The American Saddlebred Horse Association has announced its hosting of the ASHA National Pleasure Equitation Finals at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show. Phase One and Phase Two of the Finals will take place on Thursday, September 26. ASHA will be sponsoring a $1,000 scholarship to this year’s winner and gifts to all of the remaining ASHA Finals competitors.
The ASHA National Pleasure Equitation Finals are integral in growing the sport of Equitation and the use of the American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse. For decades, the ASHA Finals have brought national recognition and scholarship monies to the exhibitors competing. Historically, the ASHA Finals were a part of the Illinois American Saddlebred Pleasure Horse Association Equitation Championship series at their National Championship Pleasure Horse Show and then migrated to become a feature of the Wisconsin Futurity. Recently, the ASHA Finals have found a new home at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show and has been strongly supported by the Saddle Seat Equitation community, averaging 16 entries annually since 2015.
In 2018, winner Haley Berget and her mount CH CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch bested a field of 17 entries to win the ASHA Finals. Berget also took home the top prize in the 2018 Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Senior National Finals in St. Louis. On the road to the Finals, Berget was working on solidifying her winning ways with her leased mount CH CH-EQ Brookhill’s Passion Punch. This team became a fan-favorite as they campaigned across the Midwest taking home top ribbons in pleasure equitation and finals qualifiers. Berget went on an undefeated run through the remainder of the 2018 season taking home the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown with victories in the NHS Good Hands, UPHA Senior Challenge Cup and USEF Saddle Seat Medal.
To qualify for this year’s ASHA Finals, competitors must have shown in a minimum of six Pleasure Equitation classes at three different shows throughout the 2018 season. Qualification period starts December 1 of the previous year. The ASHA Finals are open to equitation riders that have not reached their 18th birthday and are competing on horses registered with the American Saddlebred Registry or the Half American Saddlebred Registry of America. Horses must be shown with full mane and tail with natural carriage. The ASHA Finals will be judged in two phases with equal consideration on both rail work and a workout. All competitors will have the opportunity to execute the workout in phase two.
ASHA takes great pride in being able to support the Pleasure Equitation Division and looks forward to increasing their involvement now and in the future. The ASHA Finals will showcase the American Saddlebred versatility and be a tremendous incorporation to the already strong and wonderfully supported Pleasure Equitation Finals series that occurs every fall. Many of the riders in St. Louis will also compete later during the week in the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Equitation Medallion Finals.
Visit the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show website for more entry information.
-- via ASHA