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Saddlebred Stars of Saddle Seat Equitation To Be Honored

Lexington, Kentucky - The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) convention will honor Saddlebred Stars of Saddle Seat Equitation in a unique setting on Friday evening, February 19.

The Lexington Country Club on historic Paris Pike will be the site of the Cocktail Buffet beginning at 6 PM Friday. The new event was made possible this year when ongoing construction of the newly expanded Saddlebred Showcase at the American Saddlebred Museum in the Kentucky Horse Park prevented the usual Museum reception that evening from being held.

The Saddlebred community and breeders have long felt that recognition was overdue for the many great horses who have taught young riders the finer points of Saddle Seat Equitation. The directors of the Association and Registry have discussed adding an equitation section to its important Saddlebred Record program, which recognizes Champions of the breed by affixing a permanent "CH" before the registered name upon a horse's earning sufficient levels of success in competition.

For equitation achievements, a horse will be honored by affixing a "CH-E" or similar designation in the Registry's permanent records. Details of performance tracking and levels of achievement required remain to be finalized.

In the interim, however, American Saddlebreds who have been mounts for the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown (the "Good Hands" National Horse Show Saddle Seat Event; the United States Equestrian Federation Saddle Seat Medal; the United Professional Horsemen's Association Challenge Cup) will be the first horses honored, at the reception February 19. These horses are:
Vanity's Sparkling Coin, rider Janice Christensen (1980, trainer Jane Bennett)
Glenview's Warlock, rider Jama Hedden (1982, trainer Lillian Shively)
Magic Marauder, rider Kate Harvey (1987, trainers Rob & Sarah Byers)
One Step Above, rider Catherine Schuessler (1988, trainer Lillian Shively)
Callaway's Will Gillen, rider Amanda Arrick (1994, trainer Lillian Shively)
CF First Light of Dawn, rider Sarah Thorsden (2001, trainers Scott & Carol Matton)
Amandari, rider Betty Cox (2003, trainer Lillian Shively)
Amandari, rider Brittany McGinnis (2007, trainer Lillian Shively)
Kiss of the Zodiac, rider Faye Wuesthofen (2009, trainer Lillian Shively)

The fabled Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy, dating back to the earliest of the medal finals, the United States Equestrian Federation Saddle Seat Medal, will be on display at the reception, along with other trophies, historic photos, and memorabilia, honoring these great horses and all equitation mounts. The Cocktail Buffet begins at 6 PM at the Lexington Country Club, and continues until 9 PM.

Tickets are now available at $40 per adult and $20 per youth, and can be purchased by calling ASHA at (859) 259-2742, or at the convention registration desk at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa in Lexington beginning Thursday, February 18.

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