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Meet the 2016 Board of Director Candidates Updated Biographies

Susan Aschenbrenner

Urbandale, Iowa

Susan has been involved with American Saddlebred Horses for almost 30 years.  Her current show ring partner is WCC CH Callaway’s Cumulus with whom she has won 2 World’s Champion of Championships, 4 World’s Championships, 5 National Championships and many other awards.   Susan and her husband John also own Dreamacres LLC, an American Saddlebred breeding farm in Cumming, Iowa.  She began her active interest in the Saddlebred community with the juvenile riding careers of their three children.

Susan currently serves on the American Saddlebred Registry Board of Directors, and the Charter Club Council and Pleasure Horse Committees through the ASHA.  She is also a long term Director of the Iowa Horse Shows Association and chaired the Des Moines Springfest Horse show for 18 years.

If elected to the Board, Susan plans to continue working to expand opportunities for promotion of the American Saddlebred through the development of more entry level horse show, expanding our marketing, and exploring opportunities for both non-traditional disciplines and our half Saddlebreds while also growing and developing our traditional Saddleseat base.

Susan graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood.  She earned a M.S. in Education from Drake University and taught both Kindergarten and preschool, where she served as school Director of Education.  She currently volunteers with United Way of Central Iowa as an advocate for early childhood education and health care.


Candida Covino Aversenti

Hellertown, PennsylvaniaCandida Covino Aversenti began showing American Saddlebreds in 1963 in equitation, then later in the three- and five-gaited divisions. Ms. Aversenti’s involvement with the breed has been a family endeavor with her parents, husband and children, and now as a grandmother to her granddaughter. She is a member of USEF, UPHA, AHHS, RHPA, KASPHA, and worked on the National Horse Show Committee. She is a current member of the ASHA Marketing Committee.

She attended Endicott College, Boston College, and the Paralegal Institute of New York City. Candida is the CEO and Chairman of the Board for General Magnaplate Corporation. Before this position, she was the assistant to director of Labor Relations at Standard Brands and the Director of Marketing For General Mangaplate Corporation. She has an extensive background in the corporate and financial world.

Her vision for the ASHA is getting more and more people interested in the American Saddlebred, specifically by reducing the costs of entry. She would like to find ways to get the public to watch American Saddlebred shows, therefore opening our pool and exposure to bring more people into the American Saddlebred business. She also hopes to promote the Select Series shows around the country, as well as novice horse shows, such as the Rock Creek Novice Horse Show.


Kristen Cater

Dunbarton, New Hampshire

Kristen, and her husband, David have developed Cater Stables into one of the largest training and lesson facilities in the Northeast. She has served as Chairman of UPHA Chapter 14, was on the Executive Committee of the 2011 UPHA National Convention in Boston and is on the Executive Committee of the Super Convention to be held in 2016. Kristen has been a part of every major project done at UPHA Chapter 14 since she has been a member, including the Symphony of Champions productions. She has also served on various other committees and projects, including the US Saddle Seat World Cup.

If elected to the ASHA Board of Directors, Kristen hopes to work on breed promotion to the outside world in all disciplines.


Cheryl Innis

Somers, Connecticut

Cheryl Innis has been involved with American Saddlebreds for 5o years, beginning with lessons and riding to showing. Cheryl graduated from Endicott College with a medical administration degree and worked for her family business before running her public training stable for 30 years that had a lesson program that also participated in academy. For 24 years she co-chaired and chaired the Connecticut Summer Classic Horse Show. She also chaired the UPHA Chapter 14 Spring Premier Horse Show in the 80s, as well as serving on many committees for Chapter 14, including the horse show, awards, scholarships, and executive board. For over 10 years she has been involved with the Chapter 14 Emergency Fund that has raised thousands of dollars to aid the chapter horsemen.

Having shown as an amateur for the entirety of her career while running a training stable, she is very aware of the concerns of both the people that own, show, and breed American Saddlebreds, but also the needs and problems that the professional horsemen face on a daily basis to try to promote and market the American Saddlebred, keep customers happy, and be able to stay in business in an industry that expenses and changes in the economy has made it very difficult. She is happy to serve the ASHA in any capacity.

If elected to the Board, Cheryl would really like to be involved in the marketing and youth areas of ASHA. Her vision for the ASHA is to make the American Saddlebred industry an industry that young people want to be involved with and to make it a viable way for individuals to make a living.


Holly Nichols

Metairie, Louisiana

Holly Nichols is an American Saddlebred owner, breeder, and amateur exhibitor, married to the well-known Saddlebred trainer James Nichols of Cascade Stables. She has served in various volunteer efforts for the Cascade Stables Youth Group, Friends of the Stables in Audubon Park, and the LASHA Charter Club. She has also served as a volunteer with the UPHA’s Pink Ribbon Program. She is a member of the USEF and the UPHA, and has participated in the Grand National Program.

Holly has significant experience in financial, organizational and communication skills. She has a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. She is currently serving as a Senior Banker, Executive Director for J.P.Morgan’s Private Bank, a position that she has held for the past ten years. Prior to joining J.P.Morgan, Holly worked as an advisor and brokerage manager in the financial industry since 1987. In the community, she has served as Finance Chairman for the Junior League of New Orleans.

If elected to the ASHA Board, Holly would be particularly interested in helping strengthen the mission of the growth of the American Saddlebred industry. She would like to use her financial expertise to aid the ASHA financial management, her communication and networking skills to aid in promoting, marketing, fund raising within the association and in the public. Her vision for the future of the ASHA is to continue as a leader and to expand members, charter clubs, and youth groups while maintaining an effective run organization and a growing endowment.

Holly has served on the Board of Directors for the past three years and is eligible for re-election to another term.


Clif Paulsen

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Clif Paulsen has been riding and exhibiting American Saddlebreds for over 35 years. He currently serves as the Chair of the Iowa Limited Breeders Stake, the Vice President of the Iowa Futurity, and is a member of the Iowa Fall Classic Horse Show Committee. Clif is the owner of Cedar Valley Veterinary Center and earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University.

Mr. Paulsen is wholly committed to the advancement of the breed, and believes that ASHA is the public voice and promoter of the breed, but he also believes that the primary role of the ASHA is to assist its members so that they may promote the breeding and exposition of American Saddlebreds. Clif is a valuable member of any leadership team he is a part of and passionate about the American Saddlebred breed.


Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes has been involved in the ASB industry for eight years as a supportive "horse show mom" to daughters Eleanor, Caroline and Katherine. She has volunteered both time and funds to multiple industry causes, including the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, the 2010 WEG, 2012 BreyerFest with Sprinkles, ASHA and UPHA Conventions, and numerous horse shows. She is a member of the USEF, the UPHA, and the AHHS.

Leslie has significant expertise in financial and communication skills. She holds a MD degree from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management. Her volunteer experience includes serving as the current Chair of the 7-member Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, overseeing a multi-million dollar athletic and academic budget. She has worked professionally as a marketing product manager for a large Texas bank holding company and as a physician.

Leslie prides herself in finding new solutions to old and existing problems. If elected to the ASHA Board, Leslie would be particularly interested in the promotion and marketing of the ASB; financial management and governance of the ASHA; and developing new youth programs. Her vision for the future of the ASHA is for growth, through designing strategies for retaining and increasing members. She foresees reaching out to new members through directed marketing and advertising, increasing community attendance and involvement in local shows, and new programs encouraging young people to continue their involvement beyond the junior exhibitor years.

Leslie has served on the Board of Directors for the past three years and is eligible for re-election to another term.


Shawn Stachowski

Mantua, Ohio

Shawn Stachowski has been actively involved in the American Saddlebred industry for the past 15 years. Her first time showing at the World’s Championship Horse Show was in 2002. Since then, she’s owned, bred, and has shown many World’s Champions. She participated and spoke on behalf of the Breeder’s Committee at the 2013 ASHA Convention. In addition to being a member of USEF and UPHA, Shawn is also a member of the Arabian Horse Association.

Shawn holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree from Seton Hall University, and has spent her entire life in the horse business. She and her husband, Jim own and operate Stachowski Farms Saddlebred Division where they breed, market, and train show horses. Shawn organizes all the breeding of inside and outside mares, as well as scheduling shipments, managing vet work, etc. for the farm.

If elected to the board, she is specifically interested in the promotion of the American Saddlebred through the promotion of Saddle Seat riding, the development of divisions and different disciplines, and helping to assist breeders to improve the quality of the horses they are producing.

Shawn’s vision for the ASHA is to broaden the American Saddlebred market through the expansion of divisions and disciplines with the purpose of being more inclusive for more types of horses and people while retaining the image of the ultimate American Saddlebred horse.


Austin Buddy Waggoner III

Shelbyville, Kentucky

Austin P. Waggoner II has been a horse show manager, announcer, trainer, judge, equine dentist, and breeding operation manager for 50 years. He has been the paddock manager at the World’s Championship Horse for 18 years, the UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show for 12 years, as well as many other shows.

He is on the development and budget committee of three boards. Mr. Waggoner would like to help streamline the licensed officials process and promote small one-day shows, in addition to promoting the futurities in all states. His vision for ASHA is to get more national coverage and attention to the many advantages of various disciplines for the American Saddlebreds to compete in.

His equine dentistry travels allows him to travel the country and hear the ideas of American Saddlebred owners, breeders, exhibitors, and trainers throughout America.

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