ASHBA Board Spotlight Q & A with Joan Todd
Published Date: Mar 23, 2021
Learn more about one of the leaders at the American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA). Follow us each week as we share these Q & A's with each member of our board of directors! You'll learn their history with the breed and how they want to make a positive difference for the American Saddlebred.
- Name: Joan Todd
- Location: Cincinnati OH
- How did you get started with the American Saddlebred? I grew up riding Morgans and Quarter Horses, because those were the breeds my sisters had. One day Mary Langdon put me on her daughter Kim’s equitation horse, Honest Injun, and once I felt that neck in front of me, and that big step, I was hooked! I rode at Hartmeyer’s as a child, Janie Ginther was my first instructor, and we are still friends, as I am with her daughters. I was blessed growing up to be surrounded by wonderful Saddlebred people, and horse people in general! I bought my first Saddlebred when I was in college, a 2-year-old named Copper Gentleman, by American Spirit. He lived to the ripe old age of 36!
- What is your involvement with the American Saddlebred currently? I’ve sold my farm and currently own two Saddlebreds – a beautiful gray gelding I raised and pleasure ride, and a gaited gelding I show. I also own a wonderful half-Saddlebred/half Dutch horse that I show in parade. I’m very happy to be involved in several Saddlebred organizations, most importantly the ASHBA.
- Why are you passionate about serving on the ASHBA board? I’ve loved this special breed since I was a child. As an industry, we are looking at adapting our business model to appeal to a broader audience, even as we preserve what is so unique and special about our breed.
- What other industry boards &/or committees have you served before? I’ve served ASHA as a committee member for more than two decades; I’ve been on the board of a state Saddlebred charter club, I’ve served on a university board, and I’ve served on several horse show committees.
- What is your vision for bettering the breed through serving on the ASHBA board? We are building a bigger tent for our Saddlebred community, and I very much want to contribute to that. I love a fire-breathing gaited horse as much as anyone, but we produce Saddlebreds that are suited to many diverse disciplines. I want to ensure that our breeders have robust markets for every colt they bring into the world – and that means the broader horse community needs to know what our wonderful breed has to offer!
- What committees/councils/initiatives at the ASHBA will be or are you serving on as board member? I am chairing the Communications Committee and the Half-Saddlebred Committee, and co-chairing the Marketing Committee with Allen Bosworth. I also serve on the ASHBA Rules and Standards Committee, as well as the Saddlebred Committee at USEF.
- What are the top three challenges you believe the ASHBA Board should be working on? Expanding our market; partnering with organizations that can bring more value to our breed and members; always looking for ways to serve our members better!
- What is one thing most people don’t know about you that you’d like to share? My body might not always cooperate with my ambitions, but I work hard to maintain my fitness and would love to spend time every day in the saddle! I do spend part of nearly every day with at least one of my horses.