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Friday Night Gala to Honor Blackberry Delight

Louisville, Kentucky - At the Kentucky State Fair’s World’s Championship Horse Show, on Friday evening, August 22, CH Blackberry Delight will formally retire from competition, an honor reserved for only the most special American Saddlebreds. And is he special! From the year he was foaled, 1993, he’s been a winner and champion in hand, under saddle, and in harness. He owns 17 World’s Championship titles in 7 different competition sections, having amassed an astounding 134 Saddlebred Record points from 107 wins in 123 career classes.

Following the show that evening, his owners Shannon Sewell and Rachel Machamer, and the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA), invite all his friends and all exhibitors to attend a gala event in his honor, as their guests, “Friday Night for Blackberry Delight.” This spectacular exhibitor party will be held in the popular new Saddlebred Café, located in the North Wing on the Kentucky State Fairgrounds, adjacent to Freedom Hall. A feast of delicious food and beverages, highlighted by several “Blackberry Delights,” as well as musical entertainment by the Chad Graham Band featuring Chad Graham and Gabe Deknatel, will greet partygoers. A cash bar will be available as well.

In addition, a new live auction of select offerings will top off the evening, to benefit the ASHA Youth, Scholarship, and Saddlebred promotional and educational programs. Included in the auction will be Kentucky Derby (2009) and Breeders Cup (2008) packages, an Alexa King bronze (Alexa having just been commissioned for the life-sized Barbaro memorial at Churchill Downs), along with one week at the sold out Mercer Springs Farm Adult Amateur/Owner/Trainer Camp in 2009, a week in a 400-year-old French Village House, an extended weekend on Park Avenue in New York City, a stay at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and a set of Fine Harness from Walsh, along with several other excellent offerings.

According to Alan F. Balch, ASHA executive secretary, “this is going to be a really fun new event, and so convenient for everyone since it’s right at Freedom Hall. It’s been a long, long time since the old days of big exhibitor parties at the World’s Championship Horse Show, and we have a feeling we’re going to start a fabulous new tradition this year, thanks to all the connections of Blackberry Delight and the assistance of the Kentucky State Fair. Shannon Sewell, Rachel Machamer, Lynda Freseth, and the Fair, are pulling out all the stops for the entire evening, including for his retirement ceremony in the ring earlier in the evening. We couldn’t be happier than to be honoring this exceptional Saddlebred.”

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