Home Matt Keeter Sportsmanship Award Nominees – Updated

Matt Keeter Sportsmanship Award Nominees – Updated

Matt Keeter Sportsmanship Award Nominees for 2023


The MFTHBA would like to honor and recognize a true sportsman in our breed by honoring them with the Matthew Keeter Sportsmanship Award. Sportsmanship is an integral part of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association. Our Mission Statement reads:

The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association exists to record and preserve the integrity of the breed registry. It will be the mission of MFTHBA to promote the horse through membership participation in expositions, fairs, horse shows, trail rides and other venues; provide beneficial services for members; to enhance and encourage ownership of Missouri Fox Trotters; and generate growth of the breed through marketing, promotion, advertising and publicity of the Missouri Fox Trotting horse.

One must portray good sportsmanship in order to fulfill our Mission Statement as an individual.

Further, our Code of Conduct reads:
MFTHBA Code of Conduct
As the welfare of our horses and the reputation of our breed are of paramount importance to the officers, directors and general membership of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, we are committed to high standards of propriety in both the promotion of this horse and of membership conduct. Whether as an exhibitor, owner, trainer, breeder, agent, employee, officer, director, show official, judge, vendor or spectator, members and non-members alike who participate in any MFTHBA activity or event governed by MFTHBA rules shall be governed by the following:

  • Respect and adhere to the standards of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, its goals and objectives.
  • Support the welfare of the MFT horse, and act to ensure that every MFT horse shall be treated humanely and with dignity, respect, and compassion.
  • Act in an ethical manner, reflecting self-discipline, sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity.
  • Conduct business in an open and forthright manner, acting with integrity, sincerity, and honesty.
  • Deal with each other and the public in such a way as to instill confidence in our Association and its membership.
  • Promote a positive image of the MFT horse industry by encouraging and supporting honorable and effective management of Association business.

The following MFTHBA members have been nominated for the Matt Keeter Sportsmanship Award.

Debra Gengelbach

I would like to nominate Debra Gengelbach for the Sportsmanship Award.
She is a second generation, die-hard lifetime promoter of the breed. Having started showing as a young girl, she always leaves the ring with the same smile that she entered with. Never begrudgingly towards the winners and always a congratulations from her. We’ll get ‘em next time she’ll say with a grin. Helpful to her fellow competitors in any way and always wishing them good luck, have a great ride and just have fun.

Debra and her husband Gene have moved around the US due to his job. From Wisconsin to Indiana to South Carolina to Iowa and now back to her home state of Kansas, wherever she’s been, she’s left a trail of members to the association and has been a great ambassador to the breed. Always a smile and a heartfelt, hi how you been from her. For these reasons, I feel Debra is more than deserving of the MFTHBA 2023 Sportsmanship Award. Thank you for considering Debra for this award.

Kristi Thompson

I would like to nominate Kristi Thompson. She is the secretary for the National Trail Committee. She lives in Rigby Idaho. She promotes the breed on every ride she is on. She works with Champs Heart which is a horse program for disabled children, She has taken numerous people from all over the US on trail rides with our amazing horses to show the beauty of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. She mentors several youth using her horses, to insure the love of the MFT horse goes on another generation.

Dallee Dodson

I would like to nominate Dallee Dodson for the MFTHBA Sportsmanship award. Dallee has been showing Missouri foxtrotters ever since she was little, I feel that through the years she has accomplished so much. I’m 2009 she started being a MFTHBYA youth delegate representing the breed. From 2009-2017 she was in the delegate program and during that time she became the queen for 2 years. She traveled to Ohio for 2 years to represent the breed, and since then she has brought in several youth riders to learn and enjoy showing the foxtrotters. Dallee is always willing to help when asked to carry the flag through the week never complains she just loves helping . She is now 23 and she is always telling people about the breed as well as always letting new youth try it out in the arena. There is not a lot of people out there that would give up her horse just so a youth rider can ride and Dallee is always willing to do that if someone really wants to show. Dallee is also always trying to bring as many youth riders as she can to learn about the breed. So I truly feel like she deserves this award, for being a kind caring person that loves the breed.

Jeff Creasy

I would like to nominate Jeff Creasy for the sportsmanship award. Jeff has been a great mentor to my daughter Emery, a youth member. He has taken time at every show to give her tips/tricks pointers and is always her biggest supporter when she is in the show ring. He has a great attitude towards all things at the show and is always willing to step in and help anyone out.

In recent years, Jeff had been a true mentor for us as well as a youth showing one of our horses. He is helpful, friendly, and willing to share his knowledge with anyone that asks for help. He is grateful when he wins and takes defeat with true sportsmanship style. Jeff has been an avid supporter of the Missouri Foxtrotting Horse and with the utmost positivity. His attitude is just happy and so willing to offer support to other exhibitors well beyond me.

He has helped people become successful with showing and generally has been supportive of the breed.

Cheyenne Dunham

#1 Cheyenne Dunham is who comes to mind when I think about Sportsmanship. While we compete against each other, her goal is for everyone to improve each and every time out. You’d never know by her actions of her own success. She is always willing to help if you have issues, questions, or concerns about anything horse related. She encourages people to learn and compete in new areas. She treats everyone as an equal. She coaches from the sidelines and truly wants people to succeed, even if it helps you beat her score or time. She’ll be the first one there to congratulate you. During the Cattle Sorting she will partner with anyone no matter your skill level. If she’s not on a run she’s coaching and helping you keep count on the sidelines.  As Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sportsmanship as “conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.” This is a great description of Cheyenne

#2 I would like to nominate Cheyenne Dunham. She has done so much for the versatility side of things in our breed.

Wayne Goodman

I would like to nominate Wayne Goodman for this year’s award. He exemplifies the outpouring of good sportsmanship on and off of the trail. Each and every time I have rode with him, he has always put others and their safety first. Always willing to lend a hand or offer advice. Always a great person to have around. He is definitely one that should be recognized.

I wish to nominate Wayne Goodman for the MFTHBA 2023 good sportsmanship award. I cannot imagine a more fitting person for this honor. Wayne demonstrates good character and integrity in all he does. His positive attributes and caring attitude is a blessing to the MFTHBA. Wayne and his wife, Donna, made me feel so comfortable when I first joined the MFTHBA. I so appreciated that, being included, made to feel welcome, and part of the group. Wayne went out of his way to walk down to my trailer numerous times to make sure I was included in activities by sharing information on schedules and additional information. I quickly recognized this is how he treats everyone. I have greatly benefited from his kindness, again and again. At an especially hot weekend ride the air conditioning in my LQ trailer went out and I was so distraught. I was embarrassed to ask for help and felt there was nothing that could be done, but when I did ask, Wayne so graciously came to the rescue and was able to correct the problem in no time. I have seen him time and again assist others in the same way, big ways, small ways, and always in a kind and respectful manner. Wayne is a quiet and unassuming hero, a wonderful example of best sportsmanship, always positive and courteous and a perfect example of best sportsmanlike behavior. Please give him utmost consideration for this important award.

One of the best Trail Bosses. He always treats everyone with respect. He’s supportive and always willing to lend a hand. When people come to the national rides he helps them park and set up and will help anyone with whatever they need. Wayne always has a positive attitude and never says anything unkind. He’s always ready to listen to any ideas anyone has.

Wayne goes beyond what is expected, whether it’s leading great rides, trimming terrible grown up trails, making sure the potlucks are amazing, checking on campers at rides to make sure they have everything they need, and I have witnessed him helping people with trailer problems to horse issues. Also blessing each ride with a prayer. Wayne is top notch!

I would like to vote for Wayne Goodman for the sportsman’s award. I have known Wayne about 3 years. First met him at Boston mountain horse camp on a trail ride. Wayne helped change a flat tire on my trailer and fixed a wiring issue. Wayne is always the first one to help if it’s needed. Either in Camp or on the trail.

Log into Members Only to cast your vote!
Voting Ends Sept. 1st