Asbury Equine Trainer Places Top 10 in National Competition – Asbury University
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August 30, 2022

This summer, Asbury University’s equine trainer-in-residence Jesse Westfall earned a Top 10 placement in the Horse&Rider Trainer of the Year competition, hosted by the Equine Network.

Horse&Rider created the Trainer of the Year award “as a way to honor horse trainers who help their students master maneuvers, who create lesson programs that teach young horse lovers the basics of horse care, or who are responsible for helping everyday horse owners become the best horsekeepers they can be.” Highlighting and celebrating horse trainers who “exemplify what it means to be good stewards of the equine industry,” the Horse&Rider editorial staff recognized finalists through essay nominations describing why each trainer deserved to be honored.

Upon receiving his nomination, Westfall was invited to submit a video describing his training background, his current training program and philosophy, his definition of an excellent horse-person, an example of giving a lesson, and student testimonials. Westfall has 30 years of professional training experience and has served as a judge for the National Reining Horse Association, traveling the United States, Canada, and Australia to judge. He also is a two-time Congress Reserve Champion.

Seven years ago, Westfall came to Asbury to teach equine training classes. “What I like most about being at Asbury is equipping young Christian people to go into the equine industry and make a difference in a positive way.”

Westfall shares his aspirations for the new Western Riding program launching this fall: “My goals for our students are to understand the theories of horsemanship and to be the best that they can be.”

Harold Rainwater, Director of Asbury’s popular Equine Program, shares his enthusiasm. “Our students are so fortunate to have one of the top trainers in the country here every week. Having Jesse Westfall as our trainer is the best any program could ever expect to achieve. We are excited to add Western Riding to our equine lineup for students.”

In May, the Asbury University Equine Program broke ground on the 29,000-square-foot Henry and Elsie Bayless Arena, a new facility that includes 26 stalls and a Western Riding arena on Asbury’s 343-acre Equine property. This arena will accommodate growth in the Police Mounts and Western Riding programs. Asbury currently has approximately 80 horses on its property, including 44 police mounts in training — 26 of which are already spoken for by police departments around the nation. The Henry and Elsie Bayless Arena is scheduled to be complete by mid-fall 2022.