She has always had an interest in horses and became involved with equestrian vaulting when her daughters took up the sport in the 1980s. From there, her involvement grew to the point that her and her husband, Jim, started their own club and ran their own competitions.
Eventually, however, the parents stepped back and let their daughter take over as coach, limiting Bibbler’s role to running one competition a year.
Eventually, opportunity came knocking on her door, however.
“From doing nothing but managing a competition once a year,” she said. “I was asked to be on the organizing committee for the World Equestrian Games, the vice president of competition for the American Vaulting Association and chairman of the performance committee, and all of that happened in a period of four to six months.”
She said it was tough to say no when the roles gave her an opportunity to have more influence at a higher level of the sport, allowing her to get past the politics of working on the committee level.
Recently she has organized and brought top level international vaulting competitions to the Bay Area, including the 2012 International Vaulting Concours in Menlo Park, the 2013 Pacific Cup CVI in Hollister and the upcoming 2014 Pacific Cup CVI, also to be held in Hollister May 2-4.
None of that work gave her a hint that she might receive such a prestigious award, however.
“I was totally surprised,” she said. “I had no idea I’d been nominated for it. My first reaction was I think they made a mistake. I’m not sure I deserve this. First I got a phone call that told me. I was worried I was rude to the person who called me because I was so surprised that I didn’t even react. Then I got an email later that day notifying me officially and then saw the press release the next day. At that point I knew it was for real.”
Bibbler’s award will be presented at U.S. Equestrian Foundation’s Pegasus awards gala in Lexington, Ky., on Friday.