The Liz Malcolm Award is given 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 of these ladies are extraordinary in so many ways and have done so much for so many people. Liz & Kathy devoted their lives to nursing, and Kathy organized a medical mission to the children in Belize. Their love of training and riding Tennessee Walking Horses is well known. 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."
Jim & Karen Mattos
Last year, Jim & Karen Mattos traveled to Belize with Best of America by Horseback and spent several days at Valley of Peace Christian School in Belize. Along with donating their time, the two also donated school supplies and financially support several of the students enrolled.
The Mike Phillips Award is given to modern-day trailblazers. Mike was a trail boss and close friend on the Mexico to Canada Ride. Mike needed heart surgery but rode from old Mexico with us 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. He helped Back Country Horsemen, worked the trails, and his love of horses and trail riding was endless. 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.
Maurice & Wanda Austin
Maurice and Wanda played an integral role in making our ride in Louisiana's Bogue Chitto State Park possible, and they continue to work for the development of horse trails throughout the state of Louisiana.
The AileenThe Aileen Livingston Award is to honor one of the finest people we have ever known. We 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 is my most inspiring hero. Her love of horses and trail riding is inspiring, and her compassion for life and those around her, even in the face of health issues, has no boundaries. Despite a dozen reasons not to go, she rode across the country with us, 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 in her name. I suspect they wlll converse on the phone a bit when we announce who this will be.
This year the Aileen Livingston Award goes to those people that wrote in and offered to help so many other s by offering to open their homes, their farms, their stables, their horse trailers and to assist in transportation, without charge, during this past year's weather emergencies.
It is heartwarming to include the people that wrote me during the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence and offered their farms, stables, homes, trailers and themselves to help others in the Best of America by Horseback family and the community. If I could copy you on the e-mails, it would bring tears to your eyes to read and know what amazing people are all around us. It is the times of emergencies that often bring out the very best in all of us, but also folks you may not have noticed or knew about. They are just good people. These people are what built America and they are in the fabric of every great community.
Sometimes, when you feel there is nowhere to turn, it is people like this that pick us up physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Rosalyn & John Boren
Ron & Carrie Cole
Tracy Lynn Hammond
Chris Petras & Cindy Martel
Brian & Patty Thompson
Submit your nominations for the
Annual Best of America by Horseback Awards
via e-mail to Tom Seay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the nominee's name and the reason you think they should receive one of the three awards, including their services to their community &/or the horse world.