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ASHA announces Regional Championship competitions for 2006, 2007

, Kentucky ­– At its meeting on Monday, July 31, the Executive Committee of the American Saddlebred Horse Association for the first time designated Regional Championship competitions throughout the United States, for both 2006 and 2007. 


The initiative to develop both Regional Championship competitions for the entire nation and an annual Regional High Score Awards program was announced after leadership meetings held in October 2005, and has been under consideration by the newly formed Charter Club Council since early this year.  The Regional High Score Awards program is expected to begin for the 2007 competition year.


The Executive Committee noted that because prize lists for several competitions selected are already being prepared, and planning time is short for this year, all selected shows were also being designated at this time for 2007.  However, for 2008, designations will be made no later than July 2007, so other interested competitions may apply in time for consideration for future recognition.


The first official Regional Championship was held last year at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for the Northeastern Region, and that competition was selected again.  Other shows designated include the Arizona Saddlebred Futurity in Scottsdale, California Saddle Horse Futurity in Pomona, the Northwest Saddlebred Association Fall Classic in Salem, Oregon, the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Show in Madison, the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show in Missouri, the Kentucky Fall Classic in Lexington, the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, and the Southeastern Charity Horse Show in Conyers, Georgia.  The complete list of designated Regional Championship competitions is attached, as well as a map of USEF regions for the American Saddlebred breed.


Several factors were included in the deliberations, noted Alan F. Balch, executive secretary of ASHA.  “First and foremost, competitions were encouraged to apply for this designation, and in some regions we had more than one very worthy show to consider.  Where choices had to be made, the Executive Committee took into account the recommendations of the leadership of the Charter Club Council, but also looked independently at such criteria as time for management to prepare and the geography of the region, because a central location where all exhibitors can attend most conveniently was another important factor.  In the future, the Executive Committee felt that some shows might rotate with this designation, but to give the program the best chance to get a good start, the designation should be made for two years.”  In addition, competitions were to be scheduled after Labor Day and were required to be licensed by the United States Equestrian Federation.  Detailed conditions and definitions for the competitions will be tailored to the regions, and developed in conjunction with competition management, said Balch.

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