William Woods professor gets into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

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FULTON - A William Woods University Professor will be one of the newest inductees into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

"It was a huge shock and a big thrill. The more I found out about it the bigger deal I found out that it was," Gayle Lampe said. 

She has been an Equestrian Science professor at William Woods University for more than 40 years. 

"I was the only instructor when I came," she said.

Lampe said she immediately began improving the facilities to accommodate more horses. 

In the fall of 1968, there were 18 horses, now there are 157 on campus.

Throughout her time at the university, she had a hand in developing the country's first four-year academic degree program in equestrian science.

William Woods now offers three degrees in the Equestrian Science program. 

"She's created this program to be what it is today with all these horses. This program is huge and it's very well respected. It does all the disciplines, not only saddle seat, but she brought in all the other disciplines to the university. She's done all of that," said former student and William Woods clinical instructor Sarah Track. 

As an instructor, Lampe has received many awards, such as the Audrey Gutridge award, the instructor of the year award with the United Professional Horseman's Association, American Riders Association award for teaching, and the Beaumont award for excellence in teaching twice from William Woods University.

Lampe's not just known for her lasting impact on William Woods University but also her own talent in the saddle seat competitions.

She won the World Championship Ladies Five-Gaited class at the Kentucky State Fair horse show twice with several reserve championships, as well. She also won the Ladies Five-Gaited class at the UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse show, along with many other accolades. 

Despite all of her accomplishments, Lampe says she is most proud that her students go on to be professionals. 

A few have also gone on to beat her once or twice. 

In 2004, a year after she won the Ladies Five-Gaited class at the Kentucky State Fair horse show, she returned in hopes of another win, but a student prevailed.

"One of my graduates, rode, showed and beat me. I was really happy for her. It was kind of like I beat myself. The rider that was here and one of our graduates that I had taught, although she came with tons of natural ability, she beat me and I was reserve champion," Lampe said. 

Lampe hosts riding clinics, judges horse shows nationally and internationally, and also trains horses for show. 

"She serves as just an inspiration, I think, from building the program. But also, her longevity in the saddle bred industry. She's just a legend," Track said. 

The induction for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will be held Sunday in Columbia. 

Lampe is one of 15 inductees this year.