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Swinging Saddlebred Ball Climaxes Convention

Lexington, Kentucky - Nearly 500 ASHA members, youth, and guests poured into the ballroom at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday night (February 14) to enjoy the 5th Annual Saddlebred Ball, topped by a series of emotional acceptances delivered by individual award winners. Standing ovations greeted several, including Earl Teater, Jr. and Ed Teater (representing Earl Teater and Sons, who were inducted into the Breeders Hall of Fame in a surprise announcement), and Lifetime Achievement honoree Don Harris with his beloved wife Judy. Mike Spencer, who received the Cronan Sportsmanship Award, recounted his first riding "lesson" from the legendary Helen Crabtree, in another highlight of the evening.

In matters of governance at the convention which preceded the evening’s festivities, three new members of the Association board of directors were elected through balloting by the membership: Betsy Boone of North Carolina, Germaine Johnson of Kentucky, and William Whitley of North Carolina. Re-elected as director for three-year terms were Louise Gilliland (Oklahoma), Nelson Green (Kentucky), and Jim Ruwoldt (Georgia). Leaving the board due to their terms having expired were Bill Blacklaw (Oregon), Mary Anne Cronan (Kentucky) and Kay Richardson (Illinois).

Elected as officers of the Association for one-year terms were Judith Werner (Illinois) as president, Vicki Gillenwater (Tennessee) as first vice president, Barbara Molland (California) as second vice president, Paul Treiber (Wisconsin) as secretary, and Ruwoldt as treasurer.

The American Saddlebred Registry board of directors was expanded to 11 members (from nine) as the result of a change in the bylaws. Those elected for one-year terms were Cronan, Lisa Duncan (Kentucky), Chuck Herbert (Indiana), Gilliland, Margaret McNeese (Texas), Molland, Brian Reimer (Georgia), Jimmy Robertson (Kentucky), Robert Ruxer (Indiana), Werner, and Art Zubrod (Kentucky). This board will have its organizational meeting to elect officers in the near future.

At the Association’s formal Annual Meeting Saturday afternoon, per the procedures set out in the bylaws, nominations were made for candidates for the Nominating Committee to select directors to stand for election to the board beginning in February 2010. Members who voted in person or by proxy elected Nancy Boone (North Carolina) and Shirley Trail (West Virginia) from the membership; directors elected Molland and Zubrod to the Nominating Committee and the president will appoint the chair in accordance with the bylaws.

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