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F.A.S.H. Spring Horse Show

by Linda Hagan Kvanbeck


ST. PAUL, Minn. - The American Saddlebred Horse couldn’t find more enthusiastic or creative friends than the show committee for the F.A.S.H. Spring Horse Show, held May 10–13 at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, St. Paul. After many years of non-rated shows, Friends of the American Saddle Horse, Inc. put on their first USEF “A” rated show last year then surveyed exhibitors for suggestions on how to become “bigger and better.” They also included Morgan exhibitors VeeAnn Wood and Robin Becklin as show committee advisors on how to grow the Morgan numbers. Judy Jensen and Todd Perkins provided insight into growing the Saddlebred and pony numbers.


The result was that F.A.S.H. 2007 show shot through the in gate with one more day for additional classes, a better schedule for trainers and exhibitors, a new “A” division for Friesians, increased paybacks and $500 added money to the UPHA Classics. Some of the stables and owners included Royal Scot, Valiant Stables, Jay Wood, Northern Tradition, Bob Jensen, Romy Ackerberg, Indigo Acres, Arcola Farm, Hardwood Creek, Bob Jorgensen, CornerStone, Flying E, Centre Pointe, LVG, Stonewall Farm, Obenauf Stables, Landmark Farms, Aerie Meadows, Bert Lear, North Star Stables, Susan Ellis and Toni Nastali.


The show committee promoted the new and improved F.A.S.H. with an attractive direct mail marketing package that included an innovative DVD with highlights from last year’s show along with the prize list and letter from President/Show Manager Stephanie Peterson. “Show people could see their friends or themselves on the DVD, getting a good sense of the fun, excitement and quality of competition in 2006,” said Peterson. “Our show committee wanted to make F.A.S.H. a great experience for our newcomers, as well as our faithful exhibitors through the years when we weren’t “A” rated. Our goal is to produce one of the finest multi-breed shows in the Midwest.”


Exhibitors liked what they saw and supported F.A.S.H. with 223 horses in 155 classes, a big increase from 178 horses shown in 2006. Judges for the Saddlebreds, exhibition classes and Saddle Seat equitation were Nancy Troutman, Salem, Va., Nancy McConnell, Versailles, Ky., and Tammy Devore, Sonora, Ky. Troutman placed the Morgans and Friesians, while Devore sorted the Hackney, harness pony and academy classes. Show announcer was Guy Warner, steward was Lloyd Landkamer, ringmaster was Joe Manshak, organist was Bill Salvadori and farrier was Rob Talley. Photographers were Terry Young and Courtney Church, with Equine In Motion as the videographer.


“We want every person at F.A.S.H., whether he or she is an exhibitor, trainer, spectator, judge, announcer, vendor, photographer or volunteer, to leave the beautiful fair grounds thinking they had a great time and were treated special,” said Peterson. “If we accomplish this, they will want to come back and will do our best marketing for us by telling their friends about the little things that make our show so appealing.”


For example, the “children” at F.A.S.H understood that their “mothers” could be somewhere else than a horse show on Mother’s Day, maybe on a beach or at the mall. So in deep appreciation and tenderness, every mother received a card from their horse child thanking them for taking them to the show and hanging ribbons on their stalls. Along with the card, all the “horsy” women – owners, trainers, grandmothers – received Thymes (a Minneapolis company) exquisite body wash and lotion, compliments of the show committee.


Trainers and staff were also treated with extra care with relaxation and fun included in the show schedule. Starting with set up on Tuesday evening, Flying E Stables treated them to pizza – but with a “fresh” twist. Instead of serving pizza at a specific time that might not fit trainers’ work schedules, the show committee took orders from trainers to deliver hot pizza when they were ready to take a break. What beats fresh pizza made the way you want it, when you want it! On Wednesday evening trainers and staff were again thanked for coming to the show with tasty food from Famous Dave’s Barbecue. And you know how your feet get oh so sore after a few days on concrete? Well not to worry at F.A.S.H. as trainers and grooms received Dr. Scholl’s inserts to quiet the barking dogs.


Every working stiff deserves a TGIF party, and since horse show people are the hardest working of all, the Minnesota Saddlebred Horse Association hosted the Friday night event. Saturday evening was a tasteful celebration for the exhibitors with the annual Globe Trotting Progressive Party fueled by cuisine from all over the world. Lana, Daryl and Larry Gilpin of LVG Stables sponsored the door prizes. The customers of Bob Jensen Stables provided plenty of atmosphere with lively music and great decorations.


In addition to hospitality, the show promoted youth education by hosting the Archie Award, a $1,000 Youth Scholarship for qualifying youth ages 14 – 17. Samantha and Patrick Conlin donated the scholarship in honor of their American Saddlebred, Tantarra’s Battle Of Kings, aka “Archie,” who is Sam’s first show horse competing successfully in the pleasure division. To be eligible, youth must be a Minnesota resident and show a Saddlebred in a youth pleasure class at the show. All of the names of the exhibitors were entered in a drawing that was held on Saturday night. Coordinated by March Eickholt, the random selection was used because Samantha and Patrick believe that more than winning ribbons, youth can be recognized for working hard to earn the privilege of riding and showing. The delighted winner was Kai Erickson riding Maggie Verver, owned by Lyle and Colleen Wick.


F.A.S.H. organizers hope you will put their fine show on your schedule next year: “Try us; you’ll like us!”


Complete results can be found by clicking here and here for Morgans.


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