Pumphrey Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament

Tournament promotes fellowship, helps youth.

Tournament promotes fellowship, helps youth.

For nearly 40 years, racing horsemen have gathered at the Jay Pumphrey Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament to enjoy fellowship, a great day of golf – and maybe sell a few horses.

This year, “The Pumphrey” coincides with the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale and All American Week at Ruidoso Downs. This year’s event is August 29 at The Links at Sierra Blanca in Ruidoso.

The tournament has helped get many newcomers involved in the industry, and anyone who has connections interested in the sport are encouraged to bring them along.

The tournament honors American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Jay Pumphrey, a native Texan and top horseman.

Following his graduation from Texas A&M University, Pumphrey served in World War II before returning home to his family’s ranch. Over the years, he served as the general manager for the S. B. Burnett Estates and the Tom L. Burnett Cattle Co., became an AQHA director and was elected AQHA president in 1970. He was elected to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994.

He is also remembered with the Jay Pumphrey Animal Sciences Scholarship, which is administered by the American Quarter Horse Foundation, and which the golf tournament helps fund.

The scholarship awards an AQHA or AQHYA member from Texas with a rural background; who sustains suitably high grades; and who is pursuing a large-animal-related degree from Tarleton State University or Texas A&M University.

Launched in 2008, eight students have been recipients of the scholarship.

The 2017 recipient is Dorothy Foster of College Station, Texas.

Dorothy has always had a passion for horses, and got her first American Quarter Horse – paid for with her own money – when she was 9 years old.

“That hooked me on the breed,” she said.

She continues to ride, enjoying everything from barrel racing to jumping. She is attending Texas A&M University and studying biomedical science, with the hopes of going to vet school.

“I’m super-grateful to have this scholarship,” she said. “It’s such a blessing.”

When she got the letter telling her she had been awarded the scholarship, which is worth $6,000 each year for four years, she began screaming and hugging her mom.

“It was just really great,” she said. “I do want to go to vet school, which will be a big expense. I’ve had a lot of people tell me college (and vet school) is really expensive, I’m going to come out with all this debt and be paying it off the rest of my life. I’m sure I will have some, but this will help, and help me focus on what I want to do with my life.”

Registration for the Jay Pumphrey Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament is open. Entries are due by August 23.

A silent auction will be held during dinner, with all proceeds benefiting the scholarship fund.

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