2022 National Conference Leadership Updates & Award Presentations
Published Date: Jan 14, 2022
The American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA) extends our deepest gratitude to the members who attended the UPHA National Conference last week. It was a great week working together for the betterment of the breed and celebrating our wonderful members and horses. We offer on-demand our member sessions and award presentations for your review for those unable to attend.
ASHBA Leadership Updates
We are proud to announce that President-Elect Anna Marie Knipp officially accepted and started her duties as the 2022 ASHBA President during the conference. As an avid and experienced amateur competitor, breeder, and farm owner, ASHBA looks forward to having Knipp's leadership and perspective at the helm of our association.
With Knipp taking on the role of ASHBA Board President, her Registry Council Chair was also filled last week by the Board. ASHBA graciously accepted the nomination of two-term board member Kristen Bagdasarian and was passed with the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. Bagdasarian's dedication to the breeding of American Saddlebreds and active participation in ASHBA's breeding-focused committees will serve her well during her term as ASHBA Registry Council Chair.
ASHBA is also incredibly grateful for the board members and leaders who are ended their terms during the 2022 UPHA Conference. The service of Joe O'Brien as President and Candida Covino Aversenti (Candi), Kristen Cater, Todd Graham, Elisabeth Goth, Missy Hughes Smith, Marty Schaffel, Jenny Taylor as Board Members has been provided vital leadership to our association and the American Saddlebred during their years of dedication to ASHA, ASR, and now ASHBA. We look forward to continuing to benefit from their efforts and commitment through the ASHBA committees they will continue to serve in 2022.
ASHBA Annual Membership Meeting
ASHBA leadership made their 2021 Annual Report to membership and previewed the areas of focus for 2022. ASHBA Executive Director David Mount, President Joe O’Brien, Registrar Katriona Adams, Treasurer Chris Shubert and US Equestrian President Tom O’Mara all made presentations. The meeting was a fantastic opportunity to see all the initiatives accomplished in 2021 and how the ASHBA worked for our members in the past year and the better future for the breed we are working for in 2022.
ASHBA was thrilled to bring so many passionate and committed perspectives to the table to discuss how to build a better future for the breeding of American Saddlebreds. The conversation was led by ASHBA Board Members Todd Graham and Jenny Taylor. The panel also boasted Registrars Katriona Adams (ASHBA) and Erica Eulau (AMHA), ASHBA Executive Director David Mount, and Breeders and Trainers Kellie Budd, Select Show Horses, Elizabeth Ghareeb, Ghareeb Equine Investments, Kelly Kraegel, Cottonwood Creek Ranch, Iann Fu Longnecker, Dragonsmeade Farm, Joan Lurie, Willowbank Farm, and Donna Pettry-Smith, Skyline Stables.
ASHBA was proud to host this discussion focusing on the benefits to our breed's businesses and future with prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion! We were grateful to have had Rita Holmes-Bobo, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Robins Kaplan Law Firm, on hand to lead this introduction and discussion on how our community can better strive to meet our strategic goal of being more welcoming.
ASHBA Major Award Winner Video Presentations
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Wise, Danville, KY
- This award honors a person for his or her lifelong contributions to the Saddlebred industry, dedication to the improvement of the breed, and support of American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association.
- Breeders Hall of Fame – Scott Hagan (Hagan Saddlebreds), Louisville, KY
- This honor is bestowed upon a person(s) involved with a successful breeding operation that has made an impact on the American Saddlebred breed and industry.
- Wing Commander Medal
- Gail Kline, Louisville, KY
- John Conatser, Nicholasville, KY
- Nancy Trent Crump, Louisville, KY
- Individuals receive this honor for demonstrating outstanding service to ASHBA and the breed, and through their dedication, have attracted interest in the highest quality show horses of the breed, thereby contributing to advancing the popularity of American Saddlebreds to the public.
- Lurline Roth Sportsmanship Award – Tracy Garcia, Odessa, FL
- Recipients of this award are chosen for their sportsmanship and contributions to the breed. Such attributes considered are participation in ASHBA programs, support of ASHBA, and contributions to the ideals of ASHBA.
- C.J. Cronan Sportsmanship Award – Keith Kurz, Loveland, OH
- Recipients of this award are chosen for their sportsmanship and their contributions to the breed. Such attributes considered are participation in ASHBA programs, support of ASHBA, and contributions to the ideals of ASHBA.
- Paul and Dorothy Gillenwater Family Award – Allen Bosworth Family, Greenville, SC
- To be awarded by the Board of Directors in recognition of the American Saddlebred as the ideal family breed, with a suitable horse and competition division for participation by each member of a family. The honoree shall be recognized for its sportsmanship and dedication as an entire family to the advancement of Saddlebreds, as amateurs and purely for the love of sport, whether for recreation, competition, breeding, or otherwise.
- Meritorious Service Award – Scott Matton, Hartland, WI
- The Meritorious Service Award honors persons for their contributions to ASHBA on almost all levels over a long period of time.
- ASHBA Horse of the Year- 2021 & 2020 WGC HS Daydream’s Heads Up
ASHBA Luncheon Major Award Winner Presentations
- Breeder of the Year – Judy Werner (Red Wing Farm), Waterloo, IL
The ASHBA Breeder of the Year Award is an honor bestowed on our recipient for the superior performance their breeding program produced during this past competition year. This year's honoree, Judy Werner, contributes to our breed year after year through impacts from the breeding shed to boardrooms and every aspect of the industry in between. It is a privilege to celebrate our Breeder of the Year and the percentage of excellence in the show ring of the horses raised by this great servant of the American Saddlebred.
This year's recipient accomplished a feat rarely seen in the history of this award. The prodigy of the Redwing Farm breeding program boasted a 100 Percent placing percentage in 2021! With over 128 horses counting towards that percentage, it makes our honoree's accomplishment even more impressive. This year's success only pays homage to the overall quality every horse raised by Judy possesses.
A commitment to quality is synonymous with Judy Werner and her Red Wing Farm. From the beginning, when she was just a horse-crazy girl who fell in love with the American Saddlebred, Judy never cut corners and was always making the most of the horses she had. In 1975 Judy married her beloved soulmate and partner Roy Werner. Together they formed a formidable team that has made a far-reaching positive impact on the American Saddlebred for over 40 years.
Through Judy's influence and love for the breed, Redwing Farm shifted its focus from Polo Ponies to fine American Saddlebreds. From the beginning, young horses were at the heart of their success. Two years after they married, Roy made a purchase that would change their lives and the future of the American Saddlebred. Sultan's Dianna caught Judy's eye as a weanling, and that was all that was necessary. Roy purchased the sharp filly for her and surprised Judy with her at Christmas.
While that remarkable mare would develop into a fantastic five-gaited mare for Judy, the farm built an influential broodmare band and founded a breeding program that became Judy's passion. In 1980, they continued to expand their commitment to that passion when they purchased another remarkable weanling from Ruxer Farm, Radiant Sultan. Through their management of this stallion, they quickly solidified Redwing Farm as a top full-service American Saddlebred breeding farm.
When the time came for another stallion to step into the role of the standard-bearer of Redwing Farm, Judy Werner looked no further than the homebred son of her beloved Sultan's Dianna and Champion Caramac, World's Champion Designed. Designed was a horse that filled a unique role in Judy's life. He brought privileges many breeders, stallion owners and managers never get to experience. As her partner in the show ring, they won an Amateur Three-Gaited Under 2 World's Champion title. As a stallion manager, he provided a foundation for Redwing Farm's operations for over 20 years and, as a breeder, helped put Redwing Farm in the Breeders Hall of Fame in 2014.
It is only fitting that this remarkable stallion left Judy with one last gift before he crossed the rainbow bridge in the fall of 2021. In his lifetime, Designed under our honorees care and management sired 401 registered get, with 90 KSF ribbon winners who combined have taken home nearly 400 ribbons from the World's Championship Horse Show.
Of the 128 horses that counted toward Judy's 2021 ASHBA Breeder of the Year honor, nearly each was either sired by Designed or out of mares sired by the stallion. This star-studded group is led by champions such as Champion Kalarama's Double Di, champion Look Of Success, champion Designed For Success, champion Balenciaga, champion Alter Of The Sun, champion Ultimate Spitfire, champion Glenview's Excellante and champion Who, to name a few!
It is our privilege to honor this year's recipient, and her stallion for the success achieved this year and the life's work that made it possible. For all of her accomplishments as a breeder, leader and mentor, ASHBA is proud to present Judy Werner with the 2021 Breeder of the Year Award.
- Frank Ogletree Youth Award
- This award honors one youth each year who has exhibited a sportsmanlike attitude throughout his or her show career. Nominees must be active ASHBA Junior Members who have demonstrated participation and achievement within the show ring, exhibited positive personal characteristics, as well as having served as true role models for their peers.
- Alayna Applegate, Ewing, KY
The ASHA Frank Ogletree Youth Award goes to a youth who has exhibited a sportsman like attitude throughout his or her career. They must have demonstrated participation and achievement as well as having served as true role models for their peers.
Like many award winners before her our recipient has dedicated her young life to loving the American Saddlebred. What is most rare about this honoree joining the esteemed group of former winners, is how well rounded and dynamic her role in our industry has become at such a young age. We have had Ogletree Youth whose sportsmanship shined on our brightest stage, that gave all their free time to giving back through barn programs and breed promotion or that were dedicated Saddlebred youth that served and participated in association activities. This young lady does them all.
In the ring there have been few to achieve the success she has earned. Her dedication in and out of the saddle is something to be admired by any equestrian. Since taking her first victory lap in freedom hall in 2012, as a 7-year-old, this competitor has found herself returning nearly every year since. She is a talent horsewoman exhibiting her talents in every seat, with multiple breeds and as a mentor to young riders.
Her competitive accomplishments can only be complimented by her character. We are proud to recognize all the positive influence she has brought to our community in and out of the ring. It gives us great pleasure to recognize Alayna Applegate as an ASHBA Frank Ogletree Youth Award Winner.
- Kendall Kelledy, Temecula, CA
This honoree is an ASHBA Youth that is about as involved and dedicated to the breed and our association as one can be. From leading youth groups, volunteering, taking on projects to give back to the industry and becoming a young breeder of the American Saddlebred, our recipient is a young lady who truly has made our breed her life.
Our honoree is a well rounded person involved in many activities however her true passion will always be with her horses. She is avid who competitor who always strives for excellence showing multiple breeds and divisions. American Saddlebreds have not only foster her growth as a rider but have helped in her development as young woman who has the confidence to be a leader and role model to her peers. She is passionate about giving back and always willing to help others first and offer guidance to the young riders. Her dedication has brought increased participation in Charter Club Activities and been the driving force behind several ASHBA Youth Group's rapid growth on the west coast.
Her contributions to our association and the future of the American Saddlebred are something that are rare for someone of such a young age. We are honored to recognize the innovation and commitment she has brought to our community and her peers. It gives us great pleasure to recognize Kendall Kelledy as an ASHBA Frank Ogletree Youth Award Winner.
- Alayna Applegate, Ewing, KY
- Gordon Jenkins International Award – Leslie Jordan, Toluca Lake, CA
The Gordon Jenkins International Award recognizes members of the American Saddlebred community for their efforts and ability to reach an international audience to promote the breed. This year’s honoree has been a lifelong lover of the American Saddlebred. He quietly for many years has enjoyed taking lessons and being around our charismatic and beautiful partners. So when this year’s recipient star power shot into the stratosphere in 2020 it gave him a platform to shine a light on the American Saddlebred that was as good as gold.
His daily comedic relief and care for all creatures of the world drew millions of followers from all walks of life to the Instagram page of our honoree. When he was able to get back into the barn after covid restrictions has loosened he went back into the barn to be with his beloved American Saddlebred and brought the world with him. To date, this year’s honoree has reached over 10 million people with Share the Saddlebred exposure through his social media channels in the past year alone. He continues to grow his brand and the awareness of our breed one post and interview at a time.
He has become a global sweetheart to many that the world is trying to get at their table, but we are extremely proud that he has already has a seat at ours. It is our honor to recognize the amazing Leslie Jordan as this year’s Gordon Jenkins International Award recipient.
- Mae Condon American Saddlebred Versatility Award- Presented by VERSA
The Mae Condon American Saddlebred Versatility Award was established this year by the VERSA Charter Club to honor our late co-founder Mae Condon for her lifelong commitment to promoting the use these magnificent and athletic horses across disciplines. This award is presented to the person or people who exemplify long-term commitment to the uses of the American Saddlebred or Half Saddlebred Horse through promoting their use.
The inaugural winner is Laura Phillips of Knoxville, Tennessee. Laura has participated in more than 20 disciplines or alternative equine events including Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing, Fox Hunting, Trail riding, Combined Driving, Western Dressage and helped organize a wagon train across Tennessee for its bicentennial and rode the 1700 miles across to accompany it! Laura also frequently rode her own homebred Saddlebreds. She also taught lessons, introducing many more people to American Saddlebreds.
The American Saddlebred Versatility Association is pleased to present this award to Laura Phillips in honor of her multidisciplinary work with Saddlebred horses. Congratulations Laura!
Versa would like to thank the Saddlebred Horse and Breeder’s Association for partnering with VERSA on this award and Board member Clif Paulsen for serving on our selection Committee.
A special thank you to our leadership, staff, volunteers, Richfield Video Productions and the UPHA Conference planning committee that all work together to make this great event possible!