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Awards Abound In Alabama

by Leeann Mione

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alabama (ASHAA) hosted their awards banquet and membership meeting Saturday, Jan. 24 at the Pine Tree Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. Nearly 130 people attended the event and were treated to a special evening of great food, numerous awards presentations and dancing to the music of Mr. Ray Newman.

The evening began with a social hour, which gave everyone the opportunity to catch up on holiday news and talk about the upcoming show season. An incredible buffet followed and despite the large number of attendees, the line for the food moved quickly, and compliments for the array of menu items were plentiful.

President of the ASHAA, Tim Henderson, welcomed guests and called the evening to order. After the invocation by junior exhibitor Brittany Fox, Henderson recognized the 2003 officers; first vice president Lori Feist, second vice president George Cline, corresponding secretary Julia Morrow and treasurer/recording secretary Carl Holden Jr.

The ASHAA had a very productive year in 2003 and that was confirmed by Henderson when he spoke to the group about some of the association’s accomplishments. The association’s membership increased 22% in 2003 to a total of 114 members. One of the early season highlights, the Mid South Spring Premier Horse Show, produced nearly $6,000 in revenue to ASHAA.

Other ASHAA accomplishments in 2003 included an informative clinic at Heathermoor Farm by well-known trainer Nealia McCracken. Also, corresponding secretary Julia Morrow put together a newsletter for association members.

Carl Holden Jr., took the floor to discuss the treasurer’s report, and he gave the association good news. Holden informed the large group that with the amount of revenue taken in from various sources including the Mid South Spring Premier and the increased membership, the association had a sizable cash balance to begin 2004. Holden also recognized the show manager of the Mid South Spring Premier Charles Byron and association president Tim Henderson for their hard work throughout 2003. Lori Feist was recognized for her hard work in planning the awards banquet and for staying within budget.

Officers were elected for 2004 for the association. Kayce Bell, from the nomination committee, took the votes and the following members were elected. Tim Henderson was reelected as president of ASHAA. Steva Austill was elected as first vice president, and Danielle Olasko was elected second vice president. Julia Morrow and Carl Holden Jr., were both reelected for 2004. Morrow will serve as corresponding secretary and Holden will again serve as recording secretary/treasurer. Two directors at large, Paula Lacey and George Cline, were also elected.

Lori Feist and Georgia and Carl Holden were also recognized for their hard work in planning the banquet which, for the first time, offered after dinner dancing and music with musician Ray Newman.

After the introductions and special mentions, Mark Farrar took over as the master of ceremonies for the remainder of the evening. Farrar announced the youth award winners who received their awards at the 2003 Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show, managed by Charles Byron. Caren Bailey received the Shively Show Saddle from World Champion Horse Equipment as the winner of the senior youth award. Junior winner Randi Duley received an English show bridle from World Champion Horse Equipment. Bailey shows under the direction of Tim Henderson Stables, and Duley shows from Stepping Stone Farm with Courtney Huguley. The youth were required to complete a resume´ that recorded their achievements in academics, extra curricular activities, community service, knowledge and promotion of the American Saddlebred, and a brief essay.

Farrar also announced that the ASHAA and the youth group will present "Louisville In Leeds" in Leeds, Ala., Feb. 7. Chris Reiser, trainer of 2002 and 2003 World's Grand Champion Three-Gaited An Heir About Her, will be the special guest.

Carl Holden Jr., and Alexis Braswell both received special recognition for their top three finishes at Louisville. Holden's mare Sue She competed in the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Futurity. Braswell and Supreme Lee were third in the Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited class.

One of the most anticipated events of the evening was the announcement and recognition of the ASHAA High Point Award winners. (See separate edit in this issue of the high point award winners.)

In addition to the high point awards, several other presentations were made. The American Saddlebred Horse Association State Pleasure Awards were presented in eight divisions. Each winner received a plaque to display. (See sidebar in this edit for the names of the state pleasure award winners.)

After the award presentations and general business, everyone was invited by Farrar to head to the dance floor and enjoy the music of Ray Newman.

The well attended event was an enjoyable evening. The big crowd had the chance to recognize the achievements of many of the ASHAA members, enjoy good food and good friends, and look forward to the upcoming 2004 show season.

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