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ASHA Announces Regional Championship Guidelines

Lexington, Kentucky - The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) has announced that updated guidelines for the 2009 Regional Championships are now available on their Web site, here.

The ASHA Regional Championships are a part of the Association’s ongoing effort to improve public education about the breed, as well as to increase competitive opportunities for all levels throughout the nation.

Eleven Regional Championship competitions are scheduled throughout the country in 2009. In the west, they include the California Saddle Horse Futurity for the West Coast, and the Arizona Saddlebred Futurity for the Southwest; in the Northwest Region, the NWSA Fall Classic and Futurity; in the North Central Region, the Wisconsin Futurity; in the Heart of America Region, the Mid-America Mane Event; the South Central Region, at the State Fair of Texas UPHA Show; for the Bluegrass Region, the All American Horse Classic; for the Atlantic Coast, the North Carolina State Fair; in the Southeast, the Southeastern Charity Horse Show; in the Northeast, the ASHAV Horse Show; and in New England, the Eastern States Exposition.

Among the changes and clarifications in this year’s Regional Championship guidelines are:

Declaration of region is no longer required. If a horse qualifies for multiple Regional Championship competitions and does not win the Regional Championship title at its first such event, it may compete for a Regional Championship title at other Regional Championship competitions for which it is eligible. However, a horse may earn only one Regional Championship title in any calendar year.

As in prior years, horses and equitation riders must compete and receive a ribbon (1 through 8) in three (3) separate competitions within the region, in the qualifying period, in the same section within the Saddlebred division, to qualify for a Regional Championship title in that region’s championship event. Sections include Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness, Park, Park Pleasure, Show Pleasure, and Country Pleasure, Saddle Seat Equitation, etc. This means that a horse does not have to qualify for a specific class, such as amateur or junior exhibitor, and allows this aspect of regional qualifying to be consistent with Kentucky State Fair qualifying.

The qualifying period has been changed to include all competitions up to the starting dates of each respective Regional Championship. This adds urgency for all local competitions to submit their results to the ASHA as promptly as possible.

The complete guidelines are available here.

There are additional incentives for participating in the Regional Championships. Each Regional Champion will receive an exclusive tri-color and neck ribbon and make a solo victory pass. The American Saddlebred Registry’s Grand National program is offering $5,000 added money to classes at five Regional Championships including the ASHAV Horse Show, the Mid-America Mane Event, the NWSA Fall Classic, the Southeastern Charity, and the Wisconsin Futurity. Sections for those $5,000 stakes are Three-Gaited, Fine Harness, Three-Gaited Show Pleasure, Five Gaited, and Three-Gaited Park, respectively. For more information on the ASR Grand National program, check here.

ASHA will soon be displaying a complete database of all horses’ current regional competition records, by section, on the ASHA Web site, so that all competitors and managements can easily see the region(s) and section(s) for which a given horse is qualified.

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