ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) - Kristen Wilson of Eldersburg, Md. and her multi-national champion 4-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse mare, The Midnight Ride, are the January recipients of the Maryland Horse Industry Board's January Touch of Class Award. They received the award at the Horse World Expo in Timonium.
The MHIB, a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, started the Touch of Class awards in September 2011 to honor Maryland horses and people who achieve national and international success. It is awarded monthly.
The Midnight Ride is the National Walking Horse Association Overall High Point Champion of 2012, winning 50 first place ribbons and 77 percent of the classes in which she was entered. The shows were held in six states, including the National and International Grand Champion events.
Wilson is originally from Annapolis and was the Extension Horse Specialist at the University of Maryland. She worked primarily with the 4-H Horse program as well as teaching in the university's equine studies program. Demonstrating her versatility and energy, while working full time, she showed The Midnight Ride and other horses regularly on weekends on the national walking horse circuit.
Walking horses are known for their naturally smooth gaits, including a flowing four-beat walk. They are popular, sought-after mounts for trail, pleasure riding and showing.
Kathie Morrow of the National Walking Horse Association in Lexington, Ky. said that Wilson and The Midnight Ride competed "against hundreds of talented horses from all over the country. As their record indicates, they certainly deserve the national championship. We are very proud of Kristen and this beautiful mare."