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LEXINGTON, KY March 29, 2024 – Yesterday, March 28, the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) had a regularly scheduled meeting in which they agreed to review their February decision to switch the governance of the World's Championship Horse Show (WCHS) from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to the Equine Sports Council (ESC).

Ostensibly, this was to consider the decision and hear from the parties affected by this decision – the exhibitors, owners, trainers and sponsors who have supported the show for decades. Although 10 people spoke during a 40-minute open comment period, followed by a speech by a KSFB member which was not allowed rebuttal, it was apparent the decision to stay with the ESC already was made. There was no new vote taken as the issue was not put on the table again.

More than 60 people attended and were forced to stand around the board table as there was no accommodation for the large crowd they knew was coming.

So, where from here? That is the biggest and best question. Although ASHBA and our partners on the Joint Leadership Council -- the American Hackney Horse Society, the American Road Horse and Pony Association, and the United Professional Horsemen's Association had no knowledge nor participation in making this decision, we are now forced to deal with it.

We had an ASHBA Executive Leadership meeting last evening to discuss implications. We have a full ASHBA Board meeting on Monday, April 1. We are well aware of – and sensitive to –timing and ask for your patience as we work through the issues. As we have been doing, we will keep you informed as decisions are made.

Thank you for your on going support. You – and our beloved horses – are our reason for being.