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ASHBA Board Spotlight Q & A with Kim Skipton

Learn more about one of the leaders at the American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA). Follow us each week as we share these Q & A's with each member of our board of directors! You'll learn their history with the breed and how they want to make a positive difference for the American Saddlebred.

Name – Kim Skipton

Location - Lexington, KY

How did you get started with the American Saddlebred? When I was four, my parents took me for pony rides on Main Street in my hometown of Houston, TX.  I was obsessed with horses and wanted to ride more. My mother found a barn that taught saddle seat and she agreed to take me there for lessons because there was no jumping involved. 

What is your involvement with the American Saddlebred currently? Since the death of my partner George Knight in late 2018, I have owned and managed his former stable, now known as GKS LLC, with Walden Bullard as my trainer. We stand a breeding stallion, I own and breed 3 broodmares, and I have several prospects in training as well. The Lexington Riding Academy operates out of one of my barns and gives hundreds of lessons each month. 

Why are you passionate about serving on the ASHBA board? Like many, I have a lot of opinions on things that could be improved within our industry. I feel it’s not fair to complain on the sidelines without being involved. Change for the better can only happen when dedicated and concerned people step up to try to make those changes and improvements happen. 

What other industry boards &/or committees have you served before? I served as Treasurer of the ASR Board, on the ASR Finance, Committee Policies and Nominating Committees, as well as on the ASHA Ad-hoc Media/Publications and ASHA Journal Committees. I was Vice-Chair of the ASR Bylaws and Show Results/Programs Committees, and on The Foal Incentive Registration Committee. I was also on the Event Planning, Membership, and Collections/Exhibits Committees of the American Saddlebred Museum. 

What is your vision for bettering the breed through serving on the ASHBA board? I hope to encourage each and every breeder to nominate all of their foals to all of the prize program that ASHBA offers. After seeing the success of the riding program at my barn, I also want to stress the importance of riding programs across the country. Everyone showing today started out with a first riding lesson. 

What committees/councils/initiatives at the ASHBA will be or are you serving on as board member? I currently serve on the Registry Council, The Registry Rules Committee, the ASHBA Convention Planning Committee, and the Sweepstakes Committee. I am the Secretary of the Finance Committee, the Board Sponsor of the Audit/Internal Controls Committee and a Board Member-At-Large of VERSA (American Saddlebred Versatility Association). 

What are the top three challenges you believe the ASHBA Board should be working on? Finding alternative uses for those Saddlebreds that are not going to be successful in the show ring at a high level. Working with VERSA has been eye opening as there are so many Saddlebreds and half Saddlebreds already out there competing in a variety of disciplines other than saddle seat. We need to continue to increase prize money in our prize programs and at our horse shows to garner excitement and enthusiasm in breeders and owners. We need to register more horses and by addressing the above two challenges, we should see more owners willing to breed more horses. 

What is one thing most people don’t know about you that you’d like to share? I am a voracious reader, especially of all things related to Saddlebred history. I have read all of the more than 700 titles on my Kindle, and you will rarely find me when I am not reading at least two books at the same time.