s student riders received top honors at the banquet as well.
Rachel Ogden from Jesup, a student of Dixie Stables since she was 10, won the 2011 UPHA Horsemanship Challenge at the Georgia Agricenter. Fifteen riders from Georgia, Florida and Alabama competed for regional honors. In this contest, entrants ride horses they have never ridden, contributed by UPHA members. Each rider draws two horses, gets 10 minutes to practice, then shows each horse in front of three judges. Each judge then picks the top three riders, who then draw another horse for the final round. Six riders were in the final round, with Ogden finishing on top by unanimous decision
Pace was the award-winning ASHAG reserve high-point trainer for her horses and riders. ASHAG points are earned at Georgia association shows throughout the year. Dixie Stables also won top awards in this category. Ogden was reserve high-point adult equitation rider, and her mount Santa Cruz was champion adult show pleasure horse for Georgia. Hinesville resident Samantha Hocking’s Friesian horse Syb van de Loeckshamhoeve, better known as Dudley, was named non-saddlebred champion.
On March 24, Dixie Stables will host the 34th annual Spring Horse Show. It is free for spectators and begins at 10 a.m.
“The performance classes will be in the morning,” Pace said. “These are the more experienced riders, not the beginners. They will be an exciting class to watch.”
Dixie Stables is at 504 Dunlevie Road in Allenhurst. For more information call 368-9377 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.