|Traverse City, Mich. - May 29, 2019 - The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) is pleased to announce an exciting new equitation class debuting at this year's highly anticipated 2019 circuit: the Dudley B. Smith Equitation Championship, presented by Northern Pines Farm.
Created in memory of Dudley B. Smith, a noteworthy member of the community and friend to GLEF who passed away unexpectedly in August 2018, this brand new event will be open to riders 21 years old and under who receive a first, second or third place ribbon in equitation classes held at 3'6" (each phase plus overall) during GLEF from July 3-27. The class will be held during Week IV, on Saturday, July 27, in the Grand Prix Ring and will consist of two rounds of competition over derby-style fences, with the top 12 from round one returning for round two. Additional testing may also be required at the judges' discretion. The Dudley B. Smith Trainer Awards will be presented following the class, awarding a bonus of $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 to the top four trainers.
A true gentleman, Smith always had a kind and compassionate word to say to those around him and was an inspiration to many. He was a proud supporter of many local charities and when he chose to support something, he gave his heart as well as his money. He loved dogs and was an ardent supporter of the Cherryland Humane Society. Smith and his wife of 54 years, Barbara, supported the Munson Medical Center and helped fund the Smith Family Breast Health Center. His love for Inuit art also led to his support of Northwestern Michigan College's Dennos Museum Center.
|Dudley B. Smith (right) pictured with his wife Barbara (left) and granddaughter Paige Matthies (middle). Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Hirt
Smith enjoyed golf, fishing and spending time on the boat with his grandchildren. He was an avid supporter of equestrian sports and a fixture at equestrian competitions around the country, supporting his granddaughter Paige Matthies and the team at Northern Pines Farm. He was so proud to have the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in his backyard, which is why Melissa Hirt, owner and head trainer at Northern Pines Farm, is sponsoring this memorial equitation class in his honor.
"Dudley had a true passion for animals as well as sports, which inspired him to support the equestrian pursuits of his granddaughter, Paige Matthies," said Hirt. "Dudley encouraged our team members at Northern Pines Farm to reach their individual goals and levels; the status quo was not for him. He was supportive of all riders, cheering for them and asking about how they were doing at the shows. Dudley was a true team player, sportsman and an inspiration to me, personally. My hopes are that this class brings out the best in our riders not only as horsemen but as generous, compassionate and confident team players, all of the wonderful things Dudley was."
To purchase tickets for the inaugural Dudley B. Smith Equitation Championship, presented by Northern Pines Farm, and other events at the 2019 GLEF, click here.