January 6, 2002 — Helen Kitner Crabtree, 86, of Simpsonville, Kentucky, passed away January 4, 2002. Born in Jacksonville, Illinois, December 14, 1915, she began her show career at age four, and started riding as a professional at twelve. She graduated from Illinois College and taught riding at MacMurray College where she received an honorary doctorate. While at MacMurray, the intercollegiate riding teams were never defeated during her stay.
Married to Charles Crabtree in 1942, this husband and wife team earned 75 Worlds Championship titles and instructed 22 National Saddle Seat Equitation Champions. Crabtree was a published author of several books including the Sports Illustrated Book of Gaited Riding and Saddle Seat Equitation in 1970. She was honored with the AHSA Lifetime Achievement award in 1990 and Judge Emeritus in 1996. USA Equestrian recently honored her with a bronze that is a perpetual trophy presented each year to the USA Saddle Seat Medal Finals Champion.
Memorial Services for Mrs. Crabtree will be held Monday, January 7th, 1:00pm at Shannon’s Funeral Home in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
Helen K. Crabtree:
Received her first license in 1950 and held the following license:
Hackney and Harness
National Show Horse
Saddle Seat Equitation
1964 AHSA Horsewoman of the Year
1974 Inducted into the St. Louis Horse Show Hall of Fame
1975 & 1978 UPHA Trainer of the Year 1980 invited by President Reagan to bring 16 horses to ride in the inaugural parade
1987 inducted into the Illinois College of Sports Hall of Fame
1989 Inducted with husband Charles into the World Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame
1989 First recipient of the UPHA Sportsmanship Award
1989 Winner of ASHA Lurline P. Roth Good Sportsmanship Award
1990 Instructor of the Year by UPHA
1990 AHSA Lifetime Achievement Award
1996 AHSA Judge Emeritus