The Illinois Quarter Horse Association announces Jennifer Burton as the Most Valuable Professional for the AQHA affiliate association.
Based on the voting, each affiliate will submit their state MVP winner to AQHA for consideration for overall 2021 Most Valuable Professional award.
The criteria as established by the Professional Horsemen’s Committee include:
- Nominee must be involved in, and shown support of, his/her state affiliate.
- Nominee must be a current member in good standing of his/her state affiliate, of AQHA and AQHA Professional Horsemen.
- Nominee should be recognized by his/her peers as a fair and upstanding business person that upholds the ethical standards of AQHA Professional Horsemen.
- Nominee must be one who has worked toward the future of our industry by being positive and innovative in business endeavors.
All state winners will be voted on by their peers, current AQHA Professional Horsemen for the overall MVP Award. The Professional Horsemen’s Council will review all affiliate MVP nominations for the overall MVP in October. AQHA will award each state MVP with a specially designed award and the overall MVP will receive a commemorative belt buckle.
Jennifer Burton of Grayslake, Illinois has had a lifelong career and passionate involvement with AQHA as a professional horsewoman. Growing up with the American Quarter Horse, Jennifer is a second-generation professional trainer. She began her involvement with AQHA as a youth competitor and now owns and manages Jennifer Burton Performance Horses with her husband, professional horse trainer, Albert Burton.
During her career, Jennifer Burton worked with AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the year, Dianne Eppers for over twenty years. Working and collaborating with Dianne Eppers as one of the top female equine trainers in the industry was very influential and highlighted the importance of professionalism and work ethic. Jennifer’s life motto is that hard work and dedication is the way to achieve all goals and dreams. Jennifer’s work ethic and drive has always been the foundation of her equine business.
Jennifer maintains her equine training and coaching business at the Burton’s newly built, state of the art equine facility in Grayslake, IL, where Jennifer trains and coaches amateur and youth clients to compete at the top caliber national horse shows. As for her own accomplishments in the show pen, Jennifer has had a lifelong career of success and accolades as a professional horsewoman including at the Congress and AQHA World Show in events ranging from the Reining, Hunt Seat, Ranch Riding, Western Riding, Western Pleasure, Driving and Trail. She is passionate about training horses and caters to the versatility of each horse that she has in training. As an individual, she is truly capable of exhibiting a horse to the all-around events.
As a coach, Jennifer is focused on helping her clients build meaningful connections with their horses, developing their riding skills, and ultimately providing education on the stewardship of the American Quarter Horse. Jennifer offers high caliber training at the top-level horse shows and also believes in the importance of teaching to all levels, including new members exhibiting at the AQHA shows. She is also involved with Partners for Progress, a therapeutic riding program that offers weekly lessons and the opportunity for riders to show at both regional and national level AQHA shows through the AQHA EWD program.
Jennifer is an advocate for youth members to pursue their education while continuing with their equine goals. She has introduced youth members to the NCAA program and promotes the value of applying for these kind of scholarships and programs, so youth members can continue riding through college. She is also a supporter of equine college programs and previously provided clinic work at the Illinois equine program, Black Hawk College to help college students continue their knowledge of the AQHA industry.
Throughout her career, Jennifer has been acknowledged and praised for her strong business ethics, finely finessed horse training skills, top knowledge of horse welfare and equine husbandry, and support and professionalism to her fellow horse trainers.