2022 WIHS Honor & Service Award Recipient
Lynn Coakley with Allison Smith
Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
The 2021 Washington International Horse Show Honor & Service Award, sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation, was awarded to Allison Smith embodies the values of honor and service in her community and represents hundreds of thousands of young people devoted to the welfare of America's horses.
As a child of military parents, not only has Allison endured the stress of having both her parents deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during her childhood, but she has had to move four times already in her life. Moving has meant new homes, new teachers, new friends, and new extracurricular activities.
Although only 14 years old, she has persevered these hardships with resiliency and honor and has found strength in serving her local horse community. Throughout her life, Allison's love of horses and the equestrian community has been a constant.
Allison has been volunteering at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine since 2017. Her service at Days End includes performing farm chores, leading tours, helping at fundraising events, educating school and scouting groups about proper horse care, and providing outreach to the community about Days End Farm Horse Rescue's mission of saving horses and creating a world without equine cruelty.
Allison also volunteers with her mother, Stephanie, for the US Eventing Association as a cross country jump judge. Allison has such a passion for horses and volunteering that in the past three years alone she has completed 178 hours of volunteer time with Days End Farm Horse Rescue and US Eventing Association.
Allison regularly takes English riding lessons at Defying Gravity Eventing and Talbot Run Equestrian Center. Her favorite horses are Willie and Irish.
Allison is a member of the US Pony Club Capitol Region team and a member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Dressage team at the Talbot Run Riding Center.
Allison recently completed her Girl Scout Silver Award Project entitled "Equestrian Helmet Safety Awareness". She spent over 60 hours teaching other riders about the importance of wearing appropriate helmets while riding.
In learning that she was selected as this year's recipient, Allison said, "It's really awesome to receive this award. I enjoy volunteering at Days End Farm Horse Rescue and with my mom at USEA competitions. I'm really grateful to be a military child and would like to show my gratitude to those who have served. Thanks also to my riding coaches Courtney and Robin."
Allison was recognized by WIHS and EQUUS Foundation during a ceremony in the show arena on Friday, October 28th. Allison selected Days End Farm Horse Rescue to receive a $1,500 grant from the EQUUS Foundation.
The WIHS Honor and Service Award was created in 2013 following the induction of Klinger into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame
in 2013. Klinger, a member of the Caisson platoon of the 3d United States Infantry (The Old Guard), was the inspiration for the award and its first recipient. The Honor & Service Award recognizes a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger.
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