Minnesota Saddlebred State Championships

The show will feature the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship classes and the Minnesota Academy Equestrian Finals classes.


This program is for amateur riders and drivers. For classes to count towards qualifying for the program, the horse must be ridden or driven by an amateur.

  1. State Championships are earned by American Saddlebred (ASB) horses in performance classes and by riders in equitation classes (Exception: Any breed of horse is eligible to compete in the Open Pleasure classes).
  2. For a horse to qualify, all owners must be members of the MSHA and must have paid the appropriate horse recording fee.

  3. For an equitation rider to qualify, the rider must be a member of MSHA and must have paid the appropriate equitation rider recording fee.

  4. If multiple riders show the same horse and want to qualify for the State Championship program, each rider must be a MSHA member and must have paid the appropriate horse recording fee.

  5. To be eligible for the State Championships, the horse or rider must show in their respective class or classes at a minimum of three qualifying shows and show in the corresponding class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship  Horse Show. Shows for qualifying will be counted after the appropriate fees have been received by MSHA as noted in numbers 2 to 4 above.

  6. Horse or rider may qualify by showing at a minimum of three qualifying shows. Qualifying shows are as follows:

Spring Tune-Up Horse Show

F.A.S.H. Inc. Spring Horse Show

Summerfest Horse Show

Tanbark Cavalcade of Roses Horse Show

The Capitol Classic I & II

Washington County Fair Horse Show

North Star Americana

Octoberfest Horse Show

In the Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness and Park classes, if an amateur class is not offered at a specific qualifying show, showing in the open class will count as a qualifying class.

7. Riders receive a State Championship hat for each class qualified.

8. Awards will be given to the Top Five in each class. The Top Five will include the five highest-placing eligible horses in the class at the Minnesota Futurity Horse Show, with the Champion being the highest placing and the Reserve Champion the second highest. Example: In the Show Pleasure Diving division, six horses attended at least three of the qualifying shows. All six horses show in the class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show. Four of the horses receive a ribbon in the class and a fifth horse is placed seventh. Those five horses will be awarded the Top Five awards. The highest placing horse of that group will be named the Champion, not necessarily the winner of the actual class, but the highest placing of the eligible horses. Reserve Champion is awarded in the same manner.

9. State Championships will be offered in the following 26 classes:

Five-Gaited Amateur                                      Country Pleasure 17 & under

Three-Gaited Amateur                                       Country Pleasure 18 & over

Park Amateur                                                Country Pleasure Driving

Fine Harness Amateur                                      Country Pleasure Western

Park Pleasure Amateur                                  Country Pleasure Five-Gaited

Show Pleasure 18 & over                                    Country Pleasure Hunter

Show Pleasure 17 & under                               Pleasure Equitation 17 & under

Show Pleasure Five-Gaited                             Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & under

Show Pleasure Driving                                 Saddle Seat Equitation 18 & over

Open English Pleasure 17 & under                    Walk & Trot Pleasure 12 & under

Open English Pleasure 18 & over                       Walk & Trot Equitation 12 & under

Open Western Pleasure

Open Hunter Pleasure

Open Pleasure Driving

10. State Championships will be made in the corresponding class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show. For example, Five-Gaited Amateur will be presented in the Five-Gaited Amateur class, not the Five-Gaited Stake.

11. Horses in the Open English, Western, and Hunter Pleasure classes must be ridden by an amateur. Horses driven in Open Pleasure Driving must be driven by an amateur. Any breed of horse is eligible to compete in the open pleasure classes.