Riders age 17 and under are eligible to compete in the Saddle Seat Medal Final by placing first or second in an official
qualifying class during the specified qualification period. The Final is held in two phases beginning with a preliminary
round where all entries complete rail work in groups of 15 or less and perform an individual pattern. The judging panel
will select finalists who will then compete in the final round which is comprised of additional rail work and a second
individual pattern. The preliminary rail work, preliminary workout, final rail work and final workout each count equally
toward the outcome of the class.
The History of the Saddle Seat Medal Final
The American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) Equitation Medal was established in 1937 by the fourth President of AHSA,
Adrian Van Sinderen, as part of his strategy to connect horse people across the United States. The original Van Sinderen
trophy was awarded to the Junior Equitation rider who accumulated the most points in AHSA Medal classes in a given
competition year. At that time, Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat and Stock Seat riders were all vying for one trophy, often
riding against one another in the same class. In 1948, the classes were divided into the individual riding disciplines.
Van Sinderen had two more trophies made, one for Hunt Seat, and the other for Stock Seat. The Saddle Seat discipline retained
the original Van Sinderen Trophy. In 1950, the Medal Final was fashioned into the competition format we now know, with
qualifying classes and Final to determine the overall winner.