Stock Horse of Texas 2023 Kick-Off Show

The Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX) ended the 2022 show year awarding more than $85,000 in year-end prizes to competitors. In addition to the prizes for the nine divisions, the association presented three scholarships and other honors on Saturday, March 4, amid the 2023 kick-off show in Bryan, Texas.

New to award in 2023, the Jack Brainard Most Improved Award was presented to a rider who did not earn Top 10 year-end recognition, but that showed steady improvement toward that goal. Dennis Moreland sponsored a headstall with custom buckles, worth $500, for the award as well as a book titled If I Were To Train a Horse, written by the late Brainard, that went to Mark Johnson. 

“The award ceremony is one of my favorite times of the year,” said SHTX Executive Director Jill Dunkel. “SHTX members work hard all year learning, improving and competing, and it culminates in celebrating success on multiple levels. Whether you won a custom saddle, or earned a SHTX jacket as a constant competitor, you were part of a packed house celebration.”

At the awards banquet, which was emceed by SHTX Board of Director Ben Baldus, representatives from three families presented honorees with scholarships. First, Emma Thrasher received an award granted to a Texas A&M University student in honor of the late Dr. Josie Coverdale. Next, the Amy Doris Bell “Pay It Forward” Scholarship was given to Allora Leonard in memory of Amy Bell; Leonard had the highest-placing Youth Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse which earned the scholarship honor. The final scholarship was given in memory of Darlene Hicks, and the memorial award was granted to graduating senior Audrey Hart.

Riders in nine divisions earned year-end prizes that began with custom-made saddles from Martin Saddlery to the all-around champions, a custom hat from JW Brooks Custom hats and a buckle sponsored by CoolHorse for reserve champion all-around, a custom breast collar from The Saddle House and also a 5-Star saddle pad from 5-Star Equine to the third place all-around, a custom SHTX tack rack created by Creative Alloy Products and sponsored by Bob & Jennifer Muir for fourth place all-around, and fifth place all-around earned a Dennis Moreland headstall with custom Rod Toescher buckles sponsored by DePaulo Equine Concepts. The all-around division champions for 2022 are:

  • Open – Smart With Chicks ridden and owned by Alex Alves
  • Level 1 Open – Simone Deville ridden by Stacey McAlexander, owned by Shelley Graham
  • Junior – Wine Makes Her Dance, ridden by Shannon Pigott, owned by Sassy Stanton
  • Non-Pro – Mason Elliott riding The Fletcherator
  • Limited Non-Pro – Tammy Thomas riding His Royal Cat 
  • Intermediate – Wendy Lamborghini riding Metallic Dynamite Dr
  • Novice – Jeff Watkins riding TAMU Jazzy LilClancy
  • Youth – Treylyn Hancock riding Slyd My Way 
  • Novice Youth – Ella Fowler riding Play In Aristocrat 
Alex Alves and Smart With Chicks earned the 2022 Open All-Around title. (photography by High Cotton Promotions)

Additionally, top 10 jackets were awarded, as well as jackets to those constant competitors—riders who showed at more than 80-percent of the events but didn’t finish in the Top 10. 
“The mission of SHTX is education – to help people ride a better horse. No matter what level you start at, our association helps equip members with the educational opportunities coupled with family-like support and camaraderie. From world champion caliber riders to entry level novice, there is a place for everyone to compete. Our awards ceremony celebrated that,” Dunkel said.
The grassroots’ grown association is riding an explosion in participation, swelling the numbers to a level that ensured additional divisions were added to accommodate riders of all levels. The association continues to offer a clinic the day prior to the show to ensure riders of all levels have access to education. Additionally, SHTX has aligned with the American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and Texas Quarter Horse Association to offer concurrently run classes that qualify for awards or world show entry into those associations.  
To that end, SHTX presented annual achievement awards during the banquet to: 
 • AQHA RANCHING HERITAGE BRED: Mason Elliott and The Fletcherator were the 2022 highest placing AQHA Ranching Heritage Bred horse, an award sponsored by AQHA. Mason will receive a Ranching Heritage Bred trophy and a check for $250 from AQHA. 
• Cattasan, owned by Susan and Matlock Rice, was recognized for earning more SHTX Merit Points than any other horse in SHTX history, edging Jimbo Humphreys and Josephs Ketchum All, a pair that held the title for more than 15 years!
• SUPREME MERIT AWARD: Precious Metalz and Stephanie Wagley, a non-pro, earned the supreme award, earning more than 200 Merit points.
• Two horse and rider teams passed the 100-point mark and received SUPERIOR MERIT AWARD: Boots Be Tuff and Larry Walker; Raised On It and Mike Major
• NOVICE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD recognizes riders who earn 1600 points in the Novice Division, and 10 riders earned the buckles sponsored by West Texas Equine Clinic.
• The 4TH QUARTER CLUB HONORS included SHTX riders age 70 and over who consistently compete with SHTX. Almost 30 riders were honored with silver hat pins for inspiring the rest of the membership to stay horseback, no matter their age.
The SHTX show year runs through October and culminates in the 2023 Western Horseman Stock Horse of Texas World Show and Derby, held in Abilene, Texas, October 25 through 29. Riders qualify to compete in the world show by showing in at least one SHTX class in 2023. For a complete show calendar or to learn more about SHTX, visit