USEF to Co-Sponsor ASHA Youth Auction at World’s Championship Horse Show

USEF to Co-Sponsor ASHA Youth Auction at World’s Championship Horse Show

Lexington, Kentucky – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will be a co-sponsor for the 2009 American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) Youth Auction. The auction is set to take place at the Crowne Plaza during the World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS), during the 2009 Kentucky State Fair.

The silent auction will begin at 10 AM on Wednesday, August 26, in Crowne Room A. Bid numbers can be obtained at that time. Bidding in the Silent Auction will conclude for the day at 6 PM. Silent Auction bidding will resume at 10 AM on Thursday, August 27, and end with the conclusion of the Silent Auction at 3 PM.

The Live Auction will begin at 1:30 PM on Thursday, August 27, and will include such items as Kentucky Derby tickets, a Tommy Lovell Rocking Horse, Breeders’ Cup tickets, bound volumes of The Horseman dating back to 1891, and tickets to the sold out Taylor Swift Concert. As in the past, a free reception and cash bar will be offered beginning at noon on Thursday, along with a poster signing by winners at the previous year’s World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS).

A $20,000 raffle drawing will also be held on Thursday, at 2:30 PM, as well as a $1,000 Grand giveaway, which will take place during the Silent Auction, for which a bid number is required, and participants must be at least 18 years of age and present to win.

The ASHA Auction and Youth Committees are currently in the process of gathering items for this annual event. The Auction is the sole fundraiser for ASHA Youth Scholarships and all ASHA Youth Programs (Junior Judging, Saddletime Awards, Academy Awards, Showmanship at Halter Awards, and the ASHA Youth Award). If you would like to donate an item please contact Brenda Newell, ASHA Sr. Program Administrator, at, Ron Merwin, ASHA Auction Chairman at, or Germaine Johnson, ASHA Youth Chairperson at All donations are tax deductible, as the ASHA is a 501(c)3 corporation. A donation form can be obtained from the ASHA website, here.

Additional details about the 2009 ASHA Youth Auction and Raffle, and auction item photos can be found on the ASHA website, here.

American Saddlebred Museum to bring Disco to World’s Championship Horse Show

Lexington, Kentucky – Are you ready to Disco?! On the night of Wednesday, August 26, during the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS), the Saddlebred Café will transform into the hottest disco club since Studio 54!

As WCHS passes the halfway point, exhibitors can take a break and dance the night away. Friends of the American Saddlebred Museum have put together a Disco Extravaganza, and horse show attendees are invited to join in the fun! The party begins at 10 PM in the Saddlebred Café, in the new North Wing adjacent to Freedom Hall.

Celebrity American Saddlebred DJs will entertain guests, spinning their favorite disco tunes. Among those headlining the event are Jimmy Robertson, Todd Miles, Peter Cowart, Melissa Moore, Elisabeth Goth and Carson Kressley. A special appearance by Donna Summer (aka Gayle King) will highlight the event. Additionally, a selection of photographs of many well known Saddlebred trainers and riders from the disco era will be on display, both for fun and to test the knowledge of attendees.

Guests will be treated to a viewing of “Saddlebred Stars,” the Museum’s collection of historic film footage of more than 60 of the breed’s greatest show champions and breeding stock. The film will run continuously through the evening.

Of special note will be a unique auction. Approximately ten World’s Grand Champion (WGC) trainers and riders have generously donated items connected with their WGC wins. The items will have been worn by either them or their winning horse. Just a few examples of offerings are: Don Harris’s hat, worn on both Imperator and Prize Contender; John T. Jones’ bowtie, worn every time he won with Callaway’s Copyright; Mother Mary’s hind shoes, donated by Smith Lilly; the top hat worn by Elisabeth Goth atop Hollywood Excellence; and George Knight’s spurs, worn on both Winter Day and Man on the Town. This will be an unprecedented opportunity to purchase a true piece of Saddlebred history.

A limited number of tickets are available for the event, so advanced purchase is recommended. The cost is $50 for adults, $25 for individuals under 21. With each admission come heavy hors d’oeuvres, two complimentary drink tickets, great music and an evening of fun and entertainment. Special VIP lounge seating areas for groups up to 8 are also available. These areas, located around the dance floor, provide comfortable seating on couches and chairs and come with complimentary champagne, wait service and amenities. Only two of the ten areas are still available and may be reserved for $5,000 each. Disco attire is optional, but encouraged!

Join fellow exhibitors, disco kings and queens and Museum supporters for this entertaining event. All proceeds go to support the mission of the American Saddlebred Museum to collect, preserve and display the history of the breed. The Museum is a 501 (c) 3 organization and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Call the Museum for reservations at (859) 259-2746.

Good Hands Finals Joins Pleasure Olympics Finals at Mid-America Mane Event

Lexington, Kentucky – The National Horse Show Association (NHSA) has announced that the 2009 Good Hands Finals will be held at the Mid-America Mane Event Horse Show, on Thursday, October 22, through Sunday, October 25, at the state fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

Since 1929, the Good Hands Finals has been held at horse shows in the East, many years at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and most recently at the Pennsylvania National show in Harrisburg. Last year, 222 riders qualified by winning preliminary Good Hands classes and, 12 competed in the Finals at the Pennsylvania National.

Good Hands is considered a premier national competition for saddle seat equitation riders. At Mane Event, Good Hands joins the prestigious National Pleasure Equitation Olympics Finals, now in its fifth year at the central Illinois show.

With the Good Hands Finals moved to an American Saddlebred show in the Midwest rather than the predominately hunter/jumper shows in the East, stables with Good Hands Finals-qualified riders can now bring their entire showstrings, as Mane Event’s class schedule offers complete divisions for Saddlebred performance and pleasure horses, as well as saddle seat and pleasure equitation, road horses and Hackney ponies.

The Good Hands Finals will be judged by Michael Craghead, Fran Crumpler and Tom Sworm, as will all other classes at Mane Event. The show is produced by Mid-America Horse Show Association, one of the largest charter clubs of the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA).

Not only is Mane Event a totally Saddlebred-friendly competition, but the facilities at the Illinois State Fairgrounds are widely recognized by the show horse community and others as the best in the country. The excellent Coliseum arena and footing, three warm-up areas (two enclosed, one covered – all available 24/7), and outstanding stabling are popular with Saddlebred stables as well as other breeds and disciplines. The facilities are in continuous use from March through October for regional and national shows, including the Midwest Charity Show in June.

With the Good Hands Finals now centrally located in the Midwest, more equitation riders and instructors may want their local shows to offer the qualifying class, which has a $35 fee. Contrary to expectation, the show does not have to be affiliated with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) or even have a USEF judge to host a Good Hands qualifying class. To receive an application to hold a Good Hands class, contact the NHSA at (516) 484-1865 or, by email at

Mid-America Mane Event entry booklets will be available in August. To request one, contact Show Manager Joy A. Meierhans by phone at (630) 557-2575, by email at; or download from