Every year an online auction is held via Facebook. Breedings, services and items are provided by the Arabian Horse Community to be auctioned off, with half of the proceeds going to fund prizes at that year's Sport Horse National Championship Show. Conceived and organized by Laura Wood, the auction has already made significant contributions and looks set to continue to do so.
“This is the third year of the Sport Horse Auction. I got the idea from seeing similar auctions on Facebook, though they were not run as fund raisers, but as a way to sell stallion services by small breeders,” Laura explains. “I thought it would be an excellent way to raise money for our Sport Horses. I opened the idea up and included anything of value that someone may want to bid on, such as vacation rentals, award winning pies, professional show braidings, training and board, critically acclaimed equestrian books signed by the authors, and of course, champion stallion services. It is difficult for stallion owners to make ends meet, which is compounded by the burden of donating to auctions. So to reward the donors for their generosity, all donors keep fifty percent of the winning bids while the other fifty percent is donated.”
“The donated portion of the proceeds goes to the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) to award at the Sport Horse Nationals,” she explains. “The first year, about $3500 was raised. Half of it was added to the AHA awards given to the Super Sport Horse and half to a new award developed as a result of this fundraiser. The second year, all proceeds went to the new award, which is a Junior Horse Super Sport Horse award based on the highest cumulative points earned from the Junior Horse classes: Hunter Hack, Sport Horse Under Saddle, and Training Level dressage. A total of $7000 was awarded, with the overall Champion Sport Horse taking $2000 and the Reserve taking $1000 for both Purebred and for Half-Arabian divisions; and the breeder of each champion taking $500 each.”
As a breeder of sport horses herself, Laura saw a way to improve this section of the industry and acted to help. “In previous years, I’ve felt that the prize money programs offered by the Arabian Horse Association put the Sport Horses on the back burner, with less opportunity as compared with the classes held at the US Nationals,” she shares. “But it is prize money that draws the exhibitors to the shows, and encourages the owners to develop the training of their junior horses by giving a monetary incentive. The added prize money also generates excitement at the show, and it gives recognition to the best Arabian-bred Sport Horses in the country. Dressage and jumping horses are sought internationally as these disciplines have a wide appeal across the globe. This is why it is so important that we provide money winning opportunities for them.”
Grateful to have been able to assist in building better prize money programs for Sport Horses, Laura goes on to say, “ I want to thank all the donors of the items to the auction. Without the generosity of these stallion owners and service providers, we would not be able to have an auction at all.”
The Sport Horse Auction is held on Facebook in the group found here. Bidding closes on Leap Day, February 29th, 2020. More information on bidding and donating is available via the group.