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All-Around and High-Point winners crowned at 2017 APHA World Show

Top exhibitors and Paint Horses were recognized for their achievements at the APHA World Championship Show, which took place September 20–October 1. Twelve all-around and high-point awards were presented to competitors who topped all others in their respective categories, taking home loads of prizes and bragging rights along with plenty of World Show memories.

All-Around Amateur: Ali Eidson & Gametime Sensation

When Ali Eidson of Tuscola, Texas, was horse hunting in 2014, she looked far and wide for her next mount. As it turned out, he was in her backyard all along—Ali purchased the youngster Gametime Sensation from her longtime trainers at Simon Show Horses, and the duo has never looked back.

Bringing along a young horse can be a slow road, and while they’ve been successful, Ali and “Doc” haven’t before claimed the all-around title at the World Show. That changed this year: stellar rides in Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation and Horsemanship ended in world championships. They bolstered that with a reserve world championship in Amateur Showmanship and were Top Five in every other event in which they competed: trail, Western riding, hunter under saddle, and Western pleasure. They ended up with 128 points—almost 50 points more than the No. 2 finisher in the all-around race.

Owned by Ali, Doc is a 2010 sorrel overo gelding by Zippos Sensation and out of Flash N Her Lace; he was bred by Simons Show Horses of Aubrey, Texas.

All-Around Masters Amateur: Melissa Haberkorn & VR Knockyour Socksoff

Winning the All-Around Masters Amateur title at the World Show has been a long-held dream for Melissa Haberkorn of Beauford, South Carolina. She’s been close before, but it has always seemed to end up just outside her grasp. This year, Melissa returned with the goal of just having fun and laying down good, clean rides with her longtime partner, 18-year-old VR Knockyour Socksoff—they did just that, netting three championship titles along the way, and took firm hold of the all-around title, too.

Melissa and “Socks” won world championships in Masters Amateur Showmanship and Trail, and a reserve in Masters Amateur Horsemanship. They were third in Amateur Ranch Riding and fourth in Masters Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation. Barrel racing gave the duo their third category, and helped clinch their big win with 95 total points. By VR Legend and out of Jets Jenni, the 1999 sorrel overo gelding is owned by Melissa and bred by Ashley Flint of Dunbar, Kentucky.

All-Around Novice Amateur: Carlee Christian & Real Me In

Carlee Christian of Azle, Texas, leased her personal mount to a barnmate earlier this year, which left her without a horse to show in 2017. Fate intervened, however, and connected her with Real Me In, a decorated show horse looking for a rider to temporarily take his reins. After only eight weeks of work, the duo proved unstoppable at the 2017 World Show, snagging the All-Around Novice Amateur award with 94 points.

Carlee and “Ben” earned reserve world championships in Novice Amateur Working Hunter, Hunter Under Saddle and Showmanship; that’s in addition to third in Novice Amateur Hunter Hack (where Carlee also accepted a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend, Nate, during the awards ceremony), fifth in Novice Amateur Pole Bending and sixth in Novice Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation. Ben is a 1997 gray overo gelding by Real Bonanza and out of Frosted Brick (QH); he was bred by Gary Huisman of Clarksville, Iowa, and is being leased by Carlee.

All-Around Amateur Solid Paint-Bred: Rebecca Osborne & Irresistible Appeal

Consistency was the name of the game for Rebecca Osborne and Irresistible Appeal—at the 2017 World Show, the duo from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, racked up mid-pack placings in five events to edge out the All-Around Amateur Solid Paint-Bred title by just three points.

Rebecca and her 2009 sorrel solid gelding were third in Amateur SPB Horsemanship and Hunt-Seat Equitation, fourth in Amateur SPB Hunter Under Saddle, fifth in Amateur SPB 2 & Older Geldings and sixth in Amateur SPB Showmanship. That brought their all-around total to 68 points to take home the overall title, too. Irresistible Appeal is by Pleasurableconclusion and out of Zooha Little Angle (TB); he was bred by John and Kari Reeg of Genoa, Nebraska.

High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot: Sabrina Seehafer & Sterling Expression

Sabrina Seehafer of Ankeny, Iowa, is no stranger to winning top titles at the World Show—she took home last year’s High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot title with her sister’s horse, All That I Got. This year, Sabrina was back with her own longtime mount, Sterling Expression, and the pair captured the award once again.

Most impressive, perhaps, is that Sabrina and “Stifler” captured world championships in all three communication-focused pattern classes: showmanship, horsemanship and equitation. That gave the duo 79 point to clinch the title. Bred by Levi and Lori Petersheim of Ashland, Missouri, Stiffler is by Im Tee Totally Cool and out of Jacki O Jigsaw. He’s owned by Sabrina’s sister, Megan, who is from Jefferson City, Missouri.

High-Point Amateur Power Performance: Lt. Col. Val Baker & Capital Business

Only able to attend the World Show for a short time, Lt. Col. Val Baker of Minatare, Nebraska, focused her efforts on roping clean aboard her pair of Paints: Capital  Business and Retropep. The strategy paid off and helped Val successfully defend her High-Point Amateur Power Performance award, albeit with a twist: Val won the award last year with Retropep, but captured it this year with Capital Business.

With “Cappy,” Val heard herself called the winner four times in a single day: Amateur Goat Tying, Amateur Breakaway Roping, Amateur Heading and Amateur Steer Stopping. Adding a seventh in Amateur Heeling, Val and Cappy earned 115 points and established a lead that simply couldn’t be equalled. The 1996 bay tobiano gelding is by Ris Key Business and out of Smooth Embrace (QH), and he was bred by Debbie Wellmann of Washington, Texas.

All-Around Open Horse: Kiss Me At Twilight

The points racked up early for Kiss Me At Twilight at the 2017 World Show—the pretty hunter mare took home a world championship in her first class, Junior Working Hunter, with Jerry Erickson. That was followed by a third in Junior Pleasure Driving, fourth in Junior Hunter Hack, fifth in Jumping and Performance Halter Mares, and a finalist spot in Junior Hunter Under Saddle. The cumulative effort brought the mare’s point tally to 66, enough to edge out the top spot.

Bred by Susan Phillips of Boerne, Texas, the 2012 chestnut overo mare is by Double Up Investment and out of Larks Blue Sky (QH); she is owned by David Denniston of Fort Collins, Colorado.

All-Around Open Solid Paint-Bred: Super Chip My Ride

Hauling to the World Show from Delaware is a marathon trip, but it’s one Lynn Harrison looks forward to all year long. At the World Show, she says, her talented—and tall—solid Paint-bred Super Chip My Ride is truly put to the test, competing against superstar Paints from across the country. This year, “Ozzy” competed in both Amateur and Open events, and by the show’s end, the 2010 bay solid gelding found himself on top of the All-Around Open Solid Paint-Bred chart.

He’s taking home a world championship in Solid Paint-Bred Trail, a reserve in Solid Paint-Bred Hunter Under Saddle, and Top Fives in Solid Paint-Bred Performance Halter Geldings and Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure; that gave him 62 points to far and away win the overall award—a first for Ozzy on the World Show stage. Owned by Lynn Harrison of Kenton, Delaware, Ozzy is by Zips Chocolate Chip (QH) and out of The Gypsy Tigress; he was bred by Wilson Dixon Jr. of Dover, Delaware.

High-Point English Horse: All About The Swing

It was a showdown of hunt-seat horses in contention for the High-Point English Horse title, but when the dust settled, it was All About The Swing who walked away with the top prize. The 2006 sorrel overo gelding earned a reserve world championship in Senior Pleasure Driving with owner Anne Rosen of Evergreen, Colorado, in the cart; he also earned third in Senior Working Hunter and fourth in Senior Hunter Hack with Karen Banister, and tenth in Senior Hunter Under Saddle with Leanne Williams. All told, that gave “Cosmo” 57 points to edge out the reserve finisher by two points. By All Time Fancy and out of Luvs To Zip, Cosmo was bred by Carol Brown from Kansas City, Kansas.

High-Point Western Horse/Oscar Crigler Cattle Award/Super Gelding: Smart Chic Deck

After a hiatus from the APHA show pen for a few years—he hasn’t shown with APHA since 2014—Smart Chic Deck returned with a vengeance, dominating the 2017 World Show roping events with Jody Ramer, earning a trio of world championship titles in Senior Heading, Senior Heeling and Senior Steer Stopping. Coupled with a sixth in Senior Tie-Down Roping, the gelding earned 91 points toward the overall awards—a lead that left any would-be contenders in the dust. The 2006 chestnut overo gelding by Olenas Conductor and out of Blondys Speck Deck was bred and is owned by Jon Justice of Beaumont, Texas.

High-Point Open Exhibitor: Sara Simons

A surge of success on the last few days of the World Show helped propel Sara Simons to the top of the High-Point Exhibitor chart. Sara piloted three world champions this year—One Flashy Sensation in Senior Trail, Gametime Sensation in Senior Western Riding and Shes A Flatliner in 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure—along with one reserve and five Top Five finishes to earn a total of 172 points. Sara trains at her family’s Simons Show Horses in Aubrey, Texas.

Watch for full World Show coverage in the December 2017 Paint Horse Journalsubscribe, renew or extend your subscription today at apha.com/phj/subscribe.


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About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. Its mission is to inspire, nurture, promote and provide meaningful experiences to generations interested in preserving the versatile Paint Horse.