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2017 ASHA Board of Directors Candidates

The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is pleased to Introduce the 2017 ASHA Board of Directors candidates. Nine outstanding American Saddlebred enthusiasts are eligible to be voted on by the ASHA membership for the six coming vacant spots on the ASHA Board. 


Todd Graham, Ona, West Virginia

Todd Graham has 20 years’ experience operating an American Saddlebred training and breeding operation after growing up on his grandparents’ horse farm. His primary area of expertise is breeding quality American Saddlebreds and developing them into proven show stock, as well as successfully pairing horses with amateur exhibitors.  He has managed a diverse show string from the grass roots level to the WCHS. Todd is a member of the United Breeders Committee which presented its findings at the 2013 UPHA Convention.  He has also been involved in the UPHA Jackpot Sale Committee and the UPHA Classics Committee.

Todd is a graduate of Marshall University with a degree in biology.  He has a high level of expertise in managing employees and breeding stock, and managing a diverse show string. As an owner and manager of a multi-faceted equine business, he communicates daily with employees, clients, and other professionals and leaders in the American Saddlebred industry.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Todd’s vision for the ASHA is to promote the American Saddlebred in all its endeavors, to insure that future generations will enjoy the breed for centuries to come. Todd is happy to assist his peers whenever necessary, while learning from other professionals and leaders in the industry.


Robert Griffin, Minooka, IL

Bob Griffin has been involved in the Saddlebred industry for more than 30 years; he is currently a horse trainer and riding instructor. He was instrumental in moving and growing the Mane Event Horse Show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, including moving the NHS Good Hands Finals, the largest national Saddle Seat equitation final, to Mane Event. Bob has also been involved as a board member with the Mid America Horse Show Association and the IASPHA, and he is a member of the Mane Event Horse Show Committee.

Bob is a graduate of DePaul University where in majored in strategic growth. He has a high level of expertise in project management and event planning, as well as innovative programs for Saddlebreds. He also has expertise in audience recognition and growth, as well as message development and implementation.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Bob has a special interest in marketing and advertising as it pertains to the breed and to membership growth, as well as increased breed recognition and involvement. He would like to see the ASHA continue to innovatively expand its efforts towards increasingly position and effective breed involvement and growth. Bob feels that the ASHA is taking on the important issues!


Scott Hagan, Louisville, KY

Scott has 50 years of experience in the industry, and is very active in the breeding, raising, showing and selling Saddlebreds. Hagan Saddlebreds currently owns approximately 60 horses, including 3 breeding stallions, 14 broodmares, 15 yearlings, 15 weanlings, and 13 horses in training.  He has the unique distinction of being the breeder, owner and exhibitor of the 2015 World’s Grand Championship Three-Gaited Horse, WGC WC RWGC HS Daydream's Heads Up. Hagan Saddlebreds has produced many World’s Champions, including WC RWCC RWC Daydreams Celebrity and WCC WC RWC HS Baby Steps. Scott has participated heavily in embryo and oocyte breeding.

Scott is a graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and the University of Louisville School of Law. His company, Hagan Properties, is a real estate company focusing on acquisition, development, financing, leasing and management.  He has significant background and experience in finance, organization, and management.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Scott sees the ASHA as taking the lead in increasing the number and quality of horse show judges, and creating transparency in the selection of judges. He is particularly interested in promoting the Saddlebred industry, increasing foal registrations and increasing the viability of the middle market horses and small horse shows.


Emily Lee, Versailles, KY 

Emily has been involved with Saddlebreds for the past 20 years.  She and her husband, Tre Lee, have owned and operated a successful training facility for the past 11 years. Emily is the current UPHA Chapter 9 Chairperson, and she has served as the Hospitality Coordinator for the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show for the past 3 years.

Emily runs the business side of the equine operation that has been her livelihood since her graduation from high school; she has experience in bookkeeping and organization, as well as time management and managing people. She has also served as a volunteer on ASHA Committees.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Emily would like the ASHA to work together with other organizations such as the USEF, UPHA, AMA, and AHA to strengthen our industry and grow our associations; she believes that working together will make us stronger. Emily wants to be involved and give back to the industry that has given her so much.


Joan Lurie, Simpsonville, KY 

Horses have been Joan Lurie’s life since she was a teenager growing up in Montana and Arizona. She has been involved with Saddlebreds for more than 50 years. As the owner of Willowbank Farm, Joan takes an active role in all aspects of the various activities on the Farm, including training, showing and breeding.

Joan currently serves on the American Saddlebred Registry Breeder’s Committee as well as the Futurities Committee. She has served on numerous panel discussions at ASHA and UPHA Conventions, and she frequently contributes to Q & A sessions in various Saddlebred publications. She was one of the founders of the innovative Breeder’s Jackpot program and has been an active supporter of the UPHA Classics Jackpot Sale. Joan is a member of the ASHA Breeder’s Hall of Fame, and has been awarded the USEF Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders’ Award, the USEF Equestrian of Honor Norman Dunn Award, and the National Horseman’s Castleman Award, and the Farm has been the recipient of the ASHA Breeder of the Year Award.

If elected to the Board, Joan would like to develop and expand breeding programs, as well as futurity participation, in an effort to increase foal registrations and ensure a positive future for the American Saddlebred.


David Mount, Simpsonville, KY* 

David Mount, along with his wife Kelly, has been an owner, breeder and exhibitor of American Saddlebreds since 1998. He is the current President of the Rock Creek Riding Club, and has served as Chair of the Rock Creek Horse Show since 2008. David was elected to the ASHA Board of Directors in 2013 and is currently serving as Treasurer of the ASHA, Chair of the ASHA Audit and Finance Committees, and a member of the American Saddlebred Registry Board and Finance Committee, and the WCHS Advisory Committee. David co-founded the Reins of Recovery program in 2016 in partnership with the Veterans Administration, an equine-assisted psychotherapy program that utilizes Saddlebreds.

David has a BA in Finance from the University of Kentucky and a MBA from the University of Louisville. He has been involved as an owner-operator of multiple start-up companies and charities, primarily in the retail sector, and is currently working in the real estate sector.

If re-elected to the ASHA Board, David would like to effectively promote the breed to key audiences in an effort to expand the breed and to effectively protect the breed from external threats by being proactive on breed improvements and other issues.  He is also interested in improving organizational efficiencies at the ASHA.


Evan Orr, Greensboro, NC

Evan Orr has been involved with Saddlebreds since he was a boy in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from William Woods University in 2001, where he received a strong foundation under the tutelage of Ms. Gayle Lampe. He apprenticed for a number of training/breeding/instruction facilities, including Bob Brison, Martin Teater, Peter and Kim Cowart, Tom Bombolis, and Cash Lovell. In 2008, Evan and his wife Mary started High Caliber Stables with about 50 horses in training, 25 school horses and hundreds of riding lessons each week.

Evan is one of the founders of the Mid-Atlantic Saddlebred event held for the past three years at High Caliber Stables to showcase the breed for prospective buyers, and to kick off the show season in the Carolinas. He takes pride in his ability to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues, veterinary professionals, farriers, and employees.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Evan wants to increase the number of horses and participants and help the ASHA evolve to meet the challenges facing our breed and the equine industry. He feels that he is uniquely equipped to help in light of his business background, his strong passion for the breed, and his practical way of dealing with people to produce the best possible outcomes.


Susan Shepherd, Paris, KY* 

Susan Shepherd has been an owner, breeder, and exhibitor of American Saddlebreds for over 40 years. She previously served on the board of the Southeastern Charity Horse Show in Atlanta. Susan is a member of the ASHA’s Media/Publications Committee, and she was elected to the Board of the ASHA in 2013.

Susan is a graduate of Oglethorpe University with a degree in Business Administration and minor in Psychology. She was the Sales Director for McGraw-Hill for 19 years and is currently working as the Strategic Account Director for Hanley Wood Media, LLC, managing a $4mm sales territory. She is interested in promotion, expanding the awareness of the versatility of the breed, developing and supporting lesson programs, and promoting breeding.

If re-elected to the ASHA Board, Susan would like the ASHA to become financially independent and focus on public awareness of the breed by providing services and education to its members, including youth programs. She believes the ASHA should recognize youth who not only show but also demonstrate their ability to be involved with, and care for, the horse. Susan is interested in helping children less fortunate to become involved with our breed, and also improving the WCHS and helping maintain a middle market for our breed.


Dr. Owen Weaver, Roanoke, VA

Owen and her family own and operate Fox Grape Farm, where they breed, raise and show Saddlebreds at a high level. They stand two stallions and breed about 10 of their own mares each year. The Farm has been a consistent participant in Futurity and Sweepstakes programs.

Owen has served on the Horse Show Committees for both the Dallas and Roanoke Valley horse shows. She has served as President of the UPHA Associate Membership, as well as Vice President of the Saddlebred Museum Board. Owen traveled to Maryland in early September of this year to participate as part of the delegation from the ASHA/UPHA/AHHS to make remarks to the USDA regarding the proposed changes in the Horse Protection Act. She has participated in a variety of breeds and disciplines and is passionate about her horses and causes.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Owen would like to grow the grassroots of the breed and educate the equine world and the general public about the Saddlebred. She feels that education and positive exposure is key to our growth and success. Owen believes that we need to unite ourselves from within, as well as with other disciplines to bring understanding and validation to our business.

ASHA Board of Directors voting is open to all 2016 ASHA Life, Contributing, Senior, and Charter Club Affiliate members over the age of 18. Members may vote online for up to five candidates by logging in with their ASHA credentials. Complete biographies for each candidate are available for review at the online site. Online voting will be open until WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016.


For further information contact:
Bill Whitley
ASHA Executive Director
4083 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511

*On November 1, 2016 ASHA sent out an email that incorrectly stated that David Mount and Susan Shepherd were completing their second terms on the ASHA Board of Directors and were not up for re-election. Mount and Shepherd are completing their first terms as of 2016, therefore eligible for re-election for the 2017 ASHA Board of Directors. 

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