The Arabian Horse Association has announced that two of its members, Wendy Potts and Jody Strand, are among 15 nominees for the 2018 USEF Equestrian of the Year. AHA encourages members to vote for the Equestrian of the Year by January 3, 2019.
WENDY POTTS is a talented horse trainer, and the owner of Freewill Farm in Mansfield, Texas. She began riding at age six and has been training Arabian and Half-Arabian horses for more than 25 years.
Potts got her start training at Ventura Farms in Westlake Village, Calif., before moving to Texas and building the successful clientele she has today. One of Potts’s greatest accomplishments is the consistent success of her amateur riders. Her clients have earned over 200 national and reserve national championships, and many of these talented riders have been with Potts for more than 15 years.
Potts has been named the APHA’s Hunter/Show Hack Trainer of the Year an incredible 11 times.
In addition to her successful training business, Potts excels in the show ring. Since 2002, she has won 43 national championship titles, 28 reserve national champion titles, and 95 national top 10 awards across the U.S. and Canada. At the regional level, she has won 133 championships, 75 reserve championships, and 75 top-five awards.
In 2018, Potts competed in 20 qualifying competitions, culminating in an impressive showing at U.S. Nationals, the pinnacle of competition for the breed. Potts took home three national championship titles in the Hunter Pleasure division, most notably besting 43 other combinations in the highly competitive Open Arabian Hunter Pleasure championship class. She continued to clean up in the Hunter Pleasure division at U.S. Nationals, bringing home three reserve championship titles and two top 10 placings.
JODY STRAND is the owner, trainer and manager at Strand’s Arabian Stables. Strand’s Arabian Stables has boasted a 60-year tradition of excellence under his leadership and gifted horsemanship.
Strand began training and showing for clients as early as age 15 as a part of a family operation - started by his father and uncle - when he was five years old. In addition to training, Strand holds a national/regional Arabian judging card and has judged some of AHA’s most prestigious competitions.
Since 2002, Strand’s long list of accolades includes 136 regional and 97 national titles.
The 2018 U.S. National Show, the pinnacle of competition for the breed, added several more feathers to his cap. Strand took home top honors in the Arabian Horse World Arabian Western Pleasure Association $100,000 Arabian Western Pleasure Futurity, a reserve championship in the AWPA Equine Athlete $50,000 Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian Western Pleasure Futurity, and five top 10 placings.
Although Strand is well versed in several disciplines, he has a reputation for being one of the top Western trainers and a passionate supporter of his amateur clients.
Strand is a three-time winner of the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association award for Male Western Pleasure Trainer of the Year.
-- via AHA