Academy Rider Victory Pass

Academy Division Information

Learn more about the Academy Division and Award Programs available at ASHBA today! 


Academy Division

Academy Guidelines

These updated guidelines provide standardization of this growing and important division for show organizers, judges, officials, instructors, and trainers to refer to help maintain a level playing field, consistent judging, and encourage more riding programs at our breed stables. The Academy Guidelines are available to review here

This publication is intended to be a source of information for those responsible for organizing horse shows; for judges and other horse show officials, and for instructors and trainers. The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association recognizes the need for:

  • providing standardized guidelines for the academy division,
  • promoting a level playing field
  • helping judges understand academy criterion,
  • encouraging lesson programs at more stables.

 The Academy Program is all inclusive allowing beginners to advanced students a way in which to participate. The academy program also provides an important niche for many horses that need a job and can be put to good use as suitable lesson horses.

Academy Awards Program

The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association Academy Awards program encourages and recognizes juveniles and adults participating in academy classes at horse shows throughout the country. Academy classes create an opportunity for beginning saddle seat riders to develop and fine-tune their horsemanship skills, sportsmanship, and appreciation for the American Saddlebred.

An Academy class is any class offered at a local tournament in which two or more stables are participating, or any class at an open show that is designated "academy." Participants compete on horses designated as school horses, or horses that are regularly used in riding lesson program instruction. Acceptable riding attire is jodhpurs or dark pants, boots and dress shirt or a sweatshirt bearing the stable’s logo. Riding suits are unacceptable, and protective headgear is optional.

Academy Awards Rules

  • Points accumulate between October 1 and September 30 of each year and are tabulated by riding instructors. Points are kept on an official point sheet and must be signed by BOTH the rider and the instructor or youth club advisor.
  • The point sheets are to be sent to ASHBA by October 31 of the award year for verification.
  • One (1) point is given for participating in an academy riding or driving class. One (1) point is given for placing 2nd – 8th in an academy riding or driving class. Two (2) points are given for placing 1st in an academy riding or driving class.
  • ASHBA membership is required in order for the points to count.
  • A bronze medallion will be awarded for earning 15 points in the first year of competition, a silver medallion for 15 points in the second consecutive year, and a gold for 15 points in the third consecutive year.
  • Download the ASHBA Academy Award Official Points Report
  • ASHBA Academy Guidelines

ASHBA Academy Master Medal Award

ASHBA is proud to offer this award, which goes beyond the ASHBA Academy Awards program. After participants in the Academy Awards Medal Program attain their first gold medal, they then have the option to continue with the Academy Awards program by earning gold medals on a yearly basis or enter the Academy Master Medal Awards Program, which encourages participation in promotion, education, and continued involvement with the American Saddlebred.

Download the Master Medal Activity Report.