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ASHA Convention Set to Kick Off

Lexington, Kentucky - The American Saddlebred Horse Association’s 2009 Convention begins Thursday, February 12, continuing through Saturday, February 14, with the radiant Saddlebred Ball serving as the grand finale.  All convention activities and the Ball are held at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa in Lexington, Kentucky. For complete details and events, please click here .

Thursday’s schedule includes a wide variety of committee meetings, and the day concludes with a Welcome Reception sponsored by the FEI & Emerging Disciplines Committee and Janet Thompson, in the Terrace Ballroom, from 5 PM to 9 PM Eastern Time.

On Friday, the Silent Auction, to benefit ASHA Youth Programs and Scholarships, will kick-off in the morning at 8 AM, concluding on Saturday evening at 7:30 PM, during the Saddlebred cocktail reception.

Most committee meetings are open, as are all seminars and forums. Friends of the Saddlebred wishing to attend only one day, or occasional meetings, are encouraged to do so at a daily fee of only $40. Committee members who are only attending on one day may register for just $25.  Luncheons and social events are $30 per person for each function. No daily registration fee is required if only the luncheon or social event is being attended.

The Annual Awards Luncheon, highlighted by year-end awards for Association programs, including Charter Clubs, FEI & Emerging Disciplines, and National Pleasure Horse Championships, is Friday from 11:30 AM to 1 PM Eastern Time. Saturday’s Annual Members luncheon, for which tickets are $30, follows the morning’s Open Members Forum, which is an excellent opportunity to meet with volunteer and staff leadership of the Association to review the progress of the last year, the state of the breed, governance, and official financial and statistical reports.

The Annual Meeting, following the Saturday luncheon, to conduct the Association’s corporate business, is open to all members, no registration required.

The climax of the convention is the glittering Saddlebred Ball on Saturday evening, during which the year’s most prestigious honors are being presented, topped by the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Don Harris, of Cox’s Creek, Kentucky.

Other awards are presented to the winner of the World’s Grand Championship Five-Gaited winner from 2008, Peter Cowart of North Carolina, and the first-ever recipient for the Breeder of the Horse of the Year, Dr. Alan R. Raun of Iowa; Breeder of the Year Mary Gaylord McClean, Golden Creek Farms, of Kentucky; induction to the Breeders Hall of Fame, C. Thomas Galbreath of Hilton Head, South Carolina; Meritorious Service Award, presented to Michele Macfarlane of California; Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award, to Misdee Wrigley Miller of Kentucky; C.J. Cronan Sportsmanship Award, to Mike Spencer of Kentucky; Jenkins International Award, to Brent Jacobs of Kentucky; and Ogletree Youth Award winner Ivy Johnson, of Kentucky. Other highlights of the evening will include a dual presentation of the Gillenwater Family Award to the Dix family of Kentucky and to the Lynn Harvey McNamara family of Connecticut; and the Wing Commander Medal, to Bill Wise of Kentucky, the Teater Family of Kentucky, and Minna Hankin Mintz of Pennsylvania.

Tickets to the Saddlebred Ball are available on a first-come basis while available, at $70 per person, and the evening’s events include special tribute videos to the honorees, and dancing to the 18-piece Swingtime Big Band from Northern Kentucky.

Starting tomorrow, Thursday, February 12, all tickets will be available at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa. Telephone orders are also accepted, while space is available, by calling ASHA at 859/259-2742.

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