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National Show Horse Finals Draws Top Half-Arabian Horses Nationwide to Qualify for AHA U.S. National Championships

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 13, 2017, 3:20 PM EST

Springfield, Ill. - Experience the fun and exciting competition of the National Show Horse (NSH) Finals this weekend in Springfield, Ill., at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Presented by the National Show Horse Registry, this event kicks off Thursday, September 14, and runs through Saturday, September 16. The Arabian Horse Global Network will livestream the event.

Photo Credit: Howard Schatzburg Photography

In its 12th consecutive year, the NSH Finals attracts top riders and Half-Arabian horses from across the country to compete in a variety of disciplines, including equitation, driving, three-gaited, Arabian Stake classes, western and hunter pleasure, show hack, and more. The Finals is a qualifying show for the Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) Region 11 Championships and U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show.

Classes for professionals, amateurs, and youth alike will be judged by Cathy Vecsey (Easton, Conn.), Brian Murch (Orchard Park, N.Y.), and Kent Swalla (Columbia, Mo.). Special events this year include a Progressive Party in the evening on Friday, September 15, and a Celebration Party after the last class on Saturday, September 16.

In an effort to introduce potential new owners to the joy of showing and riding Arabian or National Show Horses, the NSH Finals also includes non-sanctioned Arabian/National Show Horse Community Tournament Championship classes. Beginner riders are encouraged to enter a horse of any breed, both from within and outside of a lesson program. Training tack and relaxed riding attire is allowed, with appropriate footwear and a helmet required. Classes are judged on the rider’s basic equitation skills and horsemanship, as well as their ability to show their horse to its best advantage. Horses are not judged. Find out more about the tournament classes and view a full schedule of classes in the Prize List.

The National Show Horse is a relatively new but versatile breed and a US Equestrian affiliate. It represents the epitome of the modern-day show horse as a combination of at least 50% Arabian blood and any other breed. Horses showing at NSH Finals must be registered with the NSH Registry and as Half-Arabians with AHA. The most common combination of breeds is the Arabian and American Saddlebred. Beauty, stamina, agility, and athleticism result in a family-friendly horse that excels in and outside of the show ring. Learn more about the NSH breed.

Find out more about the National Show Horse and all of US Equestrian’s 29 recognized breeds and disciplines in this Learning Center video. Join the conversation and follow US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram use #JoinTheJoy.