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Gegi Winslett Inducted into VHSA Hall of Fame

By Susan Larson, with Carol Miller.

Georgina “Gegi” Winslett was inducted into the Virginia Horse Shows Association (VHSA) Hall of Fame during the group’s annual meeting on December 3, 2016.

She also received a 2016 “Ten Best Associate Horse Shows” recognition for her April 2016 Virginia Pony Breeders Association (VPBA) show.

The Locust Grove, Virginia, resident teaches, coaches and trains riders and horses in eventing, jumpers, hunters, and equitation, produces horse shows, and designs courses through her business, The Winslett Advantage – TWA Horse Shows. She is also a licensed United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) “R” judge for hunters, jumpers, and hunter equitation.

Winslett was born in Beverly Hills, California. Her father was an army officer, and the family lived on post. It was cavalry personnel who first taught her how to ride.

When the family moved to Spokane, Washington, friends loaned Winslett different breeds of horses for her lessons. She rode Saddlebreds, Paints, Arabians, and Quarter Horses in English and Western tack. This diversity of experience set the stage for future opportunities and achievements.

Winslett’s father was transferred to Tokyo during the Korean War. On base there she began apprentice teaching. There were no hunter classes in those days. Winslett rode open jumpers, at heights ranging from 3’6′ to 5’9″. Most of the cavalry horses she rode in shows were Anglo-Arabians.

When her family moved back to the states, Winslett enrolled in George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She majored in foreign affairs, played basketball, and rode and taught in Fairfax County.

Winslett’s introduction to hunters and hunt seat equitation came from Jane Dillon, owner of Full Cry Farm and the Junior Equitation School. Winslett started teaching pony classes with Jane, and was also teaching an advanced riding class at GW.

In the mid-1960s, she began judging and course designing for the Washington Bridle Trails Association (WBTA).

She became executive secretary for the Washington International Horse Show in 1965. She held this position through 1972.

In 1973 she went to Florida to work with Gene Mische and Steve Stephens, serving as executive secretary of Stadium Jumping, Inc., and show secretary for the American Invitational, and other shows Mische managed.

In 1981 she accepted a position with the Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow, Idaho, to serve as youth director and head of the show and contest department. She’d had previous experience with Appaloosas from her time living in the west. She organized Western shows and classes including calf roping, cutting, roping, and reining competitions, and learned how to obtain the correct cattle for the cattle classes.

Winslett was asked to help with the military inaugural committee for President-elect Ronald Reagan’s inaugural parade. Reagan wanted lots of horses in his parade, and Winslett provided 500 of all different breeds.

Later in the 80s, she became director of special events for the International Arabian Horse Association, and assisted with the management of the National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship.

Winslett returned to Virginia in 1991, and ran shows for John “Monk” Reynolds at what was then Showday Farm, and now is Commonwealth Park in Culpeper.

Winslett has been involved with the United States Pony Clubs (USPC) at the national level since 1980, including recent service as chairperson of the National Advisory Committee, and current service on the Board of Governors. In 2004, she received the USPC National Activities Legend award, and in 2008 the Founders’ Award.

Her many other positions on boards and commissions include membership on the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Horse Industry Advisory Committee; president of the Maryland Horse Show Association; director, president and treasurer of VHSA; and current president of Battlefield Horse Show Association (BHSA).

Winslett has instructed for the University of Mary Washington equestrian team.

In 2011, Winslett received the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s (USHJA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2012, she was honored with the USEF Sportsmanship Award.

Winslett continues to attend many of George Morris’ clinics. The internationally renown rider, trainer, and judge calls her, “A real horsewoman.”

Video: Gegi Winslett VHSA Hall of Fame Induction 2016

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