Last weekend brought more than 1,000 entries to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and hundreds of American Saddlebreds to compete at the National Academy Championship Horse Show (NACHS).
An exciting new addition to the show was the American Saddlebred Horse Association Alpha Open English Pleasure Classes. The two classes offered this year were the ASHA Alpha Open English Pleasure WTC for riders 13 and under, and the ASHA Alpha Open English Pleasure WTC for rider 14 and over. The 2019 winners were Piper Hales, riding Roi Du Soleil for Elite Riding Academy of Arab, Alabama, in the 13 & under division, and Haley Bowland riding Kalarama's U.C.U.C. for Lenux Stables of Huntersville, North Carolina, in the 14 & over division. Each winner received a commemorative leather halter from the ASHA, donated by Shelby Horse Supply, and a custom riding suit from Marsha de Arriaga.
ASHA thanks Joyce Webster and the NACHS for allowing it to offer an opportunity like this to the competitors and supporters of their show. The ASHA sees great potential for the ASHA Alpha classes in the breed community. The ASHA looks forward to working with its regional affiliates to promote and offer these classes at more shows across the country.
This division is for riders that have either moved out of the Academy Division or are new riders entering show horse classes for the first time. These classes, unlike the novice or limit rider classes, will give riders two show seasons to compete at an entry-level of competition. This will provide riders with more experience before moving up to stronger competition.
“We are very excited to debut these new classes which will act as a bridge between academy and performance competitions,” says David Mount, interim executive director of ASHA.
-- via ASHA