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ASHBA Futurities, Sweepstakes, and Breeders Challenge Classes Move to the All American Horse Classic in Indianapolis for 2024


$250,000 in Added Money and World Champion Titles to be Awarded

LEXINGTON, KY [April 23, 2024] - The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA) announced today it will move its young horse prize programs—the National Futurity, National Amateur Futurity, Four-Year-Old Sweepstakes, and Breeders Challenge—to Indianapolis for 2024 in conjunction with the All American Horse Classic (AAHC) the second week of September.

In addition, the prize programs will award the most money ever in 2024. There will be $250,000 in added money distributed across the classes. Winners of these classes will be listed as World Champions in the official ASHBA Registry.

“We will honor the legacy and be thankful for the Kentucky State Fair hosting these programs in the past, which encourage the breeding of American Saddlebred horses. But we must also look boldly to the future in our mission to promote and protect this amazing breed,” said Allen Bosworth, ASHBA president.

 “The 2024 ASHBA Prize Programs payouts will be the largest ever, nearing a million dollars in total prize money,” said Smith Lilly, chairman of ASHBA’s Prize Programs Committee. “World Champions will be crowned in those classes. We’re excited for this new future.”

In making the move, the association preserves the integrity of prize program rules and traditions. The decision comes in response to the Kentucky State Fair Board's (KSFB) recent decision to depart from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) as the governing body for the World's Championship Horse Show (WCHS). This move ensures a level playing field for exhibitors and their young American Saddlebreds, while opening up opportunities for competitors to vie for enhanced payouts.

The decision of the Kentucky State Fair to disaffiliate from the USEF made it impossible to continue with these programs at the Kentucky State Fair show. ASHBA presented a compromise to the KSFB in early April that would have kept the classes at Louisville. However, the KSFB rejected the compromise, making a move necessary.

“The prize program rules are specific and consistent: they must be held under USEF rules and judging specifications at a USEF licensed competition utilizing USEF drug testing,” said David Mount, ASHBA executive director. “We really had no choice. But we are going to look at this as an opportunity to start something new and bigger and better than ever.”

The AAHC currently is scheduled for Sept. 10-14 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, but will be expanded at least one day to accommodate the larger class schedule. Show details will be shared soon.

“We are grateful to the AAHC and their outstanding management team for their willingness to work with us, and look forward to helping them provide all of our exhibitors a fantastic experience in Indianapolis,” said Smith Lilly.

ASHBA reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the welfare and future success of American Saddlebred horses and their dedicated breeders. By embracing change and championing progress, we embark on a journey to reshape the future of our beloved breed, ensuring a legacy that will endure for generations to come.