Ranch Rail Pleasure at the 2020 Eastern National Championships will forever have a special place etched in the heart of Amanda Hutchinson of Stuarts Draft, Virginia. While she placed seventh overall with Heza Deluxe Sensation, she left the arena with the biggest prize of all: a diamond ring and new fiancé.
Amanda and Chipper Riley have been dating for about 2 ½ years. When Chipper decided the time was right to ask Amanda to marry him, Chipper put his head together with trainer Tera Fauver to concoct the perfect proposal plan—and he knew it had to include horses.
“Horses are obviously a huge part of her life, and I think she always wanted it to be at a show in the ring. So I did what I could to make it happen the way she wanted it to,” Chipper said.
On Friday, October 16, Chipper waited in the wings for the conclusion of Amanda’s Ranch Rail Pleasure class. Once Amanda rode out to receive her ribbon, Chipper made his grand entrance, a bouquet of roses in hand and diamond ring at the ready.
“I took my picture with David [Lands, from APHA’s Board of Directors] and he said, ‘I need you to get off your horse—do you trust me?’ He said, ‘I’ll hold your ribbon and your horse,’ and I said, ‘Why’? Then I looked up and saw Chip walking over with flowers, and then I didn’t see anything else because I was crying,” Amanda said. “That was my dream way to be proposed to and he did it.”
Completely blindsided by the proposal, Amanda grinned through happy tears and enthusiastically said ‘Yes,’ wrapping her arms around Chipper as the arena—including a legion of barn mates from Breakaway Performance Horses—erupted in cheers. So while she might not have left with the champion’s trophy, Amanda definitely was the day’s biggest winner overall.
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.