California Riding Magazine • October, 2012

Winner's Circle

Arthur Hawkins Earns USHJA Lifetime Achievement

Hunter judge Arthur "Artie" Hawkins will be honored as one of two recipients of the United States Hunter Jumper Association's Lifetime Achievement awards. The Rancho Santa Fe resident's fellow recipient is Pam Baker of Virginia. Their honors will be bestowed during the association's annual meeting, slated for Florida in early December.

Created in 2008, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors those whose lifelong involvement in the sport and the USHJA itself has benefited the industry. Recipients of this award have dedicated their lives to advancing the hunter and jumper disciplines on a national platform.

Arthur Hawkins is known for setting the standard of how to judge top hunters. He was born the youngest of five kids into a family of riders in Batavia, NY. His father was a notable rider-trainer in the hunter field and proprietor of Shannon Stables during the 1930s and 40s.

While his siblings did a fair amount of showing, Artie wasn't as comfortable in the arena and spent many an event carefully watching the competitions. Following a stint in the Air Force and then some time in the marketing department at Parade magazine, Artie opened two photography shops in midtown New York while living in White Plains. It was the long commute and lack of riding time that swayed his decision to sell the businesses and join his father's operation, opening a second training facility just up the street. In 1965 Artie's father decided to retire from Shannon Stables in order to focus his energies on judging and stewarding – Artie stepped up and took over. However, after six years of running dual businesses Artie came to understand his true calling was in judging show hunters, so he sold Shannon Stables. 

While Artie admits that change is not an easy thing for him, two of the best life decisions he's made involved huge changes and both have yielded bigger rewards. First was giving up the businesses to pursue a new avenue of the horse industry. Within a few years Artie was one of the most sought-after judges in the country. The second was his move to Southern California in 1977, which led to much improved health – far fewer bouts of pneumonia and pleurisy that he'd endured living through New York's winters.

There is no doubt that Artie's most noted legacy to the horse show world will be the creation of the open numerical judging system. Now used as the standard in recording judge's scores throughout the show industry, it was designed with Artie's own practical knowledge and experience. He once explained, "When you sit and watch 45 and more in a class without an accurate set of cards, it all falls apart two-three hours later when it's time to pin. It's truly the only thing that helps you separate the horses for the pin, especially now-a-days holding two to four cards at a time."

To learn more about this year's Annual Meeting or to make reservations please visit the www.ushja.org or contact Shelby French at 859-225-6701.


Rusty Stewart Makes It Two In A Row

Rusty Stewart and his 10-year-old homebred jumper Bristol scored the night's only fault-free round to score their second consecutive World Cup qualifier win in the West league. This feat was accomplished in front of a full house at the $50,000 Blenheim World Cup class Friday, Sept. 14 in San Juan Capistrano. It followed the pair's first qualifier win two weeks prior, at the Del Mar Horsepark, and vaulted them to a third place position at the mid-way point in the West league standings for next year's World Cup Final.

Rusty Stewart and Bristol. Photo by Kim F. Miller

Nicki Simpson and Imothep had only a time fault to finish second, while four-faulters Lucy Davis, Lane Clark and Mandy Porter came in third, fourth and fifth.

Extremely hot weather was no match for the Blenheim EquiSports marketing team. They had the indoor arena's considerable grandstand space full with standing room only and the ringside VIP area was also packed. Pony club members, college team riders and other youngsters got a real treat from incoming USET show jumping chef d'equipe Robert Ridland when he walked them through the Guilherme Jorge-designed course explaining its challenges, which were many.

Robert Ridland showing off the course. Photo by Kim F. Miller

The next day featured a comparable challenge for Juniors: the ASPCA Maclay Regional Medal Finals, where top finishers earned the chance to ride in the finals back East next month. Big congratulations to the top 10: Alexis Graves, Hannah Von Heidegger, Morgan Geller, Haley Webster, Sydney Hutchins, Sophie Simpson, Savannah Jenkins, Leina King, Alexandra Ladove and Carly Barrick.