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Modine Smith Award

Oct 27, 2021, 14:18 PM by National Cutting Horse Association
James Hooper and Carol Ward selected as the 2021 award recipients


FORT WORTH – The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) congratulates James Hooper of Decatur, Alabama, and Carol Ward of Rancho Murieta, California as the 2021 recipients of the Modine Smith Humanitarian Award.

Modine Smith was a long-time member of the NCHA and selflessly committed herself to the betterment and promotion of cutting for nearly five decades, serving on the executive committees of the NCHA and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association.  The Modine Smith Humanitarian Award was established in 2012 in her honor and is presented to a person who displays unwavering support of the NCHA and the NCHA Foundation by continuously working to enhance both associations.

Hooper has been an NCHA member since 1983. He served on the NCHA executive committee for six years, including a presidency from 1994-1995. During his tenure on the executive committee, Hooper served next to Modine Smith where he says they worked together to bring both sides of the country together, as she was from the west coast and he is from the east.

“To receive this award means a bunch because Ms. Modine is so respected,” Hooper said. “She was a peacekeeper, a very humble lady, but very knowledgeable and I enjoyed my time with her. It’s a great honor to receive this award in her name, especially looking at all of the other people that received this award prior. Sam Shepard received it last year and was a dear friend. I’m very humbled to have received it, and I’m perhaps undeserving compared to these people. I will treasure this award and would like to thank those on the committee for giving me this honor. I assure you I will not abuse it. Carol Ward is also so respected in our industry, and it is an honor to be receiving an award beside her.”

Ward grew up riding horses that ran on the track and jumpers before taking a 15 year break to raise her family. She joined the NCHA in 1997 and never looked back. Ward currently serves as an NCHA director for Region 2 and operates Carol Ward Cutting Horses where she is dedicated to the raising and training of champion cutting horses.

“I’m kind of shocked and pleasantly surprised,” said Ward. “Modine Smith was one of my favorite people, but I really didn’t even know I was nominated for that award. I just think it’s so special - Modine was one of those people that watched every run I did and told me everything I needed to do better. I have a lot to thank her for as far as her wanting me to be successful in this business and having someone who was always behind me hoping for the best. It’s an honor to be sharing it with James Hooper who I always thought was an icon in our sport. I’m just delighted.”

Hooper and Ward will be presented with the Modine Smith Humanitarian Award at the upcoming 2021 NCHA Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas. 

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