American Saddlebred Versatility Association

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Young Riders Prove Saddlebreds Aren't Just For Saddle Seat Riders

Portions follow from an article by Jane Meggitt used with permission from Horse News, nj.com/horsenews, March 7, 2016.

American Saddlebreds are the peacocks of the equine world, and many people think of them solely as saddle seat show horses. Two local juniors (see Focus on Frito) are successfully proving that these smart athletic animals can succeed in other disciplines. Jordan Ferrier, 13, of Upper Freehold, NJ, started out showing in the Saddlebred world. Her grandmother, Brenda Helt is a longtime Saddlebred competitor. She is the breeder of Peaches, the horse her granddaughter competes, who is out of a Supreme Heir mare called Heir Space and by the stud, Periaptor. "She's very well bred. Her Mother's father was leading sire for years and her father sired many world champions", said Helt. "We were going to make a typical Saddlebred show horse but she wasn't high headed enough, so my daughter Amy showed her in ASB hunter classes and for fun started to jump her."

Peaches took to the jumping, but didn't like showing on the flat, so Helt gave her to Jordan as a birthday present so she could show as a jumper. Her granddaughter now jumps 3 feet at shows and is working on 3'3".  Her trainer is working on 3'6" and Peach does it willingly. Helt adds that Saddlebreds are a very versatile breed - "pretty and game and smart."

Peaches registered name is "Blank Check" but she shows in jumper classes as "Everything's Just Peachy". The first show Jordan and Peaches competed in was the October 11 Central New Jersey Horsemen's Association, where they were reserve champions in the Itty Bitty Jumpers. At their second show, at Duncraven, they were champions in Level 0 Jumpers. At the C.H. show at the Horse Park of New Jersey, they were the Level 1 Jumpers champion. Ferrier's trainer, Wilhelmina Horzepa of A&E Show Stables, Allentown, NJ , rode Peaches to the Level 1 Jumpers championship at Duncraven. Peaches is the first of her breed that Horzepa has taught to jump, although she has a Half-Saddlebred in her barn with jumping talent. Horzepa says that Peaches is very careful and has good instincts. "Her stride is very adjustable, but she's catty enough, said Horzepa. "She's very aware and observant - "looky" - but doesn't do anything unpredictable." She said both of the Saddlebreds in her barn are very comfortable to ride with smooth gaits.