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ASAM Banquet & Awards Gala Celebrates More Than Champions

The 39th Annual American Saddlebred Association of Maine (ASAM) Banquet and Awards Gala packed them in on Saturday, February 2, 2008. An attendance record was set with over 120 people attending the festive event at Keeley Banquet Center, Portland, ME. The meal was a buffet, which started with bacon-wrapped scallops and ending with prime rib just before the triple chocolate and cheese cakes. Deb Hacskaylo’s silent auction committee raised nearly $1,800 with more than 80 items for the crowd to bid on. A raffle collected over $150 to be donated to the Saddlebred Rescue.


ASAM has been credited by its member for its leadership. The ASAM club now runs 4 shows, a 2-day clinic, an affordable banquet and is very active in the community. ASAM recently held a food drive during the holiday season to benefit the less fortunate. In the spring, ASAM raised money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.


The evening began with lifetime achievement recognition for long-time Board of Director Madeline McLucas. Roses were then presented to past President Jo Hight. Six ASAM Presidents of past were in attendance and recognized by the raucous crowd. A dozen door prizes were awarded throughout the evening. The door prizes had a nice twist as Banquet Programs had special hidden markings to determine the winners of the Signet Monogramming creations. The display of ribbons, trophies, challenge awards, fountains, sculpture, crystal, and hooded sweatshirts filled the front of the Banquet Center and made many young eyes appear very large.


Early in the evening special guest Missy Hughes, DeLovely Farm, Rockport, IN. gave a speech of dreams and encouragement for the young ones. She recalled her younger days in Maine mucking stalls and practically living at the barn before attending William Woods College. She stressed how you should never give up on your dreams, as she is now part of the DeLovely Tradition, a leader in the horse industry. Culminating the evening were the presentations of the ASAM Outstanding Members of The Year Awards. The Junior Member award presentations were made by last year’s winner, Lindsay Beckett, and 1989 winner Missy Hughes. For only the 2nd time in over 20 years of the award, two winners were announced. Meghann Wright, riding out of Wright Way Stables, and Amanda Boutet, riding out of High Stepping Equestrian Center, were presented the awards to a standing ovation. The Senior Award had 5 members nominated for the accolade. ASAM Secretary Deb Hacskaylo, point scoring secretary Dollie Hutchins, Past President Jo Hight, ASAM VP Theresa Guillemette, and Ricky Drew were the 5 honored before the winner was announced. The evening ended with Maine Horse Association President Andrew Bailey presenting the award to Drew, creating a loud standing ovation.




Junior Member - Amanda Boutet

Amanda has worked hard with her ASB Specially Designed, aka Travis. This year Amanda and Travis really came together as an incredible team. All through the Travis “bonehead” times, Amanda never lost her smile and great attitude. Amanda has shown throughout New England representing Maine, High Stepping, and ASAM very well. She has also traveled to the St Louis Nationals in the past with great success. She always offers helping hands to people in her barn, the ring, and wherever she may be. She has words of encouragement and a warm smile for everyone she comes into contact with. Amanda encompasses the spirit that should be shown by the ASAM Outstanding Member of the Year. She has an easy going style and attitude, a warm inviting smile, an incredible gift of true sportsmanship and loves to promote the American Saddlebred. Amanda has been accepted at Cazenovia (in upstate New York), Johnson and Wales (in Providence RI), and William Woods (Missouri ), all for equine business management.  She’s leaning towards either Cazenovia, where there is a much broader spectrum of equine studies, or Johnson and Wales. Distance might be a factor in her decision.  Cazenovia would offer her courses in equine photography, equine massage, equine arts and much more on top of the barn management.  They also have a breeding program. She plans on attempting to make the college equestrian team.  Amanda has many varied interests and activities outside the barn and riding arena. She has been dancing for 15 years (clogging, street funk, jazz and ballet), She is the photo editor of the Tripod (the Thornton Academy High School Yearbook), and she’s been volunteering at Equest Therapeutic Riding Center for almost four years.  She’s also been on the honor roll every quarter of her four years at TA.


Junior Member - Meghann Wright

For anyone who does not know Meghann, she has a very shy side that people see until they get to know her. She has been raised at Friendship Stables and Wright Ways Stables. She is a true horseperson. The younger riders in the barn look up to Meghann for encouragement and knowledge. She always reaches out to oblige them. She rides many horses in the stable for a variety of clients at the stable. It is a beautiful sight when she rides equitation, shining like the shy star that she truly is. Meghann is a hard worker who shows desire, dedication, and sportsmanship when showing all throughout New England. These traits carry over greatly to the younger riders who look up to her. When riding so many young horses, Meghann often tackles difficult challenges. She always shows diligence, grace, and dignity while facing the tough rides. Meghann is a true role model in a world where role models have disappeared. Meghann has applied to William Woods College, Missouri and Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. She is going to study Equine/Equestrian Science at either one she attends. She is going to pursue her career in the horse world.  She strives to make a name for herself in the horse world. She has already done so in Maine. At the recent ASAM banquet, Meghann sat and talked with 1989 ASAM Outstanding Member of the Year Missy Hughes. She credits Missy for the inspiration to do anything she puts her mind to. Meghann will achieve a great career in the horse world.


Senior Member - Ricky Drew

Rick Drew has put more time and effort in promoting ASAM and the ASB than anyone else in recent ASAM history. He is an inspiration in his tireless effort and has an infectious enthusiasm that grabs all that around him. He is the perfect example of what a Saddlebred promoter should be. Rick has improved communication, spirit, and involvement of ASAM members in the activities of the club. He is the ‘glue’ that the club surrounds. His work as a show manager and organizer of activities has been exemplary. Rick manages the ASAM Clinic, Banquet, the ASAM Long Horn Fun Show, and the Dunegrass Classic ASAM Spring Show. He is also in charge of all of the extracurricular activities that the ASAM Summer Show has become famous for. For the past 13 years Drew has also announced the ASAM Summer Show. Rick has now been elected as ASAM President. He has instituted a new ASAM Youth Group, added an ASAM Scholarship, and is currently working on an ASAM Hall of Fame.



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