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LEXINGTON, KY – March 18, 2024 – The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA) has given the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) notice to terminate its 1995 agreement with the KSFB to provide support to the World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS). The termination notice was hand delivered to the KSFB on Friday, March 15.

The KSFB decision to drop the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and choose another governing body for the WCHS has put ASHBA in the untenable position of violating its Affiliate Agreement with USEF, as well as in conflict with its own Prize Program rules. Further, the KSFB agreement was outdated and has for many years failed to provide the Saddlebred industry with critical input into the decision-making process and operations of the WCHS.

Section 2.14 of the Affiliate Agreement states that ASHBA, “refrain from affiliating with or recognizing any national organization for the breed and disciplines USEF governs, other than the ones recognized by USEF as a Recognized Affiliate, unless an agreement with USEF is reached concerning the scope of said affiliation.”

Additionally, all Prize Program participants must sign nomination forms that state that they are subscribing to the rules of USEF, in addition to being subject to USEF judging specifications, USEF drug testing and classes being held at a show recognized by USEF.

As a result of the above, ASHBA is requesting that the KSFB reinstate USEF as the governing body of the WCHS. If this does not happen at the KSFB’s regularly scheduled board meeting on March 28, ASHBA will be forced to relocate its Prize Programs for 2024, and puts in jeopardy ASHBA’s ability to:

  • Count qualifying classes for the WCHS

  • Award any points towards the Saddlebred Record (CH program), Broodmare Hall of Fame, or any High Point awards

  • Recognize or record the results of the show

Late Friday afternoon, the KSFB provided written answers to the 105 questions submitted on behalf of ASHBA membership at the WCHS town hall on March 7. The answers can be found HERE. Also the KSFB provided the USEF compliance report from the 2023 WCHS, complete with photos. The compliance report can be found HERE.

ASHBA strongly desires to continue its mutually beneficial relationship with the KSFB and the WCHS. We look forward to productive discussions with the KSFB and hope for a mutually agreeable resolution.

As always, ASHBA remains committed to its membership and the breed we love. We will continue to provide updates on this evolving situation. We encourage our members to continue to communicate their concerns with the KSFB.