Hollins University Director of Riding Nancy Peterson and the late L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, longtime coach of the Hollins equestrian team, have been named recipients of the J. Arthur Reynolds Sportsmanship Award.
The award, which honors two individuals who exemplify what sportsmanship, merited teaching, and mentorship mean in the horse industry, was presented during the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, held June 6 – 12 in Upperville, Virginia.
Peterson has been a part of the riding program at Hollins since 1972 and is a five-time winner of the ODAC Coach of the Year award. The Virginia Horse Council and the Virginia Horse Show Association have both named her Horseperson of the Year, and she has been inducted into the following halls of fame: Virginia Horse Show Association, Virginia Horse Center, Roanoke Valley Horse Show, and Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association.
Upon presenting Peterson with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association noted, “Nancy is often described as a dedicated and remarkable person with an unfailing commitment to the riding student, encouraging excellence not only in riding, but also in every aspect of their lives.”
An outstanding teacher and supporter over the years to so many Hollins riders, Gerald is remembered, both at Hollins and throughout the horse world, for his expertise, commitment, and positive attitude. Thanks to his leadership, Hollins continues to be one of the nation’s strongest equestrian programs and teams. A seven-time ODAC Coach of the Year, Gerald was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame in 2015. He is one of only two people to be twice named Virginia Horse Show Association Horseman of the Year.
Following Gerald’s death in April, Peterson told The Roanoke Times, “The man was an icon at Hollins. The minute he walked in the door he was so respected and revered. He was a…gentleman and a great teacher. He understood young people, he understood horses. He was an adviser to us all. He was a remarkable man.”
Now in its 163rd year, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show is the oldest horse show in the United States. The event is a designated world championship hunter rider show, and both the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and the Virginia Horse Show Association have named it “Horse Show of the Year.”
Photo: Betty Reynolds Oare (left), daughter of J. Arthur Reynolds, and Director of Riding Nancy Peterson display the J. Arthur Reynolds Sportsmanship Award.