IHSA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Lifetime Achievement Award began in 1993 to honor members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, commitment, and exemplary service to the association.
BECKY HUDDLESTON AND JULIE MANN, 2024 RECIPIENTS
Becky Huddleston. Photo by Lizah Martin. Julie Mann. Photo courtesy of Julie Mann
IHSA Honors Julie Mann and Becky Huddleston with the Lifetime Achievement Award
Gladys, Va. – Jan. 21, 2024 – The leadership of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) proudly announced the recipients of the prestigious IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, Julie Mann and Becky Huddleston. The IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award is a testament to the remarkable contributions made by Mann and Huddleston, recognizing their unwavering commitment to the IHSA and their outstanding work in the improvement and functionality of the organization's show management software. It is only the second time in IHSA history that two people have earned the honor in the same year. The husband-and-wife duo of Claiborne and Tom Bishop received the award together in 1996.
Huddleston expressed her astonishment at receiving the award. "I was totally shocked," she said. "I was so excited for Julie, but I was not expecting that."Huddleston joined Mann on the website committee working on the IHSA's show management software in 2013. It was her first year as a board member and she was unsure of what committee she should dedicate her time to. She saw that Mann was frustrated with the software. "I didn't know what I was doing, but I thought, I'm going to help her," Huddleston said. "And we've become really good friends."
Together, they've dedicated 11 years to enhancing the IHSA show management platform's functionality and user-friendliness. "We went from having a bland, unfriendly site that didn't do much and we created a horse show program that's much more usable and user-friendly," Huddleston said.
The website is now integral in tracking points for IHSA members and teams, providing transparency and streamlining administrative tasks. "It makes everything flow better for us, especially for the admin part of the association," Huddleston added.
When asked about her feelings regarding the award, Mann said, "I don't feel like I've been on the board long enough to be a Lifetime Achievement recipient, but I appreciate their recognition of what Becky and I have done with the website."
Born in Scotland while her father was in the military, the Huddlestons call Baxter, Tennessee, home. She grew up riding backyard ponies on the family pig farm. She was recruited to the IHSA team when she attended Tennessee Tech, starting in Walk-Trot and progressing to Open and Reining. During her senior year, she also competed in hunter seat and jumping.
When the Tennessee Tech coach resigned, Huddleston coached as a student and then was asked to stay on after graduation. She took a job in electrical contracting but decided the horse world was where she belonged. In 2001, she built a barn and began life as a professional, teaching and training and all the while, she coached the Tennessee Tech team. Huddleston is also a judge, holding multiple cards with various associations.
Huddleston started her journey with IHSA as a volunteer coach and progressed to become a regional president, board member and now secretary serving on the executive committee.
Mann was born in Chicago, but the family moved to Muscatine, Iowa. A lifelong rider who now competes in dressage, Mann spent a few years in the Boston area, then returned to Muscatine. She started coaching the Augustana College IHSA Team in 2006.
Mann loves witnessing the personal growth of her students and hearing from them after they graduate. When they move on, she said, "It's like my own child is graduating."
She quickly became involved in governance and became a regional president. She was "volunteered" to work on the website committee. Amazingly, neither Mann nor Huddleston had prior experience in software development.
Both Mann and Huddleston have actively contributed to the betterment of the IHSA, helping members throughout North America. "The IHSA allowed me to pursue my passion and give back to the equestrian community," Mann said.
Their dedication, hard work and love for equestrian sports have left an indelible mark on the IHSA and the students it serves.
"The IHSA congratulates Julie Mann and Becky Huddleston on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award," said IHSA Executive Director Peter Cashman. "We thank them for their invaluable contributions to the organization."
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
|Julie Mann and Becky Huddleston
|Claiborne and Tom Bishop