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Susie Johns and Others Recognized at 2021 NSBA Honors Banquet

The 2021 NSBA Awards Banquet took place Sunday night after the NSBA World Show classes for the day. The banquet was held in the Ford Truck Arena at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. Several highlights of the ceremony included the presentation of the Jack Benson Award to past NSBA President Susie Johns of Paradise Valley, Arizona and Grant Mastin of Jackson, Ohio, announced as the NSBA Youth of the Year.

Susie Johns has always seen her service to NSBA as a way to give back to an industry that has given her and her family countless memories. She served as President of NSBA in 2018 and continues to serve as chair of NSBA’s Hall of Fame.

In addition, Johns has served on numerous committees and has aided in the growth and further development of the  All-Around events, including the expansion of trail divisions. With her support and guidance, NSBA has seen exponential growth in participation in these events.

Named for the late NSBA member Jack Benson, the award is presented annually to an individual who unselfishly gives their time to promote NSBA and its mission and create greater interest in the pleasure horse industry. This award has been presented since 1989.

Another highlight from this prestigious event was when Grant Mastin added to his banner year by being named the NSBA Youth of The Year, receiving a $4,000 scholarship. “I am honored with this award and humbled to receive the Susan Scott Memorial Fund Scholarship,” Grant told GoHorseShow. “Thank you, NSBA and Nancy Ditty, for encouraging youth to have a passion for service.”

Mastin recalls a guest speaker speaking to his football team that once said, “always give more than you get.” He took this to heart when he became involved with the Jackson Area Festivals and Events Joyful Christmas project in 2019 and learned that a decision had to be made to provide coats or shoes to recipients. He volunteered to take care of shoe donations and formed Tackles For Tots. He vowed to purchase one pair of shoes for every tackle the linebacker made during his 2019 high school football season. Through local and even horse show community support, he raised money to purchase 130 pairs of shoes for children in need. 

In 2020, the pandemic did not stop Grant’s support of the program. Although his high school football season was shortened from ten games to seven, he set a goal to purchase two pairs of shoes for each tackle he made, which resulted in 75 tackles. He exceeded his goal by providing more than 180 pairs of shoes for underprivileged children. He also provided additional shoes for local elementary and middle schools to have on hand. Grant has spent countless hours not only fundraising but organizing and shopping for gender- and size-specific shoes that he labeled for distribution around his community.

Mastin plans to play football at the collegiate level while studying pre-law. He hopes to positively impact a larger scale in his community through his career by helping someone who needs him.

Congratulations to everyone for the outstanding achievements at this year’s NSBA Honors Banquet. For a complete list of award recipients, see below.

  • Jack Benson Award Recipient – Susie Johns
  • 2021 NSBA Youth of the Year Recipient – Grant Mastin
  • 2020 NSBA Horse of the Year – Snap It Send It, Owned by Kent Ray Taylor
  • NSBA Hall of Fame Inductee in the Member Category – Nancy Sue Ryan
  • NSBA Hall of Fame Inductee in the Show Horse Category – Cool Krymsun Lady, owned by Knapp Quarter Horse Farms
  • NSBA Hall of Fame Inductee in the Breeding Horse Category – Hot N Blazing, owned by Courtney Battison
  • Quarter Million Dollar Rider – Aaron Vale

CLICK HERE to see Susie Johns in this month’s issue of GoMag.

CLICK HERE to see Grant Mastin on the cover of the July issue of GoMag.

CLICK HERE to see Kent Ray Taylor in this month’s issue of GoMag.

CLICK HERE for more information from NSBA.