United Professional Horsemen Association Chapter 15 Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the American Saddlebred Horse Association of New Jersey held its Mid Atlantic Winter Get Away conference at the Sheraton Bucks County hotel on Jan. 12-14, 2018. Both organizations worked hard to make sure that it was a jam-packed weekend full of fun, great speakers, awards, and special guests.

Saturday night’s banquet featured the ASHA of NJ Annual Awards for the year 2017.  The awards presented to 71 recipients. The red carpet ceremony included a slide show of all the nominated horses and riders plus acknowledging everyone’s contributions to the club and the breed.

This year the club presented the Gwen Stableford Perpetual Memorial Service Award to Marty Waldman (formerly of Royal Crest Farm) for his many years of dedicated service to the ASHA of NJ and to promoting the breed.  The top Horse of the Year Award went to Charming in Blue owned and ridden by Pat Johnson of Blairstown, N.J. recipient of the Charles “Doc” Covino Memorial Perpetual Trophy.

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Tuffy Owens for emceeing the evening’s event.

Friday night kicked things off with the UPHA competitive Hobby Horsing fundraiser. Riders could nominate themselves, others, or their trainers to compete in stick horse competition. There were three classes for young riders followed by the adult class.

Saturday’s educational program featured a full line up of speakers for the parents and a separate program for the kids.  The intention of the adult program was to provide our veterans and newcomers alike with some of the basics to help them navigate through and be successful with owning and showing a horse.  Elisabeth Goth, breeder/exhibitor from Lexington, Ky. presented to the junior exhibitors about how to approach their sport as an athlete, never giving up in training and in competition and the value of sportsmanship.

The adult part of the symposium also featured some expert speakers. Ellen Beard, owner and instructor at Success in Saddles, explained how the officials approach judging and reviewed the specs and judging rules for several different horse show divisions.  Sarah Tompkins, of The Show Shop located outside Louisville, Ky., spoke about style of riding suits and proper fit.  Following Tompkins was National Horseman magazine publisher Allison Lambert who gave a presentation on the importance of advertising. Judy Werner, of Redwing Farms, Waterloo, Ill., then shared what it is like breeding horses and related stories and experiences during her career.  Joan Booth, of Milford, N.J., gave an informative talk on a wide range of equine insurance products; Nealia McCracken, Hardwick, N.J. gave a presentation on Saddlebred Rescue, and Dr. Karyn Malinowski of Rutgers University, gave a presentation on developments in equine research that is providing practitioners improved knowledge to understand and care for the older horse.

Sunday morning UPHA Chapter 15 hosted a brunch featuring a fashion show for junior exhibitor riders which was emceed by the TV actor, designer and Saddlebred exhibitor, Carson Kressley. Thirteen exhibitors came dressed in their favorite outfits to strut their stuff on the run way.

Kierson Farm, Flemington, N.J., North Wind Stables and Saddlebred Rescue, Inc., Hardwick, N.J., and the NJ Morgan Horse Club sponsored the event and ASHA of NJ member Mary Elias’ donation ensured the success of this event.

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