The American Stock Horse Association National Collegiate Championship Show Just Around the Corner

The American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) would like to invite you to attend the 3rd Annual American Stock Horse Association National Collegiate Championship Show to be held April 15 – 16, 2011 at the Taylor County Exposition Center in Abilene, Texas. This national event is open to all collegiate riders and horses regardless of breed or registration. One of ASHA’s fastest growing programs, the Collegiate Program has had an undeniable impact on those students who take the challenge to “ride a better horse”. Active collegiate programs are established in Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming with students from many of these schools making the trip to compete.

The 2010 show hosted 11 schools with Texas Tech University winning the championship. Will Texas A & M University step up to the top spot at this year’s event? Or, will one of the other Texas schools like Tarleton State University, Sam Houston State University, Stephen F Austin State University or Clarendon College take the title? These teams will have to stay ahead of the strong out of state squads from New Mexico University and Wyoming’s Laramie County Community College.

 “The camaraderie is my favorite part of showing and representing my college,” states 2010 Collegiate Non-Pro Individual Champion Brittany Rogers. “It is an experience of a lifetime.” The college senior rode Blue Savanah Holli to her title for Eastern New Mexico University.

 “I think the motivation to do well is stronger when I am riding on a team,” tells New Mexico State University senior and Collegiate Limited Non-Pro Individual Winner, Kaycee McDaniel. “NMSU has not had a Ranch horse team very long, and it is fun to get our name out there and let people know our University has a good program,” she tells.

 “As exciting as it was to win my division, I was even more excited when our team won,” explained Texas Tech Sophomore Kelsey Stokes, the Collegiate Novice Individual titlist. “We had been working so hard all year that it was awesome to see all of that hard work pay off.”

The National Collegiate Show will offer three competition divisions–Open/Non-Pro, Limited Non-Pro, and Novice. All divisions are based entirely on the rider. High Point awards will be based on a one horse/one rider team showing in all four classes in designated divisions. Each college or university is limited to one team per school (two entries in each division) plus an unlimited number of individuals. At the end of the day, the highest placing team as well as the highest placing individuals in each division will be named National Champions.

In addition to collegiate competition, scholarship rewards are also available to collegiate riders who develop a young horse. The Nathan Belcher Scholarship Award is awarded to the highest placing collegiate entry in the all-around of the ASHA 3-year-old Futurity held in conjunction with the ASHA National Championship show. The 2010 winners of this award were Sam Houston State University’s Nicci Ahart and CR Docs Badger (Jim San Cudo x Badger Annie), a gray gelding bred on Champion Ranch. Champion Ranch, who is an ASHA Founding Sponsor, donates colts to Sam Houston State University to use in their equine classes. The colts are known for their laid-back personalities and trainability. Poncho was Nicci’s school project and it was her responsibility to start and break him. Nicci and the gray colt instantly bonded and at the conclusion of the class, she purchased the 2-year-old colt. Nicci then had to wait a year to be eligible to enter the futurity. The year was well spent. The duo showed like seasoned pros on their way to the high finishing collegiate pair. 

The American Stock Horse Association, Inc. (ASHA), with offices in Glen Rose, Texas, is a non-profit corporation. Its purpose is to provide education for western stock horse enthusiasts to ride and train a versatile stock horse through its unique format of clinics and competitions. One of ASHA’s distinctive programs is the ASHA Collegiate component. ASHA set goals to promote education of college students in the safety, care and training of the versatile stock horse, to enhance the education of college students interested in the versatile stock horse and to use the horse as a means to teach students how to represent themselves with responsibility, character and teamwork. In cooperation with universities and colleges across the nation, the collegiate program was implemented. Class instruction is provided in riding and training a versatile stock horse and encourages collegiate student participation in ASHA events. Academic institutions select stock horse teams and officially recognize the teams to represent them in ASHA Collegiate competitions.

To learn more about American Stock Horse Association and its Collegiate Program visit them online at www.americanstockhorse.org or call them at 254-898-0906. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.