American Saddlebred Versatility Association

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News 'n Views

VERSA - Pleased To Be a Sponsor

VERSA is happpy to support the 4th Annual Training Classic Horse Show.  Scheduled May 11th at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, the show includes Western Dressage,  Shatner Western Pleasure, ASB Hunter Classic and much more! Check it out if you have any interest is showing there or attending. Visit their website for more info.  

Saddlebreds at Iowa Horse Fair

 I took two Saddlebreds, Sophie and Sable, to the Iowa Horse Fair and exhibited both of them as Dressage mounts. My horses did wonderful and most of the "audience" was super supportive. I guess there was one lady that said something kind of goofy on FB however. She couldn't believe that someone would exhibit a Saddlebred in dressage.....The coordinator of the horse fair was annoyed at the lady's the end we managed to get a chuckle out of it. We have a lot of work to do in terms of educating the public, I guess.  Pictured here is Sable on the left and Sophie on the right. ~ Simat Whipp





News from the Saddlebred Rescue (SBR) Treasures at Changing Leads Farm, NJ

     At the 2017 Woodedge Annual Awards Banquet, Natalie Parker and Theadorable (SBR McDuffy) were awarded the Medium Jumper (1.00 meters) Championship.  Kayla Cardis and Mr.J (SBR Big Brown) were 6th place in Low Jumper (0.85 meters) awards.  2017 was the first year for both horses jumping at this height.  The Woodedge unrated winter series ended with the February 11, 2018, show at the Dream Park.  Natalie and Theo were awarded the series Championship at 1.00 meters.  Kayla and Mr J were series Champions at 0.85 meters.  SADDLEBREDS CAN JUMP!

     Savannah’s Warrior (SBR Frito) has retired from jumping.  He is currently at Millstone Riding Club where he is teaching Alex Stewart to ride 5-gaited.  Frito is enjoying being loved and pampered by Alex.  Angie Cardis enjoys an occasional ride on Frito MRC.  ~ Angie Cardis, ASHA-NJ



The Mid-America Saddlebred Horse Club was proud to present top Saddlebreds in the 21st Annual Equifest of Kansas, February 23rd– 25th, 2018 at the Kansas Expo in Topeka.  This event attracted more than 13,000 people from across the United States! These horses displayed the versatility and athleticism of our breed through driving, western pleasure, 5-gaited and jumping/dressage.  The Mid-America Saddlebred Horse Club is a 501C3 Charter Club of the ASHA, whose primary goal is promoting our breed.  The club was also recognized as the 2017 Breed Ambassador by ASHA.  Mid-America Saddlebred Horse Club would like to give a huge “Thank You!” to the following donors who helped sponsor our participation in Equifest.

           Betty LaFrancis                                   Tracey Seals

Sarah Krueger                                    Linda Cozad                          

Courtney Morrill                                 Kathy Kedigh

Janet Thompson                                 Becky Yockey

Diana Ennis                                       Jan Harvey

Kristin Laufer                                       Jess & Marge Bain

Mary Zion  

Also, thank you to the following for bringing their beautiful horses!  Touchstone Farm: Greg Haston, Trainer, Michael Graham, Assistant Trainer,riders: Laura Logan/ “I Second The Motion”, Grace Linville/“Filbert”, Lily Callahan: rider/trainer,”Royal Crest’s Granite Permission” and her awesome parents Jeff & Judy Callahan, Justindeavor Stables Shaughnessy Morris: Trainer, owners: Mike & Carol Carlson, rider Rachel Kufeldt/”Ridgewood’s Birthday Party.

February 2018 - This Says It All - A Must Read!

            I am proud to be a Trainer of American Saddlebreds. This breed of horse can rack better, faster with more style than any other breed. The breed that can carry small children, pull a fine harness buggy, be the total pleasure horse plus show western, trail, jumping, hunt seat and dressage. The breed that can be so explosive looking on the rail in an equitation class and then turn around and execute a very precise pattern that it wows the hunter jumper people at Penn National (and yes, they said that to me first hand). The breed that is so smart, good thinking and brave that they are one of a hand full of breeds that are capable of pulling an Amish carriage. Now I know that no one likes that idea but when you look at what that says for our breed it speaks VOLUMES!! The breed that is kind enough to teach scads of beginner children and adults to ride.

            The breed that always draws a crowd of fans at shows like Devon back to the barns after a class to see the beautiful horse. (Yes, that happens to us a lot at Devon). The breed that is brave enough for trail riding, endurance riding and riding in parades. The breed that is versatile enough to be in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Japan, pull stagecoaches in the snow and sand, PLUS be show horses!! Name one breed that can do ALL of that.

            Yes, I am proud to be a trainer of American Saddlebreds, but the best part is, there are enough horses to do whatever you want to do with them. We do not have to give up the show horses to have other members of our breed do dressage! With Saddlebreds it should not be and either or - it SHOULD be they can take you anywhere you want to go. Five gaited show horses to Amish driving horses, from dressage to western, to trail horses. These horses that can learn whatever you can teach them remember Mr. Rhythm? If you do not want to show that's OK because somewhere out there is a Saddlebred PERFECT for our needs!

            You want to train your own horses, GREAT, need help JUST ASK someone who has the knowledge to help you, not someone who is judgmental and tells you negative things about Saddlebreds. The great part of the Saddlebreds is the show horses have their place and there are still many more quality Saddlebreds out there that are reasonably priced just waiting for you to give them a chance. The way I see it is, I do not have to give up what I like to do with Saddlebreds for YOU to do what you like to do with them. If we all stay positive the Saddlebred presence will be even stronger in the future!! DID I SAY HOW MUCH I LOVE SADDLEBREDS!!

                                                                                                                                                              ~ Nealia McCracken

                                                                                                                                                                Owner: North Wind Stables, Hardwick, NJ

December 6, 2017 - The American Endurance Ride Conference  (AERC) is thrilled to have the American Saddlebred represented in their breed recognition award program starting in 2018.  VERSA member Lisa Siderman will donate money to purchase awards to be presented at the AERC convention. The four awards will be embroidered blankets for High Endurance Mileage for Saddlebreds, High Mileage Limited Distance Saddlebreds, High Mileage Endurance for Half-Saddlebreds and High Mileage Limited Distance for Half Saddlebreds.  The American Saddlebred Endurance Recognition Award rewards "riders of Saddlebred and Half Saddlebred horses for their dedication to being on the trail and engaging other distance riders who might be candidates to buy Saddlebred horses".  VERSA's participation in this program was approved by the BOD in October of this year.  "To be eligible for the award the horse must be registered with the American Saddlebred Registry.....riders must be members in good standing of VERSA but need not be members of the ASHA".  Contact Lisa if you have any questions and visit the AERC website to learn more.  

November 30, 2017 - The American Saddlebred Horse Association and American Saddlebred Registry would like to congratulate registered American Saddlebred, New York City Slicker and owner/exhibitor, Jody Swimmer on placing in AA Intermediare I at the US Dressage Finals! “George” is the first American Saddlebred to place at this event.  ~ ASHA News

October 14, 2017 - "Following The Tail of Penny"  - My ASB mare, Radiant Roulette (aka Penny Pony), in her first season of endurance competing, just won the BC (Best Condition at finish) at the Mustang Memorial endurance ride last weekend.  She is amazing and thank you for letting me rag a little bit.  ~ Dodie Sable

October 11, 2017 - I would like to thank VERSA for their sponsorship of the American Saddlebred High Point Award for the 2017 WDAA World's event.  It was a joy for me, and on behalf of my horse to receive it.  We have been and continue to ride Western Dressage. Sadie is 10 years old and I've had her 3 1/2 years. I have a great coach who has helped me find the potential within this mare, she is an intelligent, athletic and agile horse who is one of my best teachers. Sadie is a great horse who I am very proud to ride and her character is deeply rooted in my heart.                               Sincerely , Jean-Pierre Michel 

September 23, 2017 - VERSA participated in the American Horse Council's Time to Ride program on September 23 at the National Equestrian Center in Lake St Louis Missouri. The event was affiliated with the St Louis National Charity Horse Show and volunteers from that Board helped to make this inaugural year of the event a smashing success. Leading the charge were Gina Vehige and Lucy Rangel, who have both been strong supporters of the American Saddlebred, including Saddle & Bridle qualifying classes in their horse shows across Missouri. VERSA was invited to participate with a booth and we set up where every parent and grandparent and child had to pass by to get to the petting area or to get to the gathering area for riding one of the horses brought to the event for that specific purpose. We talked to the over 300 children who arrived excited to Ride and we signed them up for a chance to win a Breyer horse of Imperator, for books and for two youth memberships to ASHA donated courtesy of Donna Smith. American Saddlebreds were well represented at the event with former VERSA board member Jean Mutrux presenting WC Absolute Empress over fences and Michele Spiegel and her students presenting the lovely pleasure mare Callie Ann to the delight of the crowds. ~ Janet Thomson

​There was a striking resemblance of this child who visited our booth to the child in the banner displayed!

September 9, 2017 - Continue to Follow THE TAIL OF PENNY 

​Sit back, relax and enjoy the latest story of Penny's progress as an endurance horse.  This is the link to her previous stories as related on one of our Spotlight pages.   And this is the website that describes her first 50 mile ride!  Enjoy!