TWHBEA Congratulates 2012 Reese L. Smith, Jr. Award Recipient Sheryl Crawford

Reese L. Smith Jr. was an avid owner and supporter of the Tennessee Walking Horse all his adult life.  He acquired his first show horse in 1981. He loved to ride at a field trial or exhibit his performance horse on Saturday night. He enjoyed his Tennessee Waling Horses. His last conscious moment was while competing in a horse show.

When the show season was disrupted in 1988, he was called on to organize the industry response and to return the Tennessee Walking Horse to the show ring. He was one of those rare individuals whom everyone respected and looked to for spiritual and financial leadership. Within 30 minutes, in Decatur, Alabama, over $500,000 was committed on his word alone that he would return our horse to the show ring and we were back showing horses under new rules within two and one half months. 

Over the next decade the Tennessee Walking Horse expanded at the fastest rate in history in part because of his effort and contribution.

The award is presented to those persons who best exemplify his qualities and contributions.

This year’s recipient had the opportunity and privilege to grow up with horses and they have been an integral part of both her childhood and adult life. She competed in 4-H and Pony Club shows as a youngster and migrated to participating in walking horses shows in the 1960s. She has shown in nearly every division and she is a successful breeder.

Over the years she has held a number of leadership positions in the industry beginning with the Georgia walking horse association and progressing on to TWHBEA, where she has served multiple terms as a director and officer. She developed the TWHBEA Board of Directors Manual and an orientation session for new Directors at the Association. She brought a new level of professionalism to TWHBEA and helped streamline many of its procedures. Our honoree is a former recipient of the TWHBEA Performance Horse Ambassador Award who has bred and raised numerous world and world grand champions.

A proponent of science and technology, our recipient championed the adoption of new forms of technology in HIO inspections and supported initiatives at TWHBEA such as blood typing and the approval of registrations resulting from embryo transfers. She also played a vital part in defending the skills of breeding managers throughout the industry.

Most recently, she has supported our breed at USDA Listening Sessions, founded and organized the Tennessee Walking Horses of Today Conference and produced a video staring her beloved stallion Command & Control that is being used by organizations and individuals to help promote and educate others on the performance horse.

It was TWHBEA’s pleasure to present this year’s Reese L. Smith, Jr. Distinguished Service Award to Sheryl Crawford.




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