Each year, the Glenn Burdick Award is presented to the Grand Champion Sport Horse, earning the most points in that division of Empire Arabian’s High Score Awards program.
This award was donated to the Empire Arabian Horse Association in memory of an outstanding amateur horseman and ESAHA member, Glenn Burdick.
Glenn started his equine experience with Tennessee Walking Horses, showing them and being recognized for his accomplishments all the way to the National level. He then decided to find a horse with a more natural way of being trained and after asking many their opinion; he decided that Arabian horses would be his choice. He wanted to show them but did not know how to post at the trot, since he didn’t have to on his Tennessee Walkers. He went to Tanglewood Farm and told the owner/instructor that he knew how to ride; he just needed to learn how to post. She raked an area down the middle of the ring so there were no footprints and asked Glenn to ride a straight line from the letter “A” to the letter “C”, then stop and turn around. When Glenn had done this he turned around to see that his line was anything but straight. The instructor then said to him, “now, would you like to learn to post or would you like to learn to ride”? This started Glenn’s lifelong love of Dressage. He started taking lessons each morning before work and soon purchased a purebred Arabian. Through much work and effort, he and his trainer took this horse to the Prix St. Georges level, long before anyone thought an Arabian would be good at Dressage. They did many exhibitions.
His horse suffered a career ending injury and had to be euthanized but the fire for Dressage had been lit in Glenn and he never lost it. Glenn was known to still be riding at age 80. After having been very sick and weakened, he was trying to get his horse to do a better “haunches in”. When asked, wasn’t he just satisfied to be riding again, his reply was, “well, you haven’t really ridden unless you’ve done a little Dressage”. Glenn passed away a few months later and it was decided to purchase and donate the trophy to commemorate his love of Arabians and his love of Dressage. The trophy was later changed from “Excellence in Dressage” to “Excellence in Sport Horse”. Glenn would be proud to see the names of the Arabian horses listed on this trophy.