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Penn Ohio Event - Bret Day Training Clinic

On Saturday, February 28, the Penn-Ohio Futurity offered an exceptional opportunity to learn training tips from a master horseman, Mr. Bret Day, of Grey Ridge Farm located in Versailles, Kentucky. The training clinic was held at the beautiful Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio. Bret is undoubtedly a leader in the Saddlebred community and is also known for his involvement in UPHA. Some of the grand horses Bret has trained include: WC Bono, WC Mahvelous Guy, WC Hallelujah Chorus, WC Go Big Blue and many other reserve world champions and national champions. Bret graciously gave of his time to the Penn Ohio Futurity and the participants weren’t disappointed. The clinic was open to anyone that wanted to watch and/or bring a horse for participation and the fee was a nominal $25. Typical February winds were blowing and the temperature in the 20’s was a deterrent to those that had intended on bringing horses. In spite of the weather conditions, Colleen Martin and Brenda Santenello were on the scene and ready to go with their horses. Several local training barns brought back-ups just in case there were "no shows" due to weather. All of the back-up horses were put to the task that day and special thanks goes to those barns for stepping-up to guarantee a successful day. They included Mary Waickman Stables, South Pointe Farm (Marcia Belcher), and Virtual Saddlebreds (Wendy Lewis). An extra special demonstration came from Wingate Farm owned by Ray and Barbara Blanton. Their entry was a cute grey horse that was being tested for the academy program with one of their lesson riders. This was a great off-the-farm trip for the team.

Some of the highlights from the clinic included Bret’s discussion about the need to keep a horse happy and liking his job. He emphasized that it is important for the horse to have fun, too. He was also very focused on the ideas of "less is more", letting the horse "tell you" his division, and focusing on his natural talents. Undoubtedly, everyone that attended came away with new knowledge. Thanks to Bret Day, the Penn Ohio officers and everyone that came out on that blustery day! The Penn Ohio will continue to invest time and resources in the promotion of the breeding, owning, training and showing of the American Saddlebred Horse. Like Bret said at the clinic, "The American Saddlebred Horse is the horse industry's best kept secret. We need to work so that more people know what an exceptional breed this is."

Another noteworthy item to mention is that the Penn Ohio Futurity is offering a new $250 Money Added Penn Ohio Alumni class to be offered at the 2009 Springfield Horse Show. The class specifications are as follows:

$250 Penn Ohio Alumni Class: Horses will be judged at the walk or animated walk, park trot and canter. Horses shall be judged 75% on performance, presence, quality and manners; 25% on total conformation. Entries may be shown with set tails. Tails may be braced or tied.

More information on eligibility and the Penn Ohio Futurity may be found at or by contacting Marcia Belcher at 330-421-4091.

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