Skip to content

Good Hands Future Secured In Saddle Seat Industry



New Release from Mid America Horse Show Association

The future of the “Good Hands” equitation program has passed into saddle seat hands with Mid-America Horse Show Association assuming responsibility for the entire program from the National Horse Show, the hunter-jumper focused organization that has administered Good Hands from the early days of its Madison Square Garden show.

Established in 1939, Mid-America Horse Show Association is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization – one of the largest charter clubs of the American Saddlebred Horse Association, with more than 350 members.

As the first leg of the Saddle Seat Triple Crown, the Good Hands Finals has been held for the past six years at Mid-America’s Mane Event Show in October at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Starting now, not only the Finals but all of the qualifying classes leading up to the Finals will be part of a Good Hands program administered by Mid-America.  As in the past, riders will compete nationwide at shows throughout the season to qualify for the Good Hands Finals.  Class specs, judging criteria and finals procedures are detailed in the USEF Rule Book. 

 

Good Hands originated as the ASPCA Good Hands in 1929 at the prestigious Madison Square Garden horse show in New York City.  In 1941 it became the NHS Good Hands – under the National Horse Show, which has administered it until the present.  Originally, the National Horse Show included Saddlebred divisions, but evolved into a hunter/jumper competition of great national prominence.  After years at the Garden, the Good Hands Finals moved to the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and then to the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg.

According to Joy Meierhans, Mid-America’s show manager and long-time board member, “The effort to acquire the Good Hands Finals began in 2005 when it was at Harrisburg.  We had started Mane Event in 2003, and kept hearing people suggest that we try to acquire the Good Hands Finals.  We put together a proposal back then, but in essence nothing happened until 2009, when the National Horse Show allowed us to host the Finals for one year, probably to make sure we lived up to their standards.”

 “Two three-year hosting contracts followed, and I assume the NHS felt we would take good care of the Good Hands program, for when Mid-America Horse Show Association put together a second proposal they decided to turn the entire program over to us,” Meierhans continued.

The Good Hands Finals is the oldest saddle seat equitation finals in the country. When the finals moved to the more centrally located Mane Event Show participation grew by 78%, making Good Hands the largest of the “triple crown” finals. 

Last year, Mid-America brought together a Good Hands Finals Advisory Committee consisting of Cindy Boel, Kathy Boggs, Lynda Freseth, Scott Matton, Todd Miles, Erin Richie, Barbe Smith and Tom Thorpe.  This year’s Finals will return to the Mid-America Mane Event Show scheduled for October 22-25.

For information on holding a Good Hands qualifying class at a local show email admin@MidAmericaHorseShow.org or call 847/537-4743.  For information on Mid-America visit www.MidAmericaHorseShow.org.

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • A Blast From The Past

    Saddle Horse Report is pleased to bring you a series of past feature stories on some of the greats of our sport. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. Read More
  • Future Forum: The Up and Coming of Young Trainers

    Enjoy the first in a series on young trainers! Read More
  • Foals N Focus – Week Nine

    In this, our next to last week of the #foalsNfocus photo contest, the bar was really raised with several quality shots submitted. Once again, the “hope” of foals is what many in this country need with so much unrest... Read More
  • Dr. Scott Bennett Remembered

    Thursday, June 4th is a sad day in the American Saddlebred/Hackney/Morgan show world as Dr. Scott Bennett, a 2017 inductee into the World’s Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, lost his brave battle with cancer... Read More
  • Class of 2020 Yearbook

    Saddle Horse Report presents the Class of 2020 Yearbook. We are proud to feature some of the 2020 graduates who are and will be a major force in the show horse industry. We know their talent and perseverance will help carry them on to many successes ahead. Read More
  • Time to Nominate

    Do you know a UPHA member that should be acknowledged not only for their success in the show ring but also their contributions to UPHA and our industry? Nominate them for the 2020 UPHA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards by June 15, 2020. Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Data Points Are Telling

    When I get ready to leave the house for the day, I am checking the data points regarding the weather before I leave so I know what I need for the day.  Those data points are: What is the temperature? Is it raining or going to rain? Is there a strong wind? Is it humid? And so on.   Read More
  • Summer Dreams Reopens Show Season

    Katy Texas was the site of the first show back in business after the pandemic brought a sudden halt to all normal activities, including horse shows. May Chadick and her team at Vantage Point Stables did a great job of providing exhibitors a chance at normalcy with all of the safety protocols in place.  Read More
  • Ten Years Ago - Connecticut Morgan

    Plans for the 60th anniversary of the Connecticut Morgan Horse Show are on hold until next year. While we miss being there this week, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights from the 50th anniversary in 2010. Read More