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“Legends Of Saturday Night” to Highlight ASHA Convention

Have you ever wanted to hear the stories behind some of the most fabled horses and trainers in the Saddlebred industry? You can do just that when you attend the 2012 American Saddlebred Horse Association “Saddlebreds For All Ages” Convention, which will be held February 16-18 at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, KY.

At noon on Saturday be a part of the historic Legends Of Saturday Night Luncheon where nearly 20 trainers of World’s Grand Champion Five-Gaited legends will be center stage discussing what obstacles they overcame to win the most coveted title in the show horse industry. Of the 20 living trainers of Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champions we currently have commitments from the following: Lee Shipman, Bill Wise, Jack Nevitt, Ed Teater, Don Harris, Mitch Clark, Dave Becker, Bobby Gatlin, Redd Crabtree, Larry Hodge, Dena Lopez, Lynda Freseth, Todd Miles, Smith Lilly, Peter Cowart and Merrill Murray. We are waiting on confirmation from the remaining few. Never before has such an amazing group of horsemen and women been together to discuss the industry’s greatest horses.

Shiflet Photography is graciously putting together a 16 x 20 collage of the horses these 20 trainers readied for the roses. That one of a kind picture will be on display during the luncheon and auctioned off at the Gala that evening. All of the registered Youth participating at the Convention will be given a reprint poster of Legends Of Saturday Night. An autograph session will also be available following the luncheon.

A sellout is expected for the luncheon so you are encouraged to get your tickets today by contacting the ASHA office (859) 259-2742 or visiting the website (, go to Annual Convention. The deadline for the reduced room rate at the Marriott is January 31.

The Legends Of Saturday Night Luncheon is just one aspect of the weekend that promises to be educational and entertaining. Suzanne Bradshaw coined the term “Saddlebreds For All Ages” and a welcome reception with that theme will take place Thursday evening, February 16. This is an opportunity to meet the Board Of Directors and other ASHA members while enjoying video footage of the world’s most wonderful breed of horse.

In addition to committee meetings and the annual luncheon, which will recognize the ASHA Overall High Point Division winners, Sport Horse Year End Award winners, National Pleasure Horse Award winners and the Castleman Award recipient, Friday will feature the first set of Roundtable Forums. Meet some of the staff members that process the business of the registry and learn ways to enjoy Stress Free Registry Transactions. Lisa Duncan, Katriona Adams and others will be there to explain the processes and answer your questions.

Patricia Edwards, Smith Lilly, Bill Wise, Betsy Boone, Susan Harris and Darryl Leifheit will be the panelists for ASHA Prize Money Programs. Learn more about the Futurity and Sweepstakes as well as the High Point and Sport Horse Incentive Programs.

Jackie Hale will lead the discussion on Marketing With Technology. Learn what tools are at your fingertips that can help your business as well as what not to do. If you’re not up-to-date on these techniques, you and your business will be left behind.

If you’re involved in any part of a riding lesson program you won’t want to miss Ups and Downs. Georgia Morrison is going to share her knowledge of starting a program from scratch, while Parker Lovell will give the secrets of sustaining a large scale program and reaching the maximum number of potential clients. Scott Matton will explain the process of transitioning a riding lesson client into a show horse owner. This forum alone will be worth the price of registration!

Friday night we venture to the American Saddlebred Horse Museum where Tolley Graves and Kim Skipton have another magical evening awaiting us. The Museum will kick off its 50th year with a tribute exhibit entitled “Where Were You In ’62? Saddlebreds, the Museum & the Sixties”

Early Saturday morning we begin with three more forums. Jim Lowry, Nelson Green, Todd Miles and Fay Lowry will lead the discussion on Everything You Want To Know About Bits. Jim Lowry will discuss bits to start colts with, while Green will talk about different curb bits and their usage. Todd Miles will share the DeLovely secrets to keeping good mouths on large strings of amateur and junior exhibitors, followed by Fay Lowry explaining the different bits to be used in the ever-growing Western and Hunter divisions. Again, this forum will provide a wealth of information for everyone from the amateur/owner/trainer to the veteran horseman.

An Athlete Is An Athlete is another not-to-miss forum, as authorities in the fields of Dressage, Western Dressage, Western and Hunters, Driving and Distance will discuss what they are looking for in the American Saddlebred. Learn what traits make the American Saddlebred desirable in these non-traditional disciplines so you know how to market that horse that won’t be a gaited or walk-trot star. Paula Jo Briney, Julie Andrew, Kathie Dunn, Carol Jones, Tom Thorpe, Susan Vine, Darryl Leifheit, Sterling Graburn, Walt Healey, Lisa Siderman and Lida Pinkham will be there to give you that knowledge.

Hoping to help breeders, both large and small, optimize their dollar, Smart Breeding: Knowledge Of Your Bottom Line is the other Saturday morning Roundtable Forum. Tony Burton of the famed Three Chimneys farm, Dr. Ed Squire from the University of Kentucky and Hilary Whitaker of 3-T Farm will cover everything from pasture breeding to the dos and don’ts of transported semen. Learns from the experts how you can improve your bottom line.

Following these three power-packed forums will be the
ASHA members annual meeting. Reports from the Association and the Registry will be given in addition to regular business. The annual meeting will be followed by the Legends Of Saturday Night Luncheon to wrap up the day’s activities.

That evening we will gather in the Terrace Atrium for a wine tasting sponsored by Hawk and Horse Vineyards. The reception will also feature a silent auction to raise money for the ASHA Youth Scholarships. These activities will precede the star-studded Gala.

The Annual Gala will bring the weekend to a close in the ballroom of the Marriott Griffin Gate on Saturday evening. Dress up, enjoy great music, food and drink and help celebrate the distinguished award winners being honored that evening, in addition to a small auction of select items.

For the Youth, Germaine Johnson and her tireless committee have a full weekend slated, combining both education and fun. Year in and year out the programs for both the Youth and the Charter Clubs are highlights of the Convention. This year the Charter Club Council will present “Saddlebreds for all ages” and “Managing and Promoting Horse Shows,” both are inspirational and informative.

Following a successful UPHA National Convention, this should be another great gathering of owners, breeders and trainers, sharing their love and knowledge of the American Saddlebred and kicking off the 2012 season on a positive note.

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