AU Press Releases

Shared passion for riding turns into unexpected holiday gift for Alfred University equestrian program

A passion for riding that spans the generations turned into an unexpected holiday gift for the Alfred University Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) program.

Maria Hurd, director of Retirement Plan Audit Services for the Wilmington, DE-based accounting firm of Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A., nominated the Alfred University IEA program to share in the firm’s holiday gift. Each year, the CPA firm invites associates to submit their favorite causes/charities to the partners, who select five to each receive $1,000 checks.

Maria Hurd cited the Alfred University IEA program for its efforts to “further children’s competitive spirit, goal-setting, team work and healthy lifestyles.”

The AU IEA program is for high school and middle school students surrounding school districts, including Dansville, Canisteo-Greenwood, Wellsville, Genesee Valley, Alfred-Almond, Avoca, Arkport, Cuba-Rushford, Scio, Hornell and Canaseraga school districts. Riders train at the Bromley-Daggett Equestrian Center, home to the AU Equestrian Program.

“We want to thank Belfint, Lyons and Shuman for this unexpected gift to support our IEA program,” said Nancy Kohler, director of the University’s Equestrian Program. “And we particularly want to thank Maria Hurd for nominating our program for this gift.”

Maria Hurd is the daughter-in-law of Harry Hurd of West Almond, who in 2006 became the first head coach of the Alfred University Western equestrian team, and who has a life-long love of horses that he shared with his family.

Amanda Hurd – Mark and Marie Hurd’s daughter and Harry Hurd’s granddaughter – is a member of the Alfred University IEA team and won a national championship in her division at the finals in Georgia.

“Amanda is very bit Harry’s granddaughter,” said Kohler.

Harry Hurd has owned and operated a training stable and Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred breeding farm for 42 years. He has ridden, shown, raced and competed in rodeo events with Quarter horses since 1964. He is a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the Empire State Quarter Horse Association.

Harry Hurd has been an AQHA judge for 42 years, and an American Paint Horse Association judge for 36 years. He currently serves as the director of horses for the Allegany County Fair Board.

Harry Hurd is a former member of the Alfred-Almond Central School Board of Education, and a former supervisor for the town of West Almond.