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Saddlebred Ambassadors Share the Breed with the NHS

By Michelle Krentz

The oldest indoor horse show in America, the National Horse Show has historically kicked off the winter social calendar in New York City when held in Madison Square Garden. In its 128th edition, the show was lured to Lexington, Ky., after 10 years in various locations, and sponsored by Alltech, also the sponsor of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Although the Saddlebred breed was not a part of this year’s roster, there were persistent rumors throughout the week that a Saddlebred division would return to the National Horse Show in 2012. The possible return of the Saddlebred division may be due in large part to the American Saddlebred breed booth located in the Alltech Arena in the high end corridor of furriers, jewelers, and antique dealers. The American Saddlebred Horse Association was the only breed association with a booth, and it was a fantastic promotional tool.

Throughout the week of the National Horse Show American Saddlebred ambassadors volunteered their time to work the booth. From Wednesday through Saturday volunteers including American Saddlebred Horse Association and American Saddlebred Registry Staff, as well as Saddlebred enthusiasts Terri Chancellor, Josie Forbes, Nelson Green, Brent and Jane Jacobs, Germaine Johnson, Julie Kaufman, Darryl Leifheit, Lesley Miles, Jean Mutrux, Foster Roberts, and Ethan Roetman spoke with the thousands of visitors to the show.

The booth volunteers passed out a wide array of promotional materials and answered questions and informed curious passersby. The greatest promotional tool the volunteers had however was the Equestrian Life free ride or drive coupons. People of all ages flocked to the booth to claim their free lessons, while the Equestrian Life videos played on a large television in the booth. Hundreds of free lesson coupons were given throughout the week, sparking a great flame of interest in the American Saddlebred. 

During Sunday’s performance, several top Saddle Seat Equitation Riders were invited to work at the booth. These riders included DeLovely ’s Abby Mutrux, Hunter Chancellor, Macey Miles, and Remi Adams, and Werk Way’s Brooke Jacobs. Just two weeks prior to the National Horse Show, Abby Mutrux was named the National Horse Show “Good Hands” National Champion, Abby also holds multiple world titles.  Hunter Chancellor, Macey Miles, and Remi Adams, and Brooke Jacobs all hold multiple world titles.

Not only did the enthusiastic girls do a wonderful job of working the booth, they were also announced during the show, listing some of their accomplishments. Abby Mutrux was honored by presenting the trophy to the ASPCA Maclay National Champion rider, Sarah Milliren. The Maclay finals are the hunters’ equivalent to our “Good Hands” finals. The girls did an especially good job of handing out the Equestrian Life programs free lesson coupons to nearly everyone walking by. They shared their love of their American Saddlebreds with everyone who stopped by the booth, surely helping the promotion of the breed in a big way!

The American Saddlebred industry is truly indebted to these wonderful ambassadors to our breed who donated their time and resources to promote the American Saddlebred, especially Darryl Leifheit, without him this booth would not have been possible. 

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