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Gayle Lampe honored as Icon of Education

Gayle Lampe honored as Icon of Education

Feb 13, 2012

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Gayle Lampe, professor emeritus of equestrian studies at William Woods University, has been named an Icon of Education by Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine. What the magazine calls an “impressive lineup” was published in the January issue.

Lampe was one of nine Missouri and Kansas leaders chosen for the honor and the third honoree from William Woods University. Dr. Mary Spratt, Cox Distinguished Professor in Science, was named an Icon in 2011, and Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, was chosen in 2010.

Ingram’s calls the educators “the best of what education in this region has to offer.”  This year’s Missouri Icons represent the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Central Missouri, Independence School District and Johnson County Community College. Kansas Icons represent the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University.

According to Dennis Boone, managing editor of Ingram’s, “one of this region’s true strengths is a network of outstanding educational assets.” He attributes that to “administrators with vision, instructors with passion to cultivate young minds …”

Lampe is a national and international leader in equestrian science, one of William Woods University’s largest majors and a field with a substantial economic impact in the region. She is an instructor, coach, trainer, judge and rider. For 43 years, she has been an influential force in William Woods University’s internationally acclaimed equestrian studies division, literally touching the lives of thousands of students.

When she joined the WWU faculty fresh out of college in 1968, she was the only equestrian faculty member, but she fostered the growth of the program, adding dressage and western to the existing saddle seat and hunt seat disciplines. She then became chair of the large and growing Equestrian Studies Division and was instrumental in developing the world’s first four-year academic degree program in equestrian science in 1972.

She is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award at William Woods University, an honor bestowed by the student body. She wrote “Riding for Success, Both in and Out of the Show Ring,” a book used extensively in equestrian education circles. Because it is hard for students to take notes while riding, she thought the book would be helpful, not just to WWU students, but to other riders.

Due largely to Lampe’s efforts, William Woods University has a reputation for providing one of the finest equestrian studies programs in the country—filling a national, regional and local demand for graduates holding a four-year equestrian science degree. This demand is heightened by a thriving equine industry that contributes about $112 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product each year.

Today the university’s main equestrian facilities encompass a city block with more than 150 large box stalls in four barns, two heated indoor arenas, a lighted outdoor ring and a 40-acre cross-country field. Many breeds of horses are represented at William Woods, including American Saddlebreds, Quarter Horses, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Warmbloods and Friesians.

The equestrian studies program is the most popular field of study at William Woods. There are currently 166 equestrian science majors and 40 equine administration majors. There are 15 students currently pursuing a new equine general studies degree. The job placement rate for WWU equestrian graduates is nearly 100 percent.

Lampe’s extensive contacts in the horse world and reputation among alumni and other equestrians have given her opportunities to assist with various university projects, as well as helping many students obtain scholarships and jobs. Friends of hers who have attended her spring equestrian clinics for many years on WWU campus donated large sums of money to renovate one large arena and to build the second indoor arena recently, in addition to funding past facility improvements. The addition of the second arena allowed the university to expand its ever-popular equestrian program.

Lampe aboard her multi-titled World's Champion Callaway's Born To Win.

Contacts throughout the United States have resulted in the donation of numerous full-ride scholarships, totally $850,000, as well as the western barn, a tractor, two houses and several cars. One family also endowed a $50,000 student scholarship in Gayle Lampe’s name. Lampe has worked to encourage people to donate horses to the school’s program, and she has been responsible for the donation of more than 2,600 horses over the years, including ones from such celebrities as William Shatner, Wayne Newton, Patrick Duffy, Don Mattingly and Jesse Ventura.

Lampe’s many honors include:

  • Missouri Horse Shows Association “Trainer of the Year” Award, 1982
  • United Professional Horsemen’s Association Equitation Instructor of the Year Award, 1995
  • American Riding Instructor Certification Program’s Instructor of the Year Award, 1996
  • Inducted into the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show “Hall of Fame,” 1996
  • American Royal Missouri-Kansas Horse Person of the Year, 2002
  • Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award, received at the American Saddlebred Horse Convention, Lexington, Ky., 2004
  • Audrey Gutridge Award, presented at the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show, 2007
  • Recipient of American Riding Instructors Association’s “Master Instructor” Award, Naples, Fla., 2007
  • Recipient of the General John B. Castleman Award, presented at the American Saddlebred Horse Association Convention, Lexington, Ky., 2007

Because of Lampe, William Woods University has been chosen as the site for the Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup Trials each time since they began in 1996, and WWU will again be the site for 2012. In 1996 she coached the United States Saddle Seat Equitation Team to a gold medal in team and individual competition at the first-ever Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup. These trials continue to bring to campus 30 of the top saddle seat riders in the nation, as they compete to represent the United States in the World Cup.

Lampe has judged horse shows in 43 states, as well as Canada, England, South Africa and Australia. She has also conducted clinics in 20 states and three foreign countries.  She has conducted the United States Equestrian Federation Judges clinics for Applicants, Saddle Seat Equitation, Saddlebred Horses and National Show Horses for the last four years. She has trained several William Woods horses to World and National Championships.

Every year, Lampe’s students are encouraged to compete in professional horse shows throughout the nation, and every year they prove what they have learned from “the master.” Lampe, herself, also competes every chance she gets. She personally won a National Championship at the Grand National Morgan Horse Show in 1983 on university-owned Zephyr’s King Moro. In addition:

  • In 1984 Lampe showed an Arabian stallion, DW Bonfire, to an undefeated season in English Pleasure.
  • In August 2003, she won the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship at the Kentucky State Fair on her own horse, Callaway’s Born to Win.
  • She won the Ladies Five-Gaited Championship at the UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 on Born to Win.
  • She was Reserve World Champion Ladies Five-Gaited in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
  • She won the World Champion Ladies Five-Gaited gelding title in 2009, with Born to Win.
  • In 2007 Lampe and Born to Win won 13 classes, including the Ladies Five Gaited Championship at the Lexington Junior League Horse Show and the inaugural Pink Ribbon Class (benefiting research for a cure for breast cancer) which was the Ladies Five Gaited Championship at the American Royal.
  • In 2010 Lampe and Born to Win performed in the Opening Ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Lampe says she feels her greatest contribution to the horse world has been all the students she has taught and encouraged to be riding instructors. She takes great pride in seeing many of her graduates go on to win numerous World Champion and National Champion titles. Many others have coached their riders to World and National first place ribbons.

“Gayle Lampe teaches by example, an example she has been setting at William Woods University and in the rest of the world since 1968,” said President Barnett. “Her commitment to education has truly exemplified hard work, dedication and discipline, and she has influenced the lives of thousands of students who are now working in equestrian careers throughout the United States.”

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