The American Saddlebred Horse Association has announced its support of the growth of the American Saddlebred industry and use of the breed at the National Academy Championship Horse Show by joining as a sponsor for next month’s event. A nearly 20-year tradition only continues to grow; this year’s NACHS is shaping up to be the best one yet. The 2018 National Academy Championships will be held on November 2-4 at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In 2017, it saw 975 entries from 18 states show at the NACHS, and this year there will be 5 new riding programs competing from across the eastern United States. The NACHS next month will have upwards of 20 states represented and near an estimated 1,000 entries. ASHA is excited to be participating this year as a sponsor, special presentation participant and hosting breed information activities during the show.
The NACHS is the brainchild of Joyce Webster of B & W Stables in Hartselle, Alabama. Webster saw a need and felt a calling to provide an introductory level national finals type competition that promoted the sport of showing and the Saddle Seat discipline. NACHS originated to fill that void in the industry as a three-judge, two-day show in Alabama. Through its 19 years, it has become a three day, three round and three-judge competition that offers equitation, pleasure and driving divisions based on a competitors age and experience. It is the only Academy show of its kind in the nation. In addition to providing a great opportunity for the competitors the NACHS raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital each year, donating almost $400,000 total over the past 19 years. The 2017 show alone raised $72,400 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The NACHS prides itself on the competitive opportunity as well as the great prize programs, educational experiences and fun environment it provides to the competitors and their families. It truly is a fun filled three-day event that everyone gets to be a part of. From the barn presentations, welcome dinners, ice cream socials and performance exhibitions to the scholarships, embroidered jackets, director’s chairs and new cut-back saddles that are up for grabs to the Junior and Senior level winners. For a full list and break down of the prizes offered to each division visit their prize list.
The NACHS is a stage open to every Academy rider that feels they are ready to be there. As they state, “the purpose of these classes is to create an enjoyable and affordable division for the beginning rider”. There is no preliminary qualification system to be eligible to compete at NACHS. Any Academy rider and lesson horse that meets their rule standards are welcome to compete. In addition, the NACHS strives to stay competitive by restricting the winners of each division to only be eligible to compete in that division up to their 2nd win. The winner of each division of any National Final cannot compete for more than two (2) years in that division. The NACHS strives to host the best academy riders in the country with hopes of preparing them for the next level.
ASHA values the mission of the NACHS and the importance of the division for the American Saddlebred breed and Saddle Seat industry. The Academy division is an introductory level of competitions for both riders and drivers. It fosters exhibitors working toward the goal of showing in regular performance classes or mastering their craft into the advanced level of the Academy circuit. It is open to all breeds, but is a division strongly supported by American Saddlebred community. ASHA supports the division through our Youth Academy Program and Academy Program Awards. The ASHA Academy Program is all inclusive allowing beginners to advanced students a way in which to participate. The academy programs also provide an important niche for many American Saddlebreds that need a job and can be put to good use as suitable lesson horses. ASHA awards medals to participants on a points-based system that is given for participation in Academy classes at all shows. Check out the ASHA’s Academy Program and Awards website for more information.
For all the information on the National Academy Championship Horse Show please visit the website.
-- via ASHA