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Saddlebred Summit Offers a Full Schedule of Activities


Lexington, Ky. ­– One of the highlights of the 2007 ASHA Annual Meeting & Youth Conference is the American Saddlebred Museum’s 2007 Exhibit Opening and Reception set for Friday, February 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Museum, located at the Kentucky Horse Park


The exhibit, Out of the Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History, will highlight a seemingly forgotten group of horsemen and the many contributions made by African Americans to Kentucky’s oldest native breed of horse, the American Saddlebred.  Black trainers, owners and caretakers from the late 1800’s through the 1970’s will be featured.


A film produced by the Museum, also titled Out of the Shadows, will be shown throughout the course of the exhibit, which will run through December 30, 2007.  Information about the exhibit and ticketing can be obtained by calling the Museum at (859) 259-2746 or online at or by e-mailing


Lee Downing Book Signing Set for Convention


Author of A Forgotten Horseman – A Son’s Weekend Memoir, Lee Downing will hold a book signing Saturday, February 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. during the ASHA convention at the Embassy Suites of Lexington, KY.  


Lee Downing’s father, Tom Downing was born in North Middletown, KY, once the hub of the Saddlebred industry.  Tom was one of the “Mighty Middletown Horsemen”, as his son, Lee, affectionately called the black trainers of that area. Lee’s novel, A Forgotten Horseman – A Son’s Weekend Memoir, was inspired by the real life events of a weekend spent with his father and other ‘forgotten horsemen’ at a horse show.  It is his story of how a boy became a man, and the life lessons he learned from time spent with a group of humble, hard-working horsemen. 


The cost of the book is $26.00 and is suitable for ages 14 and up.  For more information, contact the Museum at (859) 259-2746.


Freedman’s Grand Opening Less Than a Week Away


The Freedman Harness Grand Opening Celebration at its new Midway, KY boutique is Thursday, February 15 from 5 to 9 p.m.  Freedman’s will serve appetizers and wine, feature a giveaway, special discounts of up to 25 percent and offer a raffle.  The raffle presents a chance to win a newly designed work harness valued at $2,250 with the drawing to be held at the ASHA Annual Members Luncheon at the Embassy Suites of Lexington on Saturday, February 17 at noon.


Freedman Harness is located at 136 E. Main St. in Midway.  For more information, call (859) 846-9674 or visit  Also, for more information on Freedman’s, the ASHA Annual Meeting and Youth Conference, including registration forms, click here.

American Saddlebred Ball Will Cap Off ASHA Annual Meeting

The 2007 American Saddlebred Ball will once again cap off the ASHA Annual Meeting & Youth Conference with a celebration honoring some of the industry’s brightest stars.  Join the Association for one of the Saddlebred community’s biggest nights of the year on Saturday, February 17 at the
Keeneland Entertainment Center.  The American Saddlebred Ball and Annual Prize Giving begins with a cocktail hour from 7 to 8 p.m. followed immediately by the awards presentation.  Enjoy fine dining and dancing with musical entertainment provided the 18-piece ensemble, Swingtime Big Band.

Share in the excitement and glory as the spotlight shines on this year’s honorees: Jean McLean Davis, Charles R. Crabtree, Bill Becker, Sandy Lilly, Ross Drake, Donna Moore, William Munford, Julian B. Thomas, Cheryl Lutring, the Pettry/Fergusson Family, Callaway Hills Stables and youth award winners Emily Abbott and Kaelyn Donnelly.   

Tickets are going fast but are still available by contacting ASHA at
(859) 259-2742
Tickets will also be on sale while they last during the Saddlebred Summit at the Embassy Suites of Lexington, this Thursday through Saturday.  A special area for Saddlebred Ball seating arrangements and ticket pick up will be established this year. 
No one will be admitted to the Saddlebred Ball without a ticket.  In 2006, the Ball was a complete sell-out.

Members’ Luncheon; Gatlin and Green Honored

ASHA will honor its two most tenured staff members at the Annual Members’ Luncheon, Saturday, February 17 at
12 noon at the Embassy Suites.  The Association’s Dede Gatlin and the Registry’s Petra Green will be recognized as each has dedicated more than 20 years of service to the American Saddlebred Horse Association and Registry.


The Members’ Luncheon will also feature a presentation from the University of Kentucky Oral History Project and the UK Equine Initiative with Dean and Director of the UK College of Agriculture, M. Scott Smith, as the featured speaker.  Additionally, the Castleman Award will be presented and Freedman Harness will announce the winner of its raffle drawing for a work harness valued at $2,250.


Tickets for both the Members’ Luncheon and the Saddlebred Ball are included as part of the Annual Meeting & Youth Conference Registration Packages and can be purchased by contacting ASHA at (859) 259-2742.   



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