One of the highlights of my time spent working at the show office at AHA Nationals being one of the people that insures that every single exhibitor at the show takes home a momento. Every single one.
Since these gifts are handed out at the show office upon checking in, it would be easy to assume that these are compliments of AHA and the show, but you’d be wrong.
The colorful bags, nifty “texting gloves”, hats and scarves that are distributed are all thanks to one person’s initiative, energy and enthusiasm and that person is Pepper Proffit.
Back in 2015, Pepper decided to find the sponsors for the gloves that we all have become accustomed to as part of the Arabian National show experience—Jarvis Insurance. Soon after, she also hit upon one of the most popular “perks” of the show, great big the colorful bags, sponsored for the past three years year by Nancy O’Reilly—Amazing Horsewoman. For 2021, Pepper came up with sponsors for yet another cool gift for every entry— beanie or headband and scarf combos sponsored by Anna Raia-DiMarco (Platinum Heirs Equine), RBC Show Horses, Katie Gardner Harvey (KGB Texas), OHAHA and the Buckeye Sweepstakes. I did mention that every single entry at the show received each of these, right. Colorful bag, gloves and hats and scarves! But that’s not all.
Pepper also envisioned National awards that promoted Arabian horses long after the show, and in 2014 teamed up with Katie Burr Solek and Burrline LLC to sponsor National Champion Jackets. Two years later, Amanda Purdin Standish and Boivert became the sponsor for the Reserve Champion awards—for 2021 cool travel bags. And this year National Top Tens could chose from a selection of prizes including wine cups, hats, tumblers, koozies, key chains and phone charges compliments of Lauren and Jason Krohn, Oak Haven Farms.
As Pepper’s idea grew it quickly became apparent that all of this prizes needed their space and hence the Awards Room came to be, this year sponsored by SF The Patriot— Tim N Tiffany Barta. Since Pepper comes to Nationals with a string of show horses from Proud Heritage Training Center, she’s quick to point out that she couldn’t pull off the Awards Room without Brittany Rayner and to Wendy Heavin and Cloud Nine for always helping her to come up with great ideas for the awards.