ASHBA Board Spotlight Q & A with Anna Marie Knipp
Published Date: Apr 21, 2021
- Name: Anna Marie Knipp
- Location: Jefferson City, Missouri--farm address is in Ashland, Missouri
- How did you get your start with the American Saddlebred? My mother was a passionate life long horse enthusiast and started me riding on a horse counting cattle sitting in front of her on a saddle, later came a pony who couldn't catch up with the horses and just laid down. She started me with formal riding lessons with I was about 7 and enrolled me in the summer lesson program at Stephens College after a bad fall to gain confidence. Shirley Hardwicke who was the head of Equestrian Science at Stephens College encouraged her to let me show and purchase an American Saddlebred. Missouri is saddle horse country and we had seen them at all the local shows.
- What is your involvement in the American Saddlebred currently? Currently I show and breed American Saddlebreds at High Spirits Farm in Ashland, Missouri. After years of owning and showing we purchased a farm in the early 1980s and relocated it to the old Hardwick farm in Ashland which was the birthplace and early home of Tom Bass. Lots of history and it was a dream to live her after knowing the property well through Shirley Hardwicke and her husband.
- Why are you passionate about serving on the ASHBA board? I was appointed to the Registry Board in January 2020 and immediately became involved with the proposed merger with the ASHA. As information evolved, it became evident of how much could be accomplished by such a merger. To love these horses is to want the best for them and their breeders.
- What other industry boards &/or committees have you served before? American Hackney Horse Society President 3 years, American Hackney Horse Society Foundation Board member and President for several years in the 1990s, over 25 year involvement with UPHA Chapter 5 and its Horse Show, USEF Licensed Officials Committee members for several years.
- What is your vision for bettering the breed through serving on the ASHBA board? There are so many ways to help take the breed to higher levels. Immediately the Registry needs to improve its efficiency and service to breeders/owners/trainers/exhibitors. Prize money programs can be modernized and grow thru new approaches to colt owners/breeders and increased promotion of young horses as well as prize money incentives. With the merged organization tax status as a 501(c)3 not for profit there is a strong possibility of better fundraising. An overall approach to making the new merged association work better for all involved with the American Saddlebred. The sky is the limit and the enthusiasm is there for great things ahead.
- What committees/councils/initiatives at the ASHBA will you be or are you serving on as a board member? As Registry Council chair, that will be the primary focus but the interaction with the remainder of the ASHBA projects are close behind. The great thing about this merger is that every piece of the organization will work together and help in the overall success of the entirety.
- What are the top three challenges you believe the ASHBA Board should be working on? Definitely the service to the membership/breeders/members to aid in their ease of working with the ASBHA offices. Presenting a united and professional fundraising effort to benefit prize money programs, service to horse shows, marketing efforts, horse welfare activities, etc. Giving this breed for exposure it deserves through multimedia, hands on, and positive exposure through events and horse shows.
- What is one thing most people don’t know about you that you’d like to share? I am basically a shy and private person who has to be coerced to move outside my comfort zone.