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ASHA Launches National Select Series for 2020 Season



The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is excited to announce the new ASHA National Select Series presented by State Line Tack for the 2020 show season. This program has been developed through years of hard work and thoughtfulness from ASHA’s Middle Market, Horse Show Task Force, and the new Saddlebreds Across America committees. ASHA National Select Series presented by State Line Tack’s mission is to encourage more people to show American Saddlebreds and strengthen the show horse market by providing classes where horses of the same relative level can compete against one another.

ASHA National Select Series has been completed and will be under the helpful guidance of the Saddlebreds Across America Committee. They will have regional representatives in each of the domestic ASHA Regions to help assist members and competitors with any questions. The “Saddlebreds Across America” committee represents ASHA membership efforts to expand the reach of the Saddlebred industry to under-represented geographical regions of the United States. The committee also strives to establish and support “middle-market” efforts, i.e., regional show series created for horses not necessarily intended for the highest levels of competition and increased opportunities for Saddlebreds in more disciplines. The ASHA National Select Series presented by State Line Tack is the first of many initiatives that this committee looks forward to developing for the benefit of the American Saddlebred.

“We’ve seen programs like the Carolina Summer Circuit and the Bluegrass Select Series have a strong interest, so the time is right to roll out the National Select Series,” said Saddlebreds Across America committee co-chair Bob Funkhouser. “From the very beginning, this has been about apples showing against apples, and we feel strongly this will help bring back a thriving middle market that has been absent for some time. “If the trainers will use this program, it will help their business, horse shows, and ultimately breeders who will have a market for those extremely usable horses that aren’t six figures.”

The ASHA is expanding a concept and increasing resources for similar programs we have seen draw significant interest from members. “I’m very excited about the new select series program. My Bluegrass Select Series program will roll into the new ASHA National Select Series presented by State Line Tack with the addition of new and exciting classes and prizes,” said Saddlebred Across America committee member Melissa Moore. “This program will continue to promote those horses not showing at The World Championship Horses and give them prestige and recognition for being outstanding in their divisions!”

The series aims to offer all ASHA Regions the opportunity to bring more value and opportunities to their competitors and our ASHA members. We are proud to collaborate with State Line Tack to combine our shared mission to promote the equestrian life and expand the equine market with this program. The ASHA National Select Series will offer the opportunity for shows to designate current classes for the National Select Series or add specific classes for entries to compete. Throughout the year, each region will have qualifying shows that host these classes and designate one show as a Regional Championship. ASHA will provide the ribbons and trophies for regional championships and will work with presenting sponsor State Line Tack to offer other additional great giveaways and prizes for competitors.

Already we have had our first ASHA Region join the series. Region 4, consisting of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, have already signed up and designated their 2020 Regional Championship. ASHA is proud to offer a program that works to address a solution to the question that has been plaguing Region 4 trainer Sandra Currier and many others.

 “For several years, we as trainers have kept asking, “How do we include and grow our middle market?” said Sandra Currier. “It comes up over and over again at our UPHA meetings. When I explained the Select Series to the trainers and associates at the UPHA meeting held at the LASHA Spring Carnival Horse Show, everyone was enthusiastic. The first question was, “how do we start?“ We put together a committee of Candy Carlson, Barbe Smith, and John Brand, along with Tommy Benton representing the LASHA Horse Show, to set up our program. The committee is looking forward to having the structure and rules in place within the next week. The LASHA Fall Festival will be the host of our first-ever Southwest ASHA National Select Series Championship Show, to be held in November 2020. Thank you to the ASHA for sponsoring the trophies and ribbons for this new program!”

ASHA National Select Series classes will be held under regular USEF breed rules and specs. Owners will have to declare their horse as a Select Series horse to qualify for a Regional Championship. Owners must be an ASHA member to be eligible to participate in qualifying and regional championship classes. Horses that show at the World’s Championship Horse Show in the same calendar year as a Regional Championship will be ineligible to show at that Regional Championship. It is up to each region to determine how many qualifying classes are needed to qualify for the Regional Championship. More information is available on the Horse Declaration Form and ASHA National Select Series FAQ. If you are part of a show leadership team and would like to learn more about including the ASHA National Select Series presented by State Line Tack to your 2020 show, contact Patricia Edwards at competitions@asha.net today.

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