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Letter To The Editor From Scarlett Mattson


To the Editor:


The proposed two-year-old three-gaited natural tail class split at Ky State Fair has created far more heated discussion than I ever would have imagined. Since I am in the middle of this controversy I would like to clarify some things concerning me that have been rumored.


Number 1 - That I came up with the idea of this class. Sorry but I didn't.


Number 2 - There was a tie vote of 4-4 in the advisory committee, and I broke the tie. Sorry about that too, but we do not vote in the advisory committee. They recommend things and if the recommendations will be beneficial to the exhibitor, trainer, and/or show and can be implemented it is done.


The concept for this class was presented to me in November before I left on vacation to Africa. Needless to say it was on my mind the entire time I was there. When I returned I knew what I was going to do. I then met with someone who I have the highest regard, admiration, and respect for, who is not in the horse business, but runs one of the most complex situations in the state and does it better than anyone I know. What he said to me made me look at the situation entirely differently. He told me I had to take my feelings and thoughts out of the equation and look at the big picture.


The Association thought this would help the breed and something needed to be done to help it. The Association only wanted two years to try this at the Ky State Fair. This isn't a very long time, and if you don't try something you will never know if it will work. In two years the split of this class will be reevaluated and acted upon accordingly.


I consider it an honor, privilege, and mostly a surprise to be manager of the World's Championship Horse Show. Those who know me know that I try to be fair and honest with everyone - exhibitor, trainer, groom, or spectator. I try to look at the whole picture and the effect it will have on all concerned before I make a decision for this horse show or any horse show I manage. I knew I was in a no-win situation with this decision no matter what I chose, but I felt that the Association should be given at least two years to try it. Whether it works remains to be seen.


The specs for this split are being drawn up and will be published as soon as they are finalized. I have had Saddlebreds all my life and have been going to the Ky State Fair before most of you knew what it was. I can safely say I care as much or more about the Saddlebred than anyone, and I have seen them decrease in popularity. I have my thoughts as to why, but am not going into that, but if having the split of this class will help I will give it the chance to be done.

Scarlett Mattson


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