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Letter to the Editor


(Editor’s Note: This letter was written in response to a letter printed in April 3, 2006 edition of Saddle Horse Report.)


Dear Editor,


All I can say, is Shirley [Parkinson] has hit the nail on the head! Gold Stars to her.


We need programs and/or a structure such as having to qualify for Louisville to boost up shows across the country, and we better get with it or we won't have any shows left. If we don't have any shows, what is the incentive to have pure bred, registered Saddlebreds? Our falling registration numbers are a direct result of our failing show system.


We are in a changing world and we better join them. We need to come up to speed with other breeds and offer full Western and Hunter divisions structured like other divisions where we have Open and Amateur divisions. You have to give a place the new exhibitor is comfortable with in order to get new owners/trainers/exhibitors to our shows. Once there they can have exposure to our Saddle Seat Divisions. And once you see a great show horse, who can resist? But if you don't get them in how can they ever get exposed?


We also in our breeding decisions better spend less effort in heads and necks and more in sound minds, sound, strong, good legged and good footed horses that can show like horses used to.


It is a shame horses showing one or two times in a year are elevated to "God" status while the solid campaigner and Goodwill Ambassador gets no credit and no place to show.


Thank you Shirley!


Louise Gilliland



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