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Sport Horse Nationals Payback Program awards $50K
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October 13th, 2009

Anglo Arabian Glitter Bey won close to $4,000 for his wins in SHUS and Green Working Hunter.
Photo by Laura Wood.

Exhibitors at the 2009 Sport Horse National Championships raked in extra prize money for their accomplishments, courtesy of the SHN Payback Program for the second consecutive year.

Founded in 2007, the SHN Payback Program was implemented by a group of longtime Arabian breeders and riders. By offering cash rewards, the group has been able to encourage interest and enthusiasm in the Sport Horse Nationals show, as well as the breeding of Arabians specifically for the sport-type disciplines.

"The backbone of this program is the stallion owners' support," says Laura Wood, the director of the program. "They each donate a breeding in order to enroll their stallion and thereby make ALL of his offspring eligible for life to win the prize money. There is no out-of-pocket expense for them whatsoever."

These donated breedings are listed on the Payback website for sale at 50% off their advertised fee and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, thereby saving mare owners significant money when breeding their mares, as well as providing a go-to source for proven stallions. The mare owners also save money by having their foals automatically enrolled in the program at no charge.

Stallion owners are also eligible for cash themselves each year, as 5% of the total prize money is awarded to the two Payback sires whose progeny win the most at Sport Horse Nationals. This amount was over $2,500 each for the 2009 winners, AM Double Dream, owned by Al-Marah Arabians and Magic Domino AHS, owned by Mark and Kim Thomason.

The balance of the prize money was designated for payout in 20 classes, ranging from Sport Horse, Jumpers and Working Hunters to Dressage and Carriage Driving. If a designated class had no Payback eligible horses placing, the money was divided equally among the other classes.  This year's top money winner is AM Mighty Hector, bringing home $4750 in Payback prize money.

There is also a special award for the Payback stallion winning the most while competing at the show. This year's winner was the purebred Arabian VMA Khahpur Khopi+/ owned by Centerline Sporthorses.

"We are very proud to have won Top Sire with our AM Good Oldboy+ in 2008 and AM Double Dream in 2009," says Al-Marah Arabians' manager Jerry Hamilton.

Payback stallions and their get are also experiencing a higher demand in this competitive ecomony because of their earning potential through Payback. "I really only consider a horse that is Payback-sired and only breed to Payback stallions now," explains breeder and National Champion exhibitor Alexis Starer-Doughty. "The fact that they can win money every year makes my sale horses more attractive to buyers."  National Champion breeder and exhibitor, Kristin Herbst adds, "I will probably always purchase 1-3 breedings from the SHN Payback program as the benefits are so good!"

Another side benefit for enrolled stallions is the promotion and marketing Payback does for the stallions and their progeny.  The SHN Payback website records statistics on each stallion's winning progeny from the National Championship show, helping mare owner in their breeding decisions, as well as giving recognition for stallions siring outstanding show winners.  Payback also sends out weekly announcements featuring the latest news on enrolled stallions and their get, as well as a classified section dedicated to Payback enrolled horses for sale

With such a successful first two seasons, awarding nearly $100,000 in free cash to exhibitors, SHN Payback shows great promise for continued growth each year.