New York, NY – February 23, 2011 – The National Horse Show Association of America, Limited (NHSAA) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals as well as a full complement of hunters and jumpers in 2011. These exciting events will be held November 2-6, 2011, at the new Alltech Indoor Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. For the past five years, the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals have been held at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament in Syracuse, NY. After lengthy discussions with the top professionals in the hunter and equitation divisions, the National Horse Show determined that it is in the best interest of the sport, equitation division, and the Maclay to relocate the competition to a new venue.
The Board of Directors for the National Horse Show is looking forward to a bright future at the Kentucky Horse Park. “We’re very fortunate that Syracuse gave us a home until we could sort things out. It was a great stepping stone for what is going to be the future of the National Horse Show,” noted President Mason Phelps, Jr. “It is certainly our desire to make the National Horse Show in Kentucky as similar to Madison Square Garden as possible. The very first objective is to do the best we can by the Maclay Finals.”
“The Kentucky Horse Park is honored to be the new site of the National Horse Show’s ASPCA Maclay Finals,” said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson. “I am personally elated and we are committed to do all that we can to make the show worthy of its grand history.”
As Chairman of the Junior Hunter National Task Force, Don Stewart and his committee felt as though a change of location would be a positive next step for the National Horse Show. “The National Horse Show needed a better-situated location to hold the hunters and equitation. It was very difficult to get Junior Hunters to show on Wednesday and Thursday and miss so much school. Hopefully, a new venue with the possibility of two rings will help us with deal with some of the problems we have faced at previous locations,” commented Stewart.
Susie Schoellkopf added, “It was in the best interest of the National Horse Show to move from Syracuse. I think the main thing people need to remember is that the National Horse Show did not start in Syracuse. They were nice enough to take on the National Horse Show when it needed a home, but at the end of it Syracuse was not the best place for the Hunters or the Equitation.”
“We’re always appreciative of the National Horse Show and what it does for exhibitors on a national level,” commented USEF Licensed Official Diane Carney. “We love the history of the show and we are appreciative of all of the places that it has been. Kentucky is a facility that has grown in its capacity to handle every level of competition as it demonstrated during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, so it is a privilege for the National Horse Show to be hosted by the Kentucky Horse Park. I think the National Horse Show has such a great tradition with it and that will be continued in Kentucky.”
Talented equitation trainer Karen Healey said, “I think the production and showcasing of the Maclay has been very good. Unfortunately, the hunters have not been able to succeed. I trust the board of the NHS to preserve the integrity of the show and keep it special.” Karen went on to say that she looks forward to showing in Lexington and considers it to be a world-class venue.
The ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay Finals have been held since 1933, and its winners are some of the biggest names in equestrian sport. Previous winners include Olympians: William Steinkraus (1941), Frank Chapot (1948), George Morris (1952), J. Michael Plumb (1957), Conrad Homfeld (1967), Leslie Burr Howard (1972), and Peter Wylde (1982).
Founded in 1883 at the original Madison Square Garden, the National Horse Show is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established as a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars. The National Horse Show Association’s primary activity is the annual production of the National Horse Show and all ancillary events. Over the years, the National Horse Show has provided financial aide to many worthwhile charities.
For more information on the National Horse Show Association of America, Limited, please visit www.nhs.org.
Media Contact: Mason Phelps
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386