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For over 50 years, UPHA has had a profound impact on our show horse community. In 1968, a group of professional horsemen and horsewomen had a desire to unite to improve conditions at horse shows and better the sport of showing horses. They established an organization that would give a unified voice to the horseman in an effort to improve the show horse industry for our equine partners, grooms, owners and professionals.

UPHA supports and assists their fellow horsemen and community through:


Giving Back…

  • UPHA Classics- has paid out over $3.5 Million to owners and trainers of our young horses/ponies encouraging the breeding and showing of quality horses & ponies.

  • UPHA Challenge Cup-promoting the sport of Saddle Seat Equitation across breed lines…and for physically challenged riders through the Exceptional Challenge Cup. Over $170,000 in scholarships awarded

  • UPHA Dewey Henderson Benevolent Fund is available to professional members in good standing to help in emergency and crisis situations.  Over $360,000 has been given to assist UPHA Professional Members.

  • The Maria Knight Scholarship Fund for children of UPHA professional members-awarded over $135,000 to date!

  • UPHA Ribbons of Service-community service and philanthropy program for youth riders, their efforts have allowed UPHA to give over $500,000 in donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and almost $150,000 to other nonprofit charities. 


Better Horse Shows……

  • Representatives of UPHA traveled to Washington D. C. with a lobbyist and were successful in petitioning lawmakers to remove the language related to trotting breeds from the PAST Act.

  • Funded studies that created data related to the shoeing techniques and training methods of our breeds dispelling animal activists’ rhetoric that our industry methods were causing harm to our horses.

  • Providing safety guidelines & emergency equipment for show ring emergencies.

  • Helping insure fairness of competition, rules, drug testing, ring conditions, stabling and judging

  • Improvement in quality of shows including grounds, footing and grooms facilities

  • UPHA organizes and staffs the UPHA Meet & Greet, an outreach program at the Kentucky State Fair, to expose fair goers to the Hackney, Morgan, Saddlebred and Road Horse.


Better Business Relationships……

  • Helped fund programs to develop and educate professional caretakers.

  • Helped fund college programs that are directly related of the education of future professional horsemen and women.

  • UPHA has authored educational pamphlets to introduce and familiarize individuals with the show horse and show horse industry, developed and distributes to our membership a lesson program booklet and an equitation workout manual.       

  • UPHA developed a safe sport compliant contract for use with minor athletes and their parents.

  • UPHA Code of Ethics- Established a creed to govern our endeavors by requiring members to acknowledge our role of providing service to the Horse industry, recognize the need to do so in a professional manner, and to deal with the public and our colleagues with the highest degree of integrity.

  • Founding member of the Joint Leadership Council- group comprised of two representatives of the American Hackney Horse Society, American Morgan Horse Association, American Road Horse & Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association as well as two at-large representatives.

    • In 2019 this group worked to increase the trotting breeds representation at USEF. As a result of their work a seat on the National Breeds & Disciplines Council was added specific to the trotting breeds.

    • Recommendations to change the USEF Drugs & Medication rules dealing with the administration of Dormosedan for shipping & clipping horses were successful.

    • Conversations with USEF & the U.S. Center for Safe Sport resulted in greater transparency in investigations, and the separation of names on the center’s list distinguishing between those that had not yet completed their safe sport training and those that were suspended for violations or alleged violations.          


Since its inception, the UPHA continues to strive to uphold the standards established by the founding members. We hope you will join us in or mission of horsemen helping horsemen by choosing to become a member of UPHA.

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