Saddle & Bridle Magazine has launched a program to introduce newcomers to the Saddlebred industry. Known as Saddle & Bridle’s Bring A Friend program, it will reward current Saddlebred owners, trainers and exhibitors for bringing non-Saddlebred exhibitors to Saddlebred horse shows.
The program operates off of three basic principles: 1. Saddlebred horses can do their own promotion if people are able to see them. 2. People need resources to follow up if they have seen something they liked. 3. Those who introduce others to the Saddlebred should be rewarded for their promotional efforts.
At the end of each show season (following the American Royal) those who invited a friend to a Saddlebred show will be entered in a year-end drawing for a full-page color ad in Saddle & Bridle Magazine. The same person may be entered in the drawing multiple times for each different visitor. Shows are encouraged to add their own incentives as well, such as a waived entry fee for anyone who invites a friend, and to announce program participation in their show’s prize list so that people can contact friends ahead of time.
To participate, exhibitors who invite friends simply bring them to the show office of a participating horse show to fill out the Bring A Friend form, which will ask their name, phone number, the name of the person who invited them, and what horse show and session they attended. The show secretary will collect the top half of the form, and the visitor will keep the bottom half, a resource directory of ASHA Charter Clubs.
Managers and secretaries that choose to participate may download the form and program logo from the Saddle & Bridle website. Secretaries can mail or email any completed forms to Saddle & Bridle, even in the same packet as their Saddle & Bridle class results. Shows do not have to be USEF rated to participate and, unlike Saddle & Bridle’s Shatner, Hunter, Medallion and Working Western classes, show participation is entirely free and no sign-up is required.
“People are much more likely to give something a try if it is their friend that exposes them to it,” co-publisher Chris Thompson said. “It is a win-win for all involved, bringing a bigger crowd to horse shows and giving people a chance to see our horses doing what they do best.”
Saddle & Bridle has always been at the forefront of promoting the Saddlebred breed, and hopes to continue to better the industry through this new program.