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Good Hands Finals Awarded to Mane Event

The National Horse Show Association has awarded a three-year contract for the "Good Hands" Finals to be held at the Mid-America Mane Event Horse Show at the state fairgrounds in Springfield, IL. For eighty years, the Good Hands Finals was held at horse shows in the East – many years at Madison Square Garden in New York City and more recently at the Pennsylvania National show in Harrisburg.

Last year, the finals moved to Mane Event on a one-year contract. "We appreciate the National Horse Show board’s vote of confidence in giving us a three-year contract," said Joy Meierhans, manager of Mane Event, which this year will be October 21-24.

Good Hands is considered a premier national competition for saddle seat equitation riders. At Mane Event it joins the prestigious National Pleasure Equitation Olympics Finals, now in its sixth year at the central Illinois show.

With the finals being held at a Saddlebred show rather than the predominately hunter/jumper shows, stables with finals-qualified riders now can bring their entire show strings because Mane Event’s class schedule offers complete divisions for Saddlebred performance and pleasure horses, plus saddle seat and pleasure equitation, road horses and Hackney ponies.

The Good Hands Finals will be judged by Rob Byers of Simpsonville, KY, Jan Lukens of Ravena, NY and Barbe Smith of New Orleans, LA, as will all Mane Event classes. The show is produced by Mid-America Horse Show Association, one of the largest charter clubs of the American Saddlebred Horse Association.

With the Good Hands Finals located in the Midwest for the next three years, equitation riders and instructors may want their local shows to offer the qualifying class, which has a $35 fee. Contrary to expectation, the show doesn’t have to be affiliated with USEF or even have a USEF judge to host a Good Hands qualifying class. To receive an application to hold the class, contact the National Horse Show Association at 516/484-1865 or email

Mid-America Mane Event entry booklets will be ready in August. To request one, call Show Manager Joy A. Meierhans at 630/557-2575; email; or download it from

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