The Ins & Outs of Saddlebred Week
Whup, Trot! Saddlebred Week is filled with prestigious events including five exciting National Championship Events for American Saddlebred Pleasure Horses sponsored by Saddle & Bridle magazine. The week culminates in the beautiful Shatner Country Western Pleasure Championships on Saturday night. In Equitation, the Saddle & Bridle Pleasure Medallion Finals will be held at St. Louis, as well as the MHSA Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Medallion.
After being created by generations of selective breeding in the United States, the American Saddlebred has come to be known as “the horse America made.” These horses are known for their beauty, talent, spirit and versatility. This special week of events highlights this versatility. Visitors will see horses ridden in Saddleseat, Huntseat and Western disciplines, and horses and Hackney ponies pulling carts and buggies.
Horses will demonstrate varying gaits from big, strong trots to slow steady jogs. Others will showcase the smooth slow-gait and exhilarating rack. Horses and ponies are judged on manners, performance, conformation and quality, depending on each class. Saddle seat equitation, however, is judged on the rider’s abilities and presence. It is an open division.
Open Jackpot Stakes classes are back this year for the Fine Harness, Three-Gaited and Five-Gaited Horses. And the exciting $5,000 Ruth and R.S. Palmer Memorial Five-Gaited Stake on Saturday night is expected to draw top open five-gaited horses from throughout the country.