Weanling World Grand Champion: Miss Jazz Queen and Leighanne Tibbs (Undefeated 2014 NSSHA Show Season)
National Spotted Saddle Horse World Grand Champion Open 4 Year Old and Older (Canter): John Cabe and Avenger’s Lady Threat
On September 18-20, the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association (NSSHA) held their 35th Annual World Grand Championship Show. Offering more than eighty classes, the show ran for three nights at the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Over three hundred exhibitors set foot in the arena, including entries from Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee. Judges for the show were Ronnie Williams of Winchester, Tennessee; Garry Mooneyham from Woodbury, Tennessee; and Nathan Hillis of Morrison, Tennessee. Other show staff included organist Eddie Hixson of Chattanooga; master of ceremonies Mike Brandon of Winchester; ring-masters Dorinda Mankin of Woodbury and Sheila Mannis of Mount Juliet; show photographer Lisa Nixon; and show manager Donna Fletcher.
“We had an excellent world grand championship show, and it’s the best we’ve had in the past few years,” says Donna Fletcher, who also serves as the general manager of the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association.
Fletcher describes NSSHA as “a mid-sized organization,” composed solely of people who love and support the Spotted Saddle Horse. In addition to the World Grand Championships, NSSHA hosts 16 events throughout the year, all designed to showcase Spotted Saddle Horses and the people who love and ride them. The shows are held in towns all over middle Tennessee, such as Woodbury, Lewisburg, Wartrace, and Manchester. Many shows are geared towards giving back to the community, and Fletcher says that the association regularly hosts events that benefit charities, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Special Olympics.
The horsemen and horsewomen who attend and participate in NSSHA’s events year after year are devoted to the association and to the horse it represents, and with good reason. Similar to the Tennessee Walking Horse, the Spotted Saddle Horse is a stocky, gaited breed with a kind disposition and a gentle spirit. The breed’s most outstanding characteristic, however, is its color.
“They’re beautiful because they are patterned,” Fletcher says. “Most are tobianos, but there are sabinos, overos, and roans. The beauty of their patterns and bodies is exquisite. They come in all different colors, and if you didn’t know it, you’d think they are Paint horses because of those patterns. But they are gaited horses. Many of them are very intelligent and they are such an easy ride for work around the farm or on the trails. They are used extensively for trail rides and general pleasure riding. The show ring is just one aspect of this breed.”
For more information, visit: http://www.nssha.com/Photos from the World Grand Championship show are available at Loving Touch Portraits: http://lovingtouchportraits.shootproof.com/event/575785
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