December 11, 2008 -- The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) announced that its only Triple Crown winner this year, World's Grand Champion (WGC) CH Breaking News, has been named Horse of the Year. The connections of the Horse of the Year will be honored at the ASHA Annual Convention during the Saddlebred Ball, February 14, 2009, at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa in Lexington, Ky.
Rider/trainer Peter Cowart of West Wind Stables in Statesville, N.C., will also be awarded with the Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship Ring. Cowart will receive his Champions Ring from last year's World's Grand Champion Michele Macfarlane. Previous winners of this unique award were Smith Lilly and Todd Miles.
With his win at the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA) American Royal National Championship in Kansas City, Mo., CH Breaking News, a 10-year-old gelding, claimed the American Saddlebred Triple Crown, sweeping the Five-Gaited Championships at Lexington Junior League, Kentucky State Fair and American Royal--the three shows which comprise the Saddlebred Triple Crown--or the first time since CH Boucheron (also a World's Grand Champion) accomplished this feat in 2004.
CH Grande Gil was the Three-Gaited Triple Crown winner in 2007. Previously named as American Saddlebred Horse of the Year have been Fine Harness Triple Crown Champion WGC CH Callaway's Copyright and CH Callaway's Sugarplum.
CH Breaking News (CH The Talk Of The Town x Reedann's Cascade) was bred by Dr. Alan Raun of Cumming, Iowa. Megan McClure and her grandmother Beth Arndt of Taylorsville, N.C., acquired him in January 2003.