Riding program benefactor honored

on May 15 | in Giving | by

Distinguished Alumnae Award winner has given seven horses to Hollins

Mary K. Shaughnessy

Mary K. Shaughnessy

Mary K. Shaughnessy ’72 is an accomplished equestrian who has made important and lasting contributions to Hollins’ nationally recognized riding program. Last summer she received the Distinguished Alumnae Award.

Over the years, Shaughnessy has given monetary gifts and seven outstanding horses to the Hollins riding program. One of the favorites is Oyster Pond, the first horse she gave to Hollins, in 2003. Once a legendary show horse, Oyster Pond was put into the novice classes as age crept up on him and now is assigned to the beginners. He is “absolutely the best all-around horse we’ve had in years,” said Nancy Peterson, director of the riding program.

In conjunction with the Distinguished Alumnae Award presentation, Hollins announced it would rename the campus pond “Oyster Pond” to further honor Shaughnessy and this beloved horse.

“What Mary K. has done for this school through her equine gifts is amazing,” Peterson said.

Shaughnessy’s daughter, Mary Helen, was born in 1984 and went on to become one of the top amateur equestrians in the country. Her daughter’s success inspired Shaughnessy to begin riding again. In just a few short years, Mary K. Shaughnessy became a championship rider, winning many ribbons, trophies, and prizes, including the 2012 Reserve Championship of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Adult Hunter over 51. In addition, she is a member of the board of directors of the Hampton Classic Foundation, supporting one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, and is a volunteer with the FTI Great Charity Challenge.

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