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National Reined Cow Horse Association Announces Karen Twisselman Receives Jane Tatum Award
At the 2003 National Reined Cow Horse Association Awards Banquet February 28, one coveted award will not be given not for a particular achievement on a horse. Instead, it represents lifestyle of camaraderie. The Jane Tatum Award was begun a decade ago to honor its namesake, a Non Pro who had worked tirelessly as an NRCHA Board member. Current NRCHA Non Pro Director Rick Drayer explains, "Jane was a fierce competitor yet had that compassion to help anyone that she could. She also had a physical disability that eventually caused her death while she was working with her horses but she never complained or made any excuse for not doing well on a certain day."
To receive the Jane Tatum award a person must be nominated by his or her peers and those nominations are then reviewed and voted on by the non pro committee.
Drayer announced recently, "This year Karen Twisselman will receive the Jane Tatum Award. She has been a Non Pro who has shown that spirit and compassion for our sport and has that ability to find time to help and advise her fellow competitors. Karen can always be found where things need to be done and when asked she never refuses."
Twisselman, of McKittrick, California, was especially visible early in 2003, as she rallied NRCHA members in support of her friend and fellow competitor - Michelle Strickland. Strickland was diagnosed with Melanoma in mid October of 2002.
Karen organized a huge benefit, with trade show, barbeque, silent stallion breeding auction, raffle colt, ranch sorting, and trail ride. The event was a huge success, complete with Michelle Strickland in shaky health, but able to attend. Later Strickland commented, "It was phenomenal, overwhelming. I could never ask for better friends than Karen Twisselman and the NRCHA".
Twisselman has ridden reined cow futurity colts herself for about 10 years now, getting her start in the NRCHA about 15 years ago when she met JoAnne and Jim Carollo. About that same time she married her husband Steve, and moved to their family ranch close to Bakersfield. It is a working cattle ranch, where they have a few broodmares and raise foals. Their stand-out for 2003 was a stallion named Heart Of A Fox, co-owned by Twisselman's and trainer Jon Roeser. The colt was a phenom, winning Reserve Champion at the Cow Horse Classic Futurity in Santa Ynez, and 3rd at the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno. He was also a semi-finalist at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Futurity - bankrolling $70,000 in earnings for his year.
Twisselman was appreciative when notified about the award and quickly noted that she wanted to thank the friends that nominated her for this award, the Non Pro Committee for approving her nomination, and her NRCHA family for their camaraderie.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, the governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bayer Corporation, Bailey Hat Company, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, EQ Solutions, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Skyline Silversmiths, Sundowner Trailers, National Ropers Supply, Quarter Horse News & Western Horseman magazine, the Reno Hilton, Dan Gamel's RV Centers and Coachmen RV's, horsecentral.com, Rios of Mercedes and the Silver Legacy, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at www.nrcha.com.