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ASHA Will Be at National Academy Championship Finals for ASHA Alpha Classes Debut

Published Date: Oct 30, 2019

The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is on the road this week to debut our ASHA Alpha Classes at the National Academy Championship Horse Show this weekend in Murfreesboro, Tennessee . 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 give riders more experience before moving up to stronger competition.  The two classes offered this year are 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.  “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.

The entries of these ASHA Alpha Open English Pleasure classes will receive a commemorative leather halter from the ASHA, donated by Shelby Horse Supply and a custom riding suit from Marsha de Arriaga. The NACHS shares a massive thank you to Marsha Shepard, owner of Marsha De Arriaga, Shelbyville, TN for believing in this next level of show riding, and making this gracious donation.  

In addition to being on hand to support and present at the ASHA Alpha Classes, Alexandra Harper, ASHA Special Programs Manager will be speaking at the pep rally Friday evening. Harper will be presenting on all of our ASHA youth programs, benefits of being an ASHA member, and how to start a youth club.


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 is open to all breeds, but is a division strongly supported by American Saddlebred community. We are excited to be on hand this year to speak with the competitors and their families during the annual pep rally to celebrate their #asbdreams and share with them all of the awards and educational programs we have to offer ASHA Youth.  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.

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