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Mary Dooley Sportsmanship Award


                                                      KyQHA seeking nominations for 2024


History written by her dear friend Judy English

No one loved showing horses more than Mary-Open and AQHA shows. Mary had set a goal for herself to win a saddle that KyQHA gave out for the High Point Open Show as a year-end award. Mary accomplished that goal and was as proud as if it were a Golden Globe trophy. She always had a smile on her face and the most sincere “Congratulations!” for every exhibitor, no matter what. Everyone still has that memory of Mary.

Mary was married to Bill Dooley (died March 2023). They enjoyed horse shows and horse sales together. She has one son Jeffrey Spencer. Her brother Ernie Ray Dowell was a horse trainer and is now an ARHA judge. Mary was a Civil Service employee at ROTC at Fort Knox until her early retirement.

She was a solid supporter of KyQHA, obtaining donations and even convinced Kroger to donate donuts to our futurities. She looked forward to the KyQHA convention every year, or “the party” as she called it. She loved getting dressed up in a new outfit and she and Bill danced the night away.

As everyone can tell you, Mary was a true joy to be around. Her bubbly laugh was very contagious as was her smile. She had that positive attitude to the very end of her life. She was the greatest best friend.

Mary died July 1, 2003, after a battle with cancer at the age of 49. She was inducted into the KyQHA Hall of Fame in 2004 and the sportsmanship award was established that same year.

This perpetual award honors the true meaning of sportsmanship which Mary embodied at every moment. The legacy that Mary created is a true testament of how much she cared for this sport and the people she met while riding.

Award Specifications

The goal of the Mary Dooley Perpetual Sportsmanship Award is to recognize exhibitors who exhibit excellence and integrity by supporting their fellow competitors and volunteering their time and resources to various aspects of the industry. Examples of this include serving on committees, providing sponsorships to KYQHA shows, and promoting the welfare of the horse. Success in the show ring is a secondary factor.

Nominations for the award may come from exhibitors, trainers, colleagues or peers. The nominee must be a member of KYQHA for the year in which they are nominated.  Previous winners of the award are not eligible for further nomination; however, prior nominees are encouraged to be resubmitted for future consideration.  

Amateur Sportsmanship Award nominations close October 31. A Committee comprised of past Amateur Award recipients will review the nominations and vote on the winner annually.  The award will be presented at the annual KYQHA Banquet.

Past Winners

2024 Kaylee Mueller

2023- Not Awarded

2022- Amanda Bryant

2021- Not Awarded

2020- Judy English

2019- Not Awarded

2018- Gail Edwards

2017- Not Awarded

2016- Charles Langford

2015- Unknown if Awarded

2014- Stacie Thieman

2013- Paula Jerrell

2012- John R. Lonneman

2011- Donna Roberts

2010- Lynette Davidson

2009- Norm Luba

2008- Lorraine A. Luba, DVM

2007- Unknown if Awarded

2006- Cheryllee Sargent

2005- Sam Hensley

Click [Mary Dooley Sportsmanship Award] for more information and a nomination form. 

Click [HERE] to fill out an online nomination form. 


     P.O. Box 85, Eastwood, KY  40018-0085

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