On Thursday, January 19th, during the ASHA Annual Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the UPHA National Convention in New Orleans, a discussion will be held regarding the possibility of changing the World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) dates, beginning in 2018.
During the Annual Fall meeting of the ASHA Board of Directors, held on October 31 and November 1, 2016, the Kentucky State Fair interim CEO Steve Kelly presented the idea of the Horse Show date change to the ASHA Board of Directors.
Kelly reported that the date change would mean that the Horse Show could start a week earlier than normal. This change would effectively have the Show begin several days in advance of the opening of the State Fair with the final three days of the Show being on the first three days of the Fair. Kelly went on to add that by moving the Show a week earlier, it would possibly provide the WCHS with several opportunities such as easier access in and out of the show grounds, use of Broadbent Arena and improved locations of temporary stabling.
Following the presentation, the Board unanimously voted to pursue the idea of moving the show a week earlier. Later in that meeting the Board formed a committee to review the possible change and since has communicated with other Associations in our industry for additional comments and input. Kenny Wheeler, Jr., was appointed chair of the committee, which consists of Bret Day, Elisabeth Goth, David Mount, Donna Pettry-Smith and David Rudder.
ASHA representatives have met with representatives from the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA), the American Hackney Horse Society (AHHS), and the American Road Horse and Pony Association (ARHPA) to make their associations aware of the WCHS’s offer.
The discussion that is planned to take place at the ASHA Annual Meeting will look at the positives and negatives of making such a move. During the week immediately following the Convention, the four above-mentioned Associations will send out a survey to their respective members asking for feedback. That feedback will be compiled and reviewed by ASHA in consultation with the other Associations. The ASHA Board of Directors in determining its final recommendation to Mr. Kelly will utilize that data, as well as other information available to the ASHA, including but not limited to logistical details from the Kentucky State Fair Board.
“We want to do what the ASHA wants,” said Kelly. “If staying on your dates is what’s best, that’s fine or if moving earlier works better we’re good with accommodating that move.”