Top exhibitors and Paint Horses were recognized for their achievements at the APHA World Championship Show, which took place September 17–30 in Fort Worth, Texas. 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 Open Horse, High-Point Western Performance Horse & Oscar Crigler Cattle Award: Gay Bar Drummer
Gay Bar Drummer’s last trip to the APHA World Championship show was in 2013, but the veteran champion stepped onto the grounds and never missed a beat. From reining to working cow horse to roping events, the quiet-eyed 2000 dun tobiano stallion moved with a swift power of horses half his age.
“I couldn’t ask for a better horse to prepare for this. For year’s I’ve said he’s the funnest horse I’ve ever ridden,” Jack Wright said; the Florence, Colorado, horseman has trained 18-year-old “Drummer” since he was a Junior-aged horse. “He always has been a pretty easy horse to prepare, and I think that’s because he just loves to do his job. I think now it’s harder for me to do my job than it is for him.”
Drummer’s 2018 success includes a world championship in Senior Steer Stopping, reserve world championships in Senior Working Cow Horse and Senior Heeling, as well as Top 10 finishes in all other events—all of which tallied up to the top spot on the standings for multiple major awards. On top of plenty of ribbons and buckles, Drummer heads home with the Oscar Crigler Cattle Award, High-Point Western Horse and All-Around Open Horse awards.
Gay Bar Drummer is by Drum N Up Spots and out of Gay Bar Gold Dust. He was bred and is owned by Joni Voloshin of Craig, Colorado.
All-Around Open Solid Paint-Bred: Super Chip My Ride
For the second year in a row, Lynn Harrison’s Super Chip My Ride—a 2010 bay solid gelding by Zips Chocolate Chip (QH) and out of The Gypsy Tigress—was honored as the All-Around Open Solid Paint Bred. Under the guidance of Delaware trainers Marty and Brooke Dixon, “Ozzy” and Lynn made their fifth trip to the APHA World Show to pursue a repeat.
Ozzy earned a world championship in Open Solid Paint-Bred Performance Halter Geldings and Open Solid Paint-Bred Hunter Under Saddle and a reserve in Open Solid Paint-Bred Trail at this year’s show, clinching the all-around title.
High-Point English Performance Horse & Super Gelding: Thanks For Zip En Me
Thanks For Zip En Me is a World Show veteran, scoring top titles and world championship rosettes at the APHA Youth World Championship Show since 2011. But this year was different—it was “Winston’s” first APHA Open/Amateur World Show since 2008 and his first in many years being shown by someone other than Alexis Miller, his longtime Youth/Amateur partner from Eaton, Colorado.
In preparation, Winston was sent to Texas trainer Ryan Painter in mid-July for a tune-up, which worked out well with Lexi returning to Fresno State University for her sophomore season. Under Ryan’s guidance, Winston easily scored a perfect three for three over-fences at the World Show—winning Senior Working Hunter, Opening Jumping and Senior Hunter Hack—along with three additional titles in Amateur events with Lexi. A Top Five in Senior Hunter Under Saddle and strong effort in Senior Trail rounded out the effort and helped capture the High-Point English Horse and Super Gelding titles for Winston.
“Ryan was the first one, aside from me, to show him in the trail at the World Show—he’s never been shown by anyone else here in any Western class,” Lexi said. “It was a pretty good Open World Show.”
“Ryan said, ‘Winston is easy because he’s already broke. All I have to do is ride him!’ ” Winston’s owner, Sharon Miller, said.
Sired by Thanks For Com En and out of Zippin In Charisma, the 2006 sorrel overo gelding was bred by Sharon.
High-Point Open Exhibitor: Jack Wright
Whenever Jack Wright’s name boomed through the loudspeakers at the APHA World Championship Show, spectators could be sure of two things: that the Florence, Colorado, horseman was astride a colorful tobiano and that he was near the top of his class.
“I broke my elbow a few days before last year’s World Show, and I had to stay home,” Jack said. “I was excited to get back to the show this year, and my horses were working well in all the events.”
Bringing four horses to the event, Jack ran the gamut of performance events, including an impressive one-two-three win in Senior Working Cow Horse aboard QTS Cajun Cub, Gay Bar Drummer and Rolex N Starlight, respectively. That stellar class, along with consistent success across all roping classes aboard all three stallions, skyrocketed Jack to the top of the World Show standings by more than 100 points.
Though four days remained of Open competition after Jack’s main events concluded, his impressive lead could not be caught, and the horseman heads home with yet another High-Point Exhibitor Award. Jack says the success isn’t due to his talent alone, however.
“I’ve been blessed with some amazing horses and awesome clients. I want to give all the glory to the Lord, and a lot of thanks to my clients, my wife and my son,” Jack said. “My life’s been truly changed in the last few years, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
High-Point Open Ranch Horse: Gunners Mega Rascal
Though she coached a gaggle of Novice and Amateur clients through their ranch horse events, competing in the Open division aboard Gunners Mega Rascal was extra personal for Heather Young of Gainesville, Texas. Purchased for Heather’s mother, Carla, to ride and show, “Bullseye”—a 2009 sorrel overo gelding by Colonels Lone Gun and out of Mega She Whiz (QH)—gave solid performances in each of his five ranch horse classes.
“Bullseye, to me, is great in the ranch riding and ranch pleasure, but his biggest strength is that he can do anything,” Heather said. “That’s what these ranch events take—a horse that can do anything. He’s got a really good mind and he allows you to put him wherever he needs to be.”
Though they didn’t leave the arena with any blue-and-red neck ribbons, consistency paid off for Heather and Bullseye; solid Top 10 performances ultimately added up to their main goal: the High-Point Open Ranch Horse.
All-Around Amateur: Alexis Miller & Thanks For Zip En Me
Making her World Show debut in the Amateur division, Alexis Miller of Eaton, Colorado, was impressed yet pleasantly surprised by the competition that faced her in Fort Worth.
“I was definitely a little worried about how I would do—some girls showing here have done really well,” she said. “But they were welcoming to me, it being my first year showing in the Amateur. Everyone was nice and helpful, and they all talked to me in the holding pen and the lineup—that was really nice, feeling like I was part of the group again.”
Though she was the division’s new kid, Lexi saddled up veteran partner Thanks For Zip En Me and wasted no time making her presence known. The duo jumped out to an early lead after the English classes thanks to wins in Amateur Equitation Over Fences and Amateur Hunter Hack, a reserve world championship in Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation and third in Amateur Working Hunter. After a brief hiatus to fly back for college classes, the Fresno State University equestrienne returned to the World Show for her final events, pulling out a fourth in Amateur Horsemanship and sixth in Amateur Trail. The result was 107 points and the pair’s first All-Around Amateur title.
“Winston” is a 2006 sorrel overo gelding by Thanks For Com En and out of Zippin In Charisma; he was bred and is owned by Lexi’s mother, Sharon Miller of Eaton, Colorado.
All-Around Masters Amateur & High-Point Amateur Ranch Horse: Kathleen Roach & Freckles Nu Lil Gun
Kathleen Roach of Spanish Fork, Utah, “steals” Freckles Nu Lil Gun from her husband whenever she can, but she didn’t intend to steal the show at her very first APHA World Championship Show. Together, Kathleen and “Juliet” snapped up a win in Amateur Ranch Reining as well as reserve titles in Amateur Ranch Riding and Amateur Ranch Pleasure. Juliet is a 2008 sorrel overo mare by Colonels Lil Gun and out of Nu Bar Freckles (QH).
“She is just so willing to try anything that you ask of her,” Kathleen said of the stalwart mare. “I don’t think she’d ever had a rope swung over her or worked cattle before we started these classes, but she just goes ahead and does it for me!”
Strong performances across the ranch events put Kathleen and Juliet at the top of the High-Point Amateur Ranch Horse standings, which was a surprise Kathleen hadn’t been expecting. Even more of a surprise was winning the All-Around Masters Amateur title, too, as the duo held onto their early lead for the duration of the show.
All-Around Novice Amateur & High-Point Novice Amateur Ranch Horse: Amanda Sanchez & RT Hug Me Doc
Amanda Sanchez has enjoyed competing and showing with RT Hug Me Doc at the World Show since 2015, but the duo finally found the perfect home in the new Novice Amateur world championships and expanded slate of ranch classes.
“We’ve enjoyed competing [at the World Show], but we weren’t yet on the Amateur or Open level, so these expanded ranch events really gave us an open playing field,” Amanda said. “There are a lot of people who have come out for the Novice division, and it’s a great avenue for others who are just starting to explore these ranch events.”
Together, Amanda and the 2007 bay tobiano mare by King Doc Bar and out of Carumba clinched wins in Novice Amateur Ranch Pleasure and Novice Amateur Ranch Trail, along with Top Five finishes in Novice Amateur Ranch Riding, Ranch Reining and Limited Ranch Cow Work, ultimately taking the lead for the Novice Amateur High-Point title. They hung on to capture the All-Around Novice Amateur title, too.
All-Around Amateur Solid Paint-Bred: Jeanette Svenneskog & Rockin My Lazy
Fort Worth, Texas, is a long way from Uddevalla, Sweden, but that did not stop Jeanette Svenneskog from making her third trek to the APHA World Show. In doing so, she became the first European exhibitor to take home the All-Around Amateur Solid Paint-Bred award. With wins in the Amateur Solid Paint-Bred Ranch Riding and the Amateur Solid Paint-Bred Western Horsemanship, the title was Jeanette’s for the taking.
Aboard her 2013 black solid stallion Rockin My Lazy by Lazy Loper (QH) and out of Color My Rockies, Jeanette has traveled to the United States for three years to compete with “Roscoe,” but this has been her most successful World Show to date. With the help of trainers Marty and Brooke Dixon, Jeanette took on a new challenge by adding ranch riding to her resume this year—a decision that proved fruitful.
“I think it was really fun,” Jeanette said. “Since we try to keep the horse happy, we want to give him new challenges—which I like, too. And I have to give credit to Marty—he likes these horses to do everything and I think that’s why I was able to win the all-around.”
High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot: Jackie Garton & Frosted Iron
It’s been more than a decade since Jackie Garton of Pendleton, Oregon, has been to the APHA World Show, and this year, she had one goal in mind: to make a run for the world championship in Amateur Walk-Trot Showmanship. Snagging that win with Frosted Iron, along with two other titles—a world championship in Amateur Walk-Trot Hunt-Seat Equitation and a reserve world championship in Amateur Walk-Trot Western Horsemanship—helped Jackie and “Gidget” clinch the High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot title.
Jackie and Gidget have been a fixture around the Zone 1 shows for years—Jackie broke the 2006 gray overo mare by HBF Iron Man and out of Frosted Aurora as a 2-year-old—but they decided to tackle the 2018 World Show at the encouragement of trainer Michael Davis. The experience far exceeded expectations for Jackie, and she was thrilled when she learned she had won the High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot award.
“[Winning those titles] was amazing, but I didn’t know how the point system worked,” Jackie said. “So after trail, I was like, “Well we did our best.” That’s all I can ask. I was ecstatic when I learned we had won.
“Having that bond between other people who have circumstances that might have put them in this division and being able to go forward as a team is great. What’s interesting is the competition level—it’s not as easy as people think!”
Watch for full World Show coverage in the December 2018 Paint Horse Journal–subscribe, renew or extend your subscription today at apha.com/phj/subscribe.
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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.