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Letter to the Editor

We talk about wanting to promote our breed, to get the word out about how wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, versatile, etc., it is. We talk about all of the things that could be done if there was just more money available to be spent on promotion by the ASHA, UPHA, Charter Clubs, individuals or whomever. Well, sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.

The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington has around 900,000 visitors a year. Yes, I got the number right; and we can showcase our beloved Saddlebred in front of those people for free–we don’t even have to show up to do any of the work. Now, it doesn’t get any better than that.

While at the Kentucky Spring Premier Horse Show last year, I was approached by Todd Waronicki, Kentucky Horse Park Breeds Barn Manager, who told me that they had been trying for months to find a horse to represent the Saddlebred but had been unable to get one. He asked if I could help them. Feeling that it was unthinkable that the Saddlebred was not part of the Parade of Breeds at the park, I immediately sent them Cats Don’t Dance.

Cat had been living at home with me and I did miss him when he left, but what a wonderful summer job he had representing the Saddlebred and introducing our breed to all of those people. The Horse Park has a spot available for a Saddlebred this summer and we need to make sure that we take advantage of that and have a good one provided.

The Parade of Breeds performance is given twice a day in the Breeds Barn Arena. Each horse shows for about three minutes while the commentator explains to the crowd about that particular breed. Around 10 horses perform each time and then they all come in together for a grand finale after which the horses go over to the rail where the public can get a close up view, pet them and ask questions about the breed. Since about 23 breeds have representatives in the Breeds Barn, no horse goes more than once a day. All of the breeds are shown in native costume or show attire to music. It is very well done.

They had a big crowd every time I went over to see Cat perform and it made me realize how important it is to our breed to have a pretty, showy and well-mannered ambassador. I found that loaning Cat to the Kentucky Horse Park last year was a very positive experience. Joe and I were proud to have him there. He received good care, it helped promote our breed and Cat loved all of the attention. It was a win-win situation all the way around.

When you are in Kentucky won’t you try to allow time to run out to the park? You will be amazed at what you find as it is a truly remarkable place. Many times you will see three horse shows of different breeds and disciplines running at the same time. Little kids can do pony rides, you can go trail riding, watch the Parade of Breeds show, visit Cigar and Gypsy Supreme at the Hall of Champions, enjoy lunch and don’t forget to stop by the Saddlebred Museum for the new show, Children and Saddlebreds.

Do you have or know of a horse that could be loaned to the Horse Park for the summer that would make a good ambassador for our breed? If you have one would you please give me a call or send an email and tell me about the horse. I have been asked to help locate a horse for this year so if you have or know of a candidate please let me know so we can get things worked out. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to have a Saddlebred ambassador at the fabulous Kentucky Horse Park.

Sally Jackson
913- 515- 8883

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