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What Matters? Working Together Matters.

This past week, the Board of Directors of the ASHA met for two days in Lexington, Kentucky. Also this past week, the Board of Directors of the American Saddlebred Registry (ASR) met for a day in Lexington, Kentucky.  Though there were separate Board meetings, they overlapped in the middle with some of the Board members of the ASHA attending part of the ASR meeting.  And some of the Board members of the ASR stuck around and attended part of the ASHA meeting.  There were other guests as well at the ASHA meeting as well.  The President of the UPHA in attendance.  The Executive Director of the American Saddlebred Museum was also in attendance.  Representatives from the World Championship Horse Show visited as well.  We had an interesting presentation concerning the genetics of the American Saddlebred from a professor at the University of Kentucky.

"We need each other and we need all of you."
Why all of the visitors to the ASHA Board meeting?  Why all of the cross pollination?  Well, it comes down to the advantages of cross pollination.  Cross pollination allows for diversity, but to be successful it relies on the existence of pollinators that travel from one organism to another.  So, we were cross pollinating.  We were sharing ideas.  We were sharing our concerns.  We were sharing solutions.  We were sharing our challenges.  We were brainstorming solutions.  We were celebrating successes.  None of our organizations can succeed unless the others are doing their important complementary parts.  We need each other and we need all of you.  We’ve spoken at length of our increasing cooperation with other breeds through the Joint Leadership Council and the National Affiliate Breeds of the USEF.  While we’re working with other breeds to address our needs, it would be wise for all of the organizations supporting our breed—the American Saddlebred—to stand together.  Indeed, it is true: United We Stand; Divided We Fall.
The ASHA, ASR, and American Saddlebred Museum are all distinct organizations.  However, we share DNA that all centers around supporting and promoting the American Saddlebred.  But we share more than just a common love for the breed.  We also share resources.  The ASHA and ASR live together in the same space and share personnel.  We do this so that we can help each other out; so we can complement each other when in need.  We share to take advantage of cost efficiencies and complementary missions.  The ASHA and ASR live together and we live in the same house as the American Saddlebred Museum.  In fact, the ASHA/ASR offices are right downstairs from the American Saddlebred Museum.  Once again, we’re different organizations but we share ideas and physical space and complementary missions. Without the others, each group could not exist. 

There are many issues facing our breed:  accessibility, affordability, distribution, participation.  These aren’t unique to our breed.  Equine activities across the board are suffering for many of the same reasons.  But we have to work together to address these difficult challenges.  One of the challenges shouldn’t be ourselves.  We need to cooperate to find the solutions.  Now is the time to work together.

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