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2022 ASHBA Bill Wise Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes Moves to UPHA American Royal

At its last meeting, the ASHBA Sweepstakes Committee voted to move the 2022 ASHBA Bill Wise Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes classes to the UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show in Kansas City, Missouri.  

ASHBA leadership is happy to see this national prize program find a home at the prestigious UPHA American Royal National Championship. A venue with a rich history in presenting the next generation of champion American Saddlebreds gives our members the extra time to develop their colts. It encourages more to come together at this collective young horse showcase to exhibit amongst the best our breed has to offer.

"We are excited about partnering with the UPHA and the American Royal on the Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes," said David Mount, ASHBA Executive Director, "This allows us to put an important prize program closer to breeders in the Midwest. I would like to thank Bill Wise for his leadership and long-standing commitment to the Sweepstakes program."

"The UPHA American Royal National Championship Horse Show is continually evolving to create avenues to bring the best of the best to Kansas City, said Ashlyn Justice, American Royal Equine Manager. "We are excited to offer this new avenue for exhibitors to compete."

The ASHBA Board of Directors has approved the location change for these classes and will allow two-year-olds that were not nominated in their yearling year to be nominated by paying the full nomination fee of $275 by June 1, 2022. This option for two-year-olds will only be available in 2022. A two-year-old nomination form can be found here. 

The UPHA American Royal is bringing together a trilogy of improvements for the program, horses and participants. With its more accessible location, good timing in a two-year-old's season and prestige as a top National Championship horse show, this move generates excitement amongst trainers, breeders and leaders everywhere. 

"Adding the Bill Wise Sweepstakes strengthens the National Championship Horse Show and is a great opportunity for UPHA and ASHBA to collaborate for the betterment of the American Saddlebred," said Smith Lilly. "As a UPHA officer and as a lifelong ASHBA member and supporter of all things American Saddlebred, I am convinced our breed must maintain a major horse show west of the Mississippi River to remain a nationally prominent breed. UPHA feels this is critical to our industry as well as our breed, and we are committed to promoting and strengthening the National Championships at the American Royal in Kansas City." 

In addition to the mutual benefits between the organizations and these historic Saddlebred programs, Smith also sees the new opportunities as a trainer and breeder.

 "Everyone in our breed and industry knows we need to raise more horses," said Smith. "The addition of a major prize program at the end of the season in the middle of the country will generate excitement and opportunity for breeders to not only win considerable prize money but also market their colts to a nationwide audience."

"This is a great opportunity for the breeding of the American Saddlebred as a whole. The UPHA American Royal is a show that has always been recognized for being a great show for young horses," said Bob Brison, "Everything from the show's history to its timing will make it an exciting place to bring out a two-year-old. They are almost three-year-olds at that point, so you've had time to prepare them and develop them for this opportunity. Also, you have a great opportunity to put them in front of people shopping for their next prospect at the Royal." 

In 2021, there were no entries in the ASHBA Bill Wise Two-Year-Old Sweepstakes classes, and the prize money totaling just over $11,000 will be added to the 2022 payouts. A minimum of $5,000 in added prize money has also been sponsored.

For more information on ASHBA Prize Programs, please contact Patricia Edwards at 859-259-3899 or [email protected].

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