NSBA is saddened to share the loss of Cecilia Hylton, of Nokesville, Virginia, who died Monday after battling with health issues.

A long-time supporter and friend of the horse industry, Cecilia shared NSBA’s commitment to the humane development of young horses at their own pace. As a result of her convictions, she founded the Hylton Maiden Three Year Old and Older Western Pleasure slot class in 2004. At the time it was created, the Hylton Maiden was one of the first classes of its type for older maiden horses.

The class was first held at the Reichert Celebration and was later brought to Cecilia’s home state, Virginia, as part of the Virginia Classic. Cecilia was a champion of green and maiden events, from her sponsorship of the Hylton Maiden and the Hylton Green Western Pleasure to numerous classes held at the Little Futurity.

Cecilia’s horse showing days began alongside her father, and following his death, she turned to actively showing AQHA and futurity horses, earning AQHA world championships, NSBA futurity championships, Honor Roll and NSBA Horse of the Year honors with such horses as Invitation To Flash, Do Ya Think Im Flashy, Slip Slyden Away and Lotto Flash. In addition to their many awards, horses registered in Cecilia’s name have won nearly $90,000 in NSBA earnings.

She also had a fascination with equine genetics and under her management Hylton Quarter Horses has raised several champions through their breeding program. Cecilia’s donations to Colorado State University helped advance techniques in embryo transfer and splitting semen straws that many horse breeders benefit from today.

A graduate of Fairfax High School, Cecilia served as executive vice president of the building corporation The Hylton Group, as well as matriarch of Hylton Quarter Horse, where she worked with her son, George Markley, and daughter, Jamie Hylton.

Cecilia was inducted into the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2014. She was also recognized by the Virginia Quarter Horse Youth Association with its Ginny Leath Award in 2012, and was presented with the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Amateur Sportsmanship Award in 2010.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.