At its meeting on July 31, the executive committee of the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) designated regional championship competitions throughout the United States for 2008.
The Mid-America Mane Event (Oct. 23-26, 2008) in Springfield, Ill., will replace the St. Louis Charity Horse Show as a regional championship in Region 5 in 2008.
Other shows designated as 2008 Regional Championships include the California Saddle Horse Futurity in Pomona, along with the Arizona Saddlebred Futurity in Scottsdale, the Northwest Saddlebred Association Fall Classic in Salem, Ore., the Wisconsin Futurity Horse Festival in Madison, the Kentucky Fall Classic in Lexington, the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh and the Southeastern Charity Horse Show in Conyers, Ga.
According to Alan F. Balch, executive secretary of the American Saddlebred Association, the number of applicants increased significantly this year. “We believe this is a result of more interest being generated in what is still a very new program. The executive committee really struggled with some of these decisions, since it’s difficult to choose between competitions that are of good quality and had enthusiastic proposals. But ultimately they decided to add a new competition in the Northeast and also select the new venue in Illinois. We want to encourage more shows to apply each year, and the decision for 2009 will be made in July of next year.”
Balch also noted that approval is pending for the State Fair of Texas in Dallas as a regional championship for Region 6/7 in 2008, contingent upon licensing by the United States Equestrian Federation, which is a requirement for consideration.