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Liberty riders saddle up for Kentucky horse show

About 50 children from around the state are set to go on a trip steeped in the horse and racing industry, thanks to a 40 year old program.
In the 1970s, The American Saddlebred Association of Georgia launched a program to be used by independent barns to teach riding and horsemanship to kids 17 and younger. Today, that program is known as the Junior American Saddlebred Association of Georgia. The goal for Jr. ASHAG was to bring kids together to build lasting friendships. In fact the mission statement is “Teach Jr. ASHAG members about the American Saddlebred, to come together and work together as one.”
Last fall, Jr. ASHAG members across the state began raising money to finance a trip to the 2014 Lexington (Ky.) Junior League Charity Horse Show July 7-12. This 75-year old event has become the first leg of the American Saddlebred Triple Crown.
Caitlin Jarriel, trainer at Dixie Stables in Allenhurst, and once a Jr. ASHAG member herself said, “This trip is an incredible opportunity for the kids! The American Saddlebred Horse Association of Georgia has donated funds, in addition to what the kids have raised, to make it all possible. I’m thrilled we were able to keep costs down to make the trip affordable. I can’t wait!”
Members of Jr. ASHAG had a T-shirt contest that raised $2,000. In addition, Brooke Norton, director for Thirty-One, a company formed to give women opportunities to own businesses, and a second-grade teacher at Liberty County Elementary School, held a Thirty-One party hosted by Wendy Chenevert and her daughter Madison. In addition to the money raised at the party, Norton donated all proceeds to the local Jr. ASHAG members. So working together as one, over $2,300 was raised for the trip.
On July 10, more than 50 Jr. ASHAG members and their adult advisors will head to Kentucky for this year’s charity show. The members will attend a horse fair with model horse activities, the Kentucky Horse Park, The American Saddlebred Museum and the charity horse show at The Red Mile. The venue is one of racing’s most famous tracks, located in an area renowned for horse breeding and racing. In addition to the show and ancillary activities, the kids will dine with industry leaders, tour barns and farms that are home to world champion horses and trainers.

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