The American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin (ASAW) held its annual awards banquet last weekend in Delafield, Wisconsin. The event celebrates the last competition season, commemorates the show ring achievements of the region’s top competing Saddlebred exhibitors, and recognizes a few of the most exceptional members of the Wisconsin Saddlebred industry. One of the most prized awards of the evening, the 2016 ASAW Horse Person of the Year, recognized Cheri Cierzan, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, for the long list of valuable contributions she has made to both ASAW and the entire Saddlebred industry.
Cheri first joined the ASAW Board of Directors in 2009, and has served several diverse roles, including the organization’s Vice President. She took on the monumental job of coordinating the silent auction for the annual awards banquet, a program that quickly became the organization’s largest fundraiser and has added significant value to the association’s bottom line. Her efforts alone have added over $30,000 to the ASAW operating budget.
She was also instrumental in the installment of several major improvements to the annual ASAW Summerfun Horse Show, including the organization and management of the show’s annual Volleyball Tournament. The event has become a favorite of exhibitors across the region, and has brought incredible comraderie between the barns, exhibitors and trainers that participate.
“There are two types of people in this world: people who sit back, watch, and don’t participate, and there are doers, who step up and do whatever is asked of them, often times with no recognition by anyone. Cheri is a doer, and what a job she has done for us,” said ASAW President Vicky Holston in a speech during the banquet.
While Cheri’s involvement in ASAW is significant, her involvement in the Saddlebred industry travels far beyond the Wisconsin state line. She owns a business, Scintilla Equestrian, that has become a household name throughout the industry. What began as a jewelry company quickly transformed into a full service equestrian show apparel and equipment business that services exhibitors across the entire country, with a specialty in the industry’s Academy division.
“I’ve honestly just given my time and effort wholeheartedly, and i’ve never expected anything out of it,” said Cheri in an interview after the banquet. “I’ve gained so much from the camaraderie and the friendship that I’ve gotten from the Saddlebred community across the country.”
Listen to my full interview with Cheri here:
Interview with Cheri Cierzan, ASAW 2016 Horse Person of the Year