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Cascade Stables Brings Showy Saddlebred to Germantown


By Pam Gamble

Flashy American Saddlebreds are spectators’ delight at to the Germantown Charity Horse Show (GCHS). Cascade Stables from New Orleans, LAbrought their American Saddlebreds to the GCHS, and had several winning horses at the Saturday night performance.  Tipi Tina and Rachelle Dryalla were winners in the Open Equitation Championship.  Cascade Stables took first and second place in the Five Gaited Show Pleasure Championship with Under Oath and Admiral’s Courageous Fox.  Barbe’s co-trainer James Nichols won the Five-Gaited Championship on Moonlite Serenade, and the Three Gaited Championship on The Proof Is In The Heir.       

 Trainer Barbe Smith has been operating Cascade Stables in Audubon Parkin New Orleanssince 1981. In 2006, she opened a new state of the art facility there. Through the years, Barbe has coached several riders to World and National Championships.

Joel Dorignac, amateur rider for Cascade Stables, said the Saddlebred is the horse for him:  “They have a real show presence and a look. They are hot horses and a lot of fun to ride.” Joel explained how the horses are shown in a double bridle with a snaffle and a curb bit.  The additional bit provides extra aids for the rider to signal for multiple gaits.
Nicknamed the “Peacock of the horse show world,” The Saddlebred is traditionally shown under saddle in two basic ways, three gaited and five gaited.  The three gaited horse is shown with a roached or shorn mane and their tail dock has minimal hair. They perform the walk, trot and canter.  The Saddlebred moves quickly, snapping their front and back feet off the ground for a moment of suspension. Some of the horses are able to perform the ambling gaits that can be traced back to the Pacer in their lineage. These horses are shown with a full mane and tail in the five-gaited division.  Not only do they walk, trot and canter, but they also perform two additional gaits.  The “slow gait,” which is only slightly faster than the walk, is performed with extreme collection. The second gait is the “rack,” which is a lateral four-beat gait with a lot of action and speed. 

Although most people consider the Saddlebred a “hot” horse, Martha Utley Aiken, certified breed judge for the American Warmblood Registry, says, “The American Saddlebred is an American Warmblood: a blending of the blood of imported European stock, half-breeds and full-bloods. A Warmblood is not a cross between ‘hot’ full-bloods and ‘cold’ draft horses. The true Warmblood has a very slow and deliberate breeding program, neither an accident nor a one-time cross. The Saddlebred has more than a hundred years of documented breeding to qualify as a Warmblood and a sport horse. Saddlebreds used to be versatile prior to the 1940s. They were working ranch horses or jumpers or field hunters and many a show horse pulled a plow during WWII.” 

 The American Saddlebred Registry is the oldest breed registry in the U. S. for an American Breed of Horse. According to the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the Saddlebred can be traced back to the 18th century when Narragansett Pacers were crossed with Thoroughbreds and Morgans, producing flashy, hot horses, which were prized for their smooth gaits. “By the mid-nineteenth century, the Civil War demonstrated the superiority of Kentucky Saddlers on the march and on the battlefield. Most high-ranking officers in both armies rode Saddler types: Lee had his Traveller; Grant was on Cincinnati; Sherman rode Lexington; and Stonewall Jackson was on Little Sorrell. The first three were Saddler type with close Thoroughbred crosses; the latter was from pacing stock. Generals John Hunt Morgan and Nathan Bedford Forrest rode exclusively Kentucky Saddlers. So important were the horses that after the surrender, General Grant allowed Confederate veterans to keep the mounts they owned.”

On April 7, 1891 the American Saddle-Horse Breeders Association was established in Louisville, Kentucky. The name was later changed to the American Saddlebred Horse Association, and in 1985 the breed registry was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington Kentucky - the first breed registry to call the Park home. 
For more information on the American Saddlebred please go to www.asha.netand
Photos: GCHS program cover
Gaited horses in Pam’s GCHS photos

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