Six young riders made more than memories at the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show, taking home buckles, scholarships and more on the road to clinching the show’s top titles. Meet our 2017 all-around and high-point winners:
All-Around Youth 13 & Under—Gianna Pozzi & Ima Cajon Hot Krymsun
Gianna Pozzi of Spring Valley, Illinois, might be just 14 years old, but she’s a fierce competitor aboard Ima Cajon Hot Krymsun, her 2009 sorrel overo gelding by Scenic Rio Krymsun and out of Zip Me Some Color. Though the equestrienne remained calm and cool from the outside while waiting for the results of Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 13 & Under, Gianna says she was a bundle of nerves while the announcer counted down through the Top 10 riders.
“I was super excited because I’ve never won a world championship before. My nerves were really high when it was just down to two people; I was so excited to win,” Gianna said.
One success led to another, and Gianna and “Rio” soon scooped up additional world championships in Youth Western Horsemanship 13 & Under and Youth Showmanship 13 & Under, and a reserve world championship in Youth Trail 13 & Under. When the dust settled, the duo stood triumphant at the top of the charts for the All-Around Youth 13 & Under award.
In addition to world championship titles, Gianna and Rio earned sixth place in Youth Aged Geldings and Youth Hunter Under Saddle 13 & Under.
All-Around Youth 14–18 & High-Point English Youth—Alexis Sage Miller & Thanks For Zip En Me
In her last hurrah at the Youth World Show, Alexis Sage Miller went out with fanfare, claiming her third All-Around Youth 14–18 title and her fourth consecutive High-Point English Youth award. Her longtime mount is Thanks For Zip En Me, a 2006 sorrel overo gelding by Thanks For Com En and out of Zippin In Charisma; he was bred and is owned by Sharon Miller of Eaton, Colorado.
The 18-year-old won a pair of world championships in Hunt-Seat Equitation Over Fences 18 & Under and Youth Hunter Hack 14–18, as well as reserves in Youth Jumping 18 & Under, Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 14–18 and Youth Ranch Riding 18 & Under. That’s in addition to Top Five finishes in Youth Working Hunter and Youth Reining, along with a Top 10 in Youth Trail 14–18. With so many years of World Show memories, it’s hard to select one favorite; “Lexi” says this year’s equitation class, however, is close to the top.
“I’ve been third twice, fourth once and last year I was ninth—I’ve been so close many times to having that buckle, and just being off by a point or two,” she said. “This was probably the best eq pattern I’ve ever had on him. I had a minor bobble on my part which is what probably put us in reserve, but he showed great—better than he ever has before.”
This fall, Lexi heads to Fresno State University, where she’ll ride on the varsity NCAA equestrian team. She’s excited for the new adventure and knows her skills honed aboard “Winston” will certainly come in handy.
All-Around Novice Youth—Devyn Ritchey & Inspired By Real
Devyn Ritchey of Brighton, Colorado, came to the Youth World Show with a dream and a plan.
“I had a lesson where I fell off three times, and my trainer [Karen Banister] told me to put my eyes on the other side of the jump and ride to it,” Devyn said. “So when I decided that when I wanted to go to the World Show, I put my eyes on the other side of winning a world title and I rode to it.”
Though she netted her goal—twice—with world championship wins in Novice Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation Over Fences and Novice Youth Hunter Hack 18 & Under, Devyn and her trusty mount, Inspired By Real, continued to ride to success throughout the show and ultimately captured the All-Around Novice Youth title.
“It just feels crazy; I never expected this,” Devyn said.
Inspired By Real is a 2006 sorrel overo gelding by Real Bonanza and out of Justinred. Together, Devyn and “Louis” captured world championships in Novice Youth Hunter Hack 18 & Under, Novice Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation Over Fences; a reserve world championship in Novice Youth Working Hunter; fifth in Novice Youth Western Riding 18 & Under and Novice Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 14–18 and sixth in Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14–18.
All-Around Youth Solid Paint-Bred—Hallie Horsman & Im A Lucky Asset
For the second year in a row, Hallie Horsman and Im A Lucky Asset, a 2000 bay solid gelding by Frozen Assets and out of Miss Buda Twist, claimed the All-Around Youth Solid Paint-Bred title, proving they have more than just luck on their side.
“It was a surprise because winning something two years in a row doesn’t usually happen in anything,” Hallie said. “He has the mind that most horses don’t have. I don’t know very many horses that can go from halter, pleasure and showmanship to getting 17s and 18s in speed events.”
Hallie and “Lucky” won world championships in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Hunt-Seat Equitation and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Pole Bending. The dynamic duo also took home reserve world championship titles in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Horsemanship, Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Showmanship.
High-Point Youth Power Performance & High-Point Western Youth—Brodee Shelnutt & Royally Smart
It’s rare to find Brodee Shelnutt without a rope in his hand, and if you didn’t know better, you’d think he’d been roping all his life. But the 18-year-old from Rising Star, Texas, only started getting serious about his skill set about two years ago, though his dedication to the craft was on full display in Fort Worth.
At his first Youth World Show, Brodee and his leased mount Royally Smart—a 2003 sorrel tobiano mare by King Of Smarts (QH) and out of Peppilina Delta—dominated the roping classes, jumping out to an early lead in the Power Performance Youth and High-Point Western Youth title races. He won Youth Breakaway Roping, Youth Heeling and Youth Working Cow Horse, as well as snagging reserve in Youth Heading and a sixth in Youth Steer Stopping. Not too shabby for only working with his equine partner for a few months.
“The first day we got the mare, we started working toward this goal,” Brodee said. “I’ve roped some in the pasture, but I never team roped or anything like that. This has been a totally new experience. I’ve met a lot of new people here—they’ve all been really nice. I’d like to thank Candice Bowen and Earnest Wilson for getting me here and John Agee for letting me use his mare.”
High-Point Youth Walk-Trot—Kayla Martin & Wicked Roses
It was only Kayla Martin’s second time showing Wicked Roses, but that didn’t stop the 10-year-old from Deland, Florida, from taking home the High-Point Walk-Trot title.
“I wanted to try get at least one world championship,” Kayla said. “When I watched everybody else show, I was getting so nervous. I didn’t think I’d be able to win because everybody looked so good.”
Kayla went above and beyond her goal by winning world championships in Walk-Trot Western Pleasure and Walk-Trot Hunter Under Saddle, as well as third place in Walk-Trot Trail and fourth in Walk-Trot Western Horsemanship.
All of our all-around and high-point Youth winners—along with full coverage of the 2017 AjPHA Youth World Championship Show and Top 10 results from every class—will be featured in the September 2017 Paint Horse Journal. Don’t miss out on this very special issue, which also features a preview of the Open/Amateur World Championship Show, too: subscribe, renew or extend your subscription today at apha.com/phj/subscribe.
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