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Adult Finals Added to Good Hand Program

After multiple requests for an adult version of The Good Hands Finals, the Mid-America Horse Show Association board unanimously approved creation of The Good Hands Adult Finals to be held in addition to the established Good Hands Finals for junior riders. Both will be held at this year’s Mid-America Mane Event Show, October 22-25, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Bret Day, Maria Gilman and Lisa Waller will judge the new Adult Finals as well as all other Mane Event classes.

Interest in and growth of adult amateur equitation has been strong in recent years, and now adult equitation riders will have their own “Triple Crown” with Good Hands as the final leg.

For this inaugural year, amateur riders over 18 years will qualify by showing in one adult saddle seat equitation class during 2015 prior to the Adult Finals. Class procedure will be slightly different, with all riders doing rail work, followed by individual workouts, after which the class will be tied.

The Good Hands Finals is the oldest saddle seat equitation finals in the country, having originated at Madison Square Garden in New York City. When the Finals moved to the more centrally located Mane Event Show, participation grew by 78%, making Good Hands the largest of the saddle seat finals.  

The Good Hands Advisory Committee members are Cindy Boel, Kathy Boggs, Lynda Freseth, Scott Matton, Todd Miles, Erin Richie, Barbe Smith and Tom Thorpe. The Good Hands Organizing Committee is made up of Jessica Curl, Jessica Moctezuma, Lindsay Shearman and Jenna Winquist who bring great enthusiasm, energy and an appreciation for what it takes to excel in show ring competition. Sharon Gardner, former equitation “mom” and past president of Mid-America, serves as committee chair.

The Mid-America Mane Event entry booklet will be ready in August.  To request a print copy, call Show Manager Joy Meierhans at 630/557-2575; or email  Last year’s Mane Event class list can still be viewed at, where this year’s entry booklet will be available to download and print.   Mane Event is produced by Mid-America Horse Show Association, which puts on three shows a year and manages a circuit of more than 25 affiliated A, A/B and B rated shows in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.  With more than 350 members, Mid-America is one of the ASHA’s largest charter clubs.

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