Keedysville man has a sense of horses

December 18, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Keedysville resident Bill Moroney is president of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, based in Lexington, Ky.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

KEEDYSVILLE — Bill Moroney was 7 years old when he visited his grandfather's Massachusetts home, and began feeding and petting the horses.

"I pestered my father into taking me to riding lessons," said Moroney, 51.

Moroney doesn't get too many chances to ride anymore, but he relishes the opportunities he gets.

As president of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, based in Lexington, Ky., Moroney spent about a third of the past year on the road, away from his 6-acre spread south of Keedysville.

Moroney has been the association's only president since its inception seven years ago. He hasn't decided whether to run in the next election, which comes at the end of 2012. He's only eligible to serve one more four-year term.

"I believe, myself, that it is good to change leadership," Moroney said.

By that, he said, he doesn't mean changing leadership every year, but getting new people to lead.

As long as a capable successor is identified, Moroney said he'd have no problem stepping aside. And if a capable successor hasn't been identified, he would have no problem continuing for another term.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation mandated the formation of an affiliate organization for hunter jumpers, the federation's last discipline to have its own association, Moroney said. Hunter jumpers had grown to account for about 40 percent of the federation's membership at the time, and it had become a "sore spot where the federation was perceived as hunter jumper-only rather than an organization of all its members," Moroney said.

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