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ASHBA 2022 Journal

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ASHBA 2022 Journal

2022 ASHBA Half Saddlebred Futurity Stallion Auction!

Join us Saturday, January 22 10:00 AM ET at Sunrise Stables!  

View Catalog 

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To inquire about stallions and the auction please contact: Melissa Moore (859-873-9129 or 859-533-6225), Sandy Currier (832-244-5051), Rick Wedel (812 204-7700)

Start Your Saddlebred Story Today

Register Now for 2022 ASHBA Youth Conference

The ASHBA Youth Conference is back and better than ever for 2022! Join us February 18-19 in Lexington, KY for a weekend of hands-on educational opportunities, a tour of Grey Ridge Farm, World's Grand Champion horse presentations with Bourbon Select, The Crowd Went Nuts! and other champions, awards, dancing, fun, and seeing old friends and meeting new ones! Learn more here. 

Join in the fun and register today! 

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ASHA Thank You Letter to My Saddlebred: Skippy Jon Jones

Published Date: Nov 23, 2020

 

Photo: Howard Schatzberg

Dear Skippy,

I remember the first time I saw you, a day or two after you came to the barn. You were a sweaty mess, and my trainer Stephanie was sitting on your back, saying “This horse is hard to ride.” My friend Becky bought you, and because Becky is ridiculously talented, she could ride and drive you well.

I was riding the exact opposite of you. My mare, Seven, was short and fiery, unlike your 17 hands and good nature. I loved her, but it became apparent this March that we were not a great fit. And as the pandemic shut down the world, it also became apparent that regardless of the horse, my last show season as a junior exhibitor was going to be different than how I imagined it.

As a treat, right before lockdown, Stephanie let me drive you. I did not know what I was doing, but you happily trotted down the rail. I drove home that day knowing that I had caught the driving bug, but that I would probably never show in driving.

 

Photo: Julie Broder for National Horseman

Then I got a phone call from Stephanie that just went, “I have the craziest idea. Do you want to drive Skippy at Lexington?”. The answer was of course yes! and I had a month to learn how to drive well. At first, I lost control – you were strong in the bridle and were happy to take over when you felt the reins slipping from my fingers. However, I learned quickly to pull back and compromise with you. I even could sometimes make you flat walk!

We did not have clean drives in Rolex Arena – we might have cantered part of a rail and we might have brushed against the wall – but showing you there was one of the best moments of my junior exhibitor career.

 And somehow, as you continued to make my dreams come true, I was flying to Louisville, Kentucky, to the World’s Championship Horse Show. I had never been before, and I truly had no idea how I was ever going to get to show there. Stephanie’s persistence, your talent, and Becky’s generosity – and of course, my dad’s support – made a huge dream come true for me.

Photo: Howard Schatzberg

I am so grateful for you, and the moment where we hit the green shavings and I felt the air conditioning hit my face was a moment I will never forget. Even though you are a show pleasure horse, in that moment you were convinced you were in fine harness. Your energy and exuberance took my breath away, and although in the line up I could not feel my fingers, I could not stop smiling.

Finally, in the last week I had at home before I left for college, I got to ride you. Even though you ran away with me a little bit at the canter, it was still one of the best days. I could not believe that I had gone from listening to people talk about how difficult you were to ride to showing you at Worlds and then sitting on your back.

 

Skippy, I never owned or leased you, but you have been the most special horse to me. I cannot believe that I was lucky enough to have you and your owner in my life. You made the impossible into something achievable, and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for making my biggest dreams come true!

All the love and carrots for you,

Claire

Claire Weber is a young American Saddlebred lover from Texas who trains at Skyview Stables and attends The University of Chicago in Illinois.

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