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PO Box 748
Versailles, Kentucky 40383
(859) 519-0949

Bluegrass Riding Academy - Horse Showing

Horse and Rider at the show

Horse Shows

Showing horses is popular with riders at BGRA. Even beginners can show. Riders at all skill levels who choose not to show at larger horse shows may show an Academy horse at Winter Tournaments and Academy Horse Shows. Those desiring to show at local, regional or national horse shows must own their own horse or lease a show horse. Assistance locating and purchasing suitable horses for competition is available. Show horses may be boarded and trained by BGRA. In addition to riding their own horse each week, Girl on horse with ribbon riders are required to ride at least once weekly in the lesson program at Bluegrass Riding Academy or at their local stable (if they reside out of state).


Because of Dr. Sally Haydon's background in equine research Bluegrass Riding Academy participates in scientific research that benefits the American Saddlebred industry. For instance, BGRA is currently seeking grant funding to conduct extensive research to determine the caloric expenditure of individuals of various body mass indices (BMI) during horseback riding. While this study will take several years to complete, it is hoped that an exercise program on horseback can be developed to improve fitness of children and adults. The American Saddlebred Horse and saddle seat riding is being utilized as the model for the development of the fitness program.

Another research project that BGRA is currently pursuing is a study related to the benefits of riding for children with behavioral and learning disabilities.

Dr. Haydon has a strong interest in continuing her research in equine nutrition and other interdisciplinary research projects involving the horse and riders. In the past Haydon has published research in equine nutrition including nutritional supplementation of vitamin, fat and protein sources, vitamin status in horses and protein nutrition. Other areas of research include topics in exercise physiology such as fitness parameters in the exercising horse and gait analyses of the American Saddlebred Horse. She has also published research in more applied areas such as development of interdisciplinary areas of study involving horses in combination with other subject areas. Examples include development of a degree program with a major in Psychology and an emphasis in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (utilization of the horse as a modality for physiological therapy in the human), the development of a degree in Equine Therapy (physical therapy in horses) and the use of plant extracts to eliminate stall ammonia.