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What Matters? Recognition Matters

The equestrian life is one of dedication, passion and commitment. No matter how long, when or where you are involved with the American Saddlebred, there is someone whose actions have influenced, inspired or benefitted you in your experience with the breed. These individuals are the ASHA members that make being a part of this community matter. So often, they do so for no personal gain, but only for the benefit of the horse and our industry, and the satisfaction of helping another person enjoy our beloved Saddlebreds. When we see them, we may say thank you or even acknowledge their efforts in casual conversation amongst our peers, but how often do we take the time to recognize the people that make our experience matter?  

In the last few months, we have seen the hall of fame inductions, sportsmanship awards and the tireless efforts of key volunteers recognized at the regional levels. We see our charter clubs preparing for their end of the year awards and banquets. Fellow associations and organizations around the equine world are collecting nominations for competitors who had spectacular seasons. For the first time in years, the ASHA expanded the qualification requirements for high point awards, collaborated with sister affiliates to recognize more breeders, owners and exhibitors of Saddlebreds and Half-Saddlebreds and have nominated a diverse collection of members for USEF Awards. The ASHA is working diligently to create more opportunities, but right now, we strive to make the most of what we have. Why does this matter? It matters because, for many, this acknowledgment of the knowledge, resources or time they dedicate to the breed is the only reward for a lifetime of investment.

For over thirty years, the ASHA has offered awards, end of the year programs or lifetime recognition to the members who are making a difference. From lifetime achievement to sportsmanship to promotional efforts for the breed and more individuals from our community can be recognized for their contributions that make the American Saddlebred and the ASHA better for all of us. These accolades rely solely on nominations and submissions from the membership. If there is someone that deserves to be recognized by an ASHA Major Award, a fellow member must nominate him or her. If there is a #sharethesaddlebred Breed Ambassador superstar that deserves recognition, their activities must be submitted. If there is an AOT, Sport Horse or Pleasure horse that needs recognition for their accomplishments and support of this breed, their competition points must be submitted. Sadly, we have seen in the past few years that the nomination pool has only gotten smaller and smaller.

Do we have fewer members working for the betterment of the breed? Are there fewer charter club volunteers working tirelessly at every regional horse to make it better for members? Are there not professionals, amateurs and friends of the breed dedicating their time to #sharethesaddlebred with the public? Do we have fewer breed enthusiasts showing this versatile breed successfully in a wide array of disciplines across the country? The ASHA believes the contrary, as we see our members making a positive difference in our community every day! So if these fellow ASHA members and Saddlebred enthusiasts matter to you, why are there not more nominations?

The ASHA wants to recognize our members, our breed ambassadors and the great horses from all arenas for their dedication and commitment to the American Saddlebred. Their efforts, dedication and commitment matter, we just have to take the time to recognize it.  Therefore, whether it is nominating a fellow member for an ASHA Award, submitting your points for shows, logging hours of friends' promotional activities or voicing your support for year-end horses of the year, please consider participating because recognition matters.  

ASHA Major Award nomination information here.
ASHA Breed Ambassador Program information here.
ASHA AOT Awards, Sport Horse High Point & State Pleasure Horse Awards information here

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