At the United States Equestrian Federation Board Meeting on July 6th, the Directors approved a new USEF recognized affiliate, the International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA). The purpose of this non-profit organization, based in Clovis, California, is to provide a USEF recognized show circuit for the Friesian horse which will help increase the recognition of the breed and help ensure competitive consistency for exhibitors and competitors. This is the first new recognized affiliate since 1999 when the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association was admitted to the USEF. The USEF now has 27 breed/discipline affiliates.
On July 20th the USEF Executive Committee approved the new chapter for Friesians in the USEF Rulebook. The first recognized competition will be the 2004 IFSHA Eastern States Regional Classic which starts July 31st.
IFSHA has created an infrastructure similar to the USEF with Directors, Regional Show Committees, and Rules Committees that serve membership throughout North America. The Regional Show Committees are responsible for the support and enhancement of the Friesian-bred horse show circuit, as well as special programs. The Rules Committee will work in conjunction with the USEF to promote the Friesian-bred horse in various disciplines through specific guidelines. IFSHA also offers its members programs for Education and Mentorship, as well as Youth programs.
Each year IFSHA will hold recognized and non-recognized shows, regional competitions, and a Grand National competition at which Grand National Champions will be crowned. The organization will also reward extraordinary Friesian-bred horses and riders with lifetime achievement recognition, and annually acknowledge those who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the IFSHA Regional Show Committees.
“IFSHA is honored to be instrumental in uniting the Friesian horse community and to provide breed recognition for the Friesian horse, but most importantly, to promote protection of this horse and create an equitable show circuit with the invaluable assistance of the USEF,” said Genevieve de Montremare, a member of the IFSHA Board of Directors and a driving force behind the effort to gain USEF affiliate recognition. “After 6 years the time was right. The idea of USEF recognition hit a flashpoint, gained momentum and has finally become a reality,” she added.
“It's exciting for the USEF to welcome the International Friesian Show Horse Association to our family,” said John Long, Chief Executive Officer of the USEF. “Not only do Friesians have a fascinating history, but this beautiful breed is wonderfully versatile which is why they have made steady gains in this country. We look forward to supporting IFSHA in their mission to promote and protect Friesians and help create fair standards for showing them."
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