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ASHBA Annual Convention and Youth Conference

A “Legendary” 2023 Convention Recap 


Words cannot express the gratitude I have for those that attended and those that worked behind the scenes to put on the 2023 ASHBA Annual Convention and Youth Conference. It was truly a “legendary” convention that celebrated all things American Saddlebred. A special thank you to Emily Lee, who chaired the Convention Planning Committee, along with our dedicated committee members, board, volunteers and staff. Also, a thank you to our presenting sponsor Sandy Gallagher, along with all of our other sponsors and donors. The convention would not have been possible without your support! 
The convention kicked off Thursday evening with the Half Saddlebred Futurity Auction at Hollow Haven Farm in Versailles, where 47 stallions were auctioned off to help fund the Half Saddlebred Futurity in September. Thank you to Lynda and Andy Freseth for hosting the auction!
On Friday, committee meetings and forums were held at the host hotel, highlighted by an informative Breeders Forum led by Kristen Bagdasarian, Amy Dix Rock, Emily Lee, Todd Graham, Jenny Taylor and Judy Werner. The University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center also gave an update on the ongoing lordosis research project.
Also on Friday, new board members were elected, along with new officers for 2023. Congratulations to new board members Smith Lilly and Juliette Dell, along with new officers Allen Bosworth (president), Joan Todd (vice president), Rachel Seifert (treasurer and president elect) and Clif Paulsen (secretary). .
On Friday night, we went to the Round Barn at the Red Mile, where we celebrated 21 of the 23 living riders of the Five Gaited World’s Grand Championship. From Bill Wise to Burt Honaker, we heard stories about their horses and their classes. Thank you to Bob Funkhouser who not only came up with the idea for the Legends of Saturday Night, but also emceed the event and did all of the research leading up to the event.
Watch the Saddlebred Legends Reception
On Saturday, both adults and our youth went on the Saddlebred Trail, where we stopped at Prospect Lane Farm, Grey Ridge Farm and Visser Stables and got to meet the World’s Grand Champions, Epoque Kiss NKF, The Crowd Went Nuts! and Soul Desire. We also got to meet WGC Top of the Mark, Senior Equitation Champion horse Jalapena Lena, WC CH Lovin’ Louie, National Champion Bi Mi Southern Kiss, and many others.
On Saturday Night, we were back at the host hotel for the Living Legends autograph book signing followed by our Awards Gala, where we celebrated our 13 major awards winners. Also, that night the youth had their own Youth Gala, with a DJ, food and games.
On Sunday, the youth went to the American Saddlebred Museum for the Youth Awards Brunch. Thank you to Elisabeth Goth for sponsoring the brunch and helping emcee the event and the American Saddlebred Museum for hosting the event. And congratulations to all of the youth awards winners!
Also, that morning we held a Ranch Horse Clinic at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. Thank you to Carol Jones for putting on the clinic and helping us write the Ranch Horse Division rules.
Watch the Ranch Horse Clinic
Thank you again to the 521 convention attendees, to all of our sponsors, and to the others that made the convention possible. See you at horse shows soon!? 

David Mount 

Executive Director/CEO