The World Conformation Horse Association recently established an award to both honor and remember Bruce Walquist, a highly respected WCHA member and Specialized Halter Judge. Everyone in the stock horse industry felt the loss of Bruce’s sudden passing as he set the standard for professionalism and kindness toward others. The positive influence Bruce had on this industry can never be forgotten and WCHA wanted to recognize professionals in our association that “best emulate” those qualities.

The first recipient of the “BE LIKE BRUCE” SPIRIT AWARD is Jason Smith, Whitesboro, Texas. The criteria taken into consideration for this award are:

  • A mentor: Bruce was always willing to share his knowledge in training techniques but could also recognize a youth, amateur or young trainer that needed encouragement and in his “Bruce Way” pick them up. Mentoring was a big part of who Bruce was, he always took time out his own busy day to help others.
  • Ethics……… a trainer conduct your business ethically for both the owner and the horse. When selling horses represent horses honestly for both owner and buyer. If you’re a judge be fair and impartial, Bruce set a high bar in all areas of ethical practices.
  • Sportsmanship, be modest when you’re successful but when you don’t have a good day you don’t make excuses or blame the judges. Be happy for the success of others. Bruce would never be openly critical of judging or other competitors.
  • Active in associations…….. give time to associations as a committee member. Not be critical of the hard work of others, be a doer not a complainer.
  • Respectful and kind to everyone, and love for God and Family.

  • “It is fitting that Jason Smith be named as the first recipient of the Be Like Bruce Award, says Don Falcon, WCHA Executive Director “he has many of the same qualities as a professional trainer as Bruce”. “We were very honored to have Bruce’s wife Cindy and daughter Whitney Walquist present this special award” at the WCHA Hall Of Fame Banquet held at the WCHA Breeder’s Championships in Fort Worth. Falcon continued, “this will be an award we all can reflect and try our best to “Be More Like Bruce”.