As summer melts into fall, some of the world’s most talented Paint Horses descend on Fort Worth, Texas, like colorful falling leaves to compete at the APHA World Championship Show. The event featured old friends and new faces who enjoyed friendly camaraderie amongst fierce competition; at the show’s conclusion, a handful of exhibitors laid claim to the show’s 15 all-around and high-point awards.
All-Around Horse, All-Around Amateur, High-Point Open Ranch Horse, High-Point Amateur Ranch Horse, High-Point Western Performance Horse, Super Gelding: Jessica Rumbaugh & Boonfull Of Caesar
To say that Jessica Rumbaugh of El Campo, Texas and Boonfull of Caesar had a successful World Show would be an understatement. Jessica and the 2012 gray overo gelding by Royal Caeser Boon (QH) and out of MH Whata Investment (QH) earned an outstanding six all-around and high-point titles at this year’s World Show—an accomplishment that hasn’t before been equalled, at least in recent APHA history.
Bred by Laura and Shawn Stern of Columbia City, Indiana, “Gus” had 380 performance points and nine Registers of Merit before coming to this year’s World Show. This year, the team won a world championship title in Ranch Cow Work and four reserve world championship titles in Ranch Reining, Amateur Ranch Reining, Amateur Ranch Riding and Amateur Ranch Pleasure, with multiple other Top Five and Top 10 placings. With many of the title races coming down to the final classes of the show, Jessica’s strong performance with her gelding helped them earn top honors six times over.
All-Around Masters Amateur: Marci Griffin-Michaels & Gotta Glo Slo
Marcie Griffin-Michaels of Aubrey, Texas, shares Gotta Glo Slo with her talented daughter, Erin Griffin, and both have frequented the winner’s circle with the 2013 chestnut overo gelding. This year in particular, though, was mom’s year to shine.
Riding under the instruction of Gillespie Show Horses, Marcie and Gotta Glo Slo earned a world championship in Masters Amateur Western Riding and reserve world championships in Masters Amateur Showmanship and Masters Amateur Hunter Under Saddle. These victories, combined with Top Ten finishes in Masters Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation and Masters Amateur Horsemanship pushed the duo to the top of the standings for the Masters Amateur All-Around title; they clinched the win by 11 points.
Gotta Glo Slo is a 2013 chestnut overo gelding by VS Code Red (QH) and out of Glowing Around Slo (QH).
All-Around Novice Amateur: Candice Monsen & VS Total Heartthrob
All it took was a Facebook video for Candice Monsen of South Jordan, Utah, to know that VS Total Heartthrob was the perfect horse for her.
“All we saw was the Facebook video and I knew that I had to have him,” Candice said. “We bought him as a yearling and my trainer, Cooper Evans and I have done all the work and training with him since then. We took it pretty easy on ‘Luke’ in the beginning and we just started showing him last year.”
A 2015 tovero bay stallion by VS Flatline (QH) and out of She Can Cadillac, Luke quickly transitioned from the breeding farm to show horse. The team only started working on jumping in May, but the event turned out to be one of their best classes. Candice and Luke won world championship titles in Novice Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation Over Fences and Novice Amateur Hunter Hack, with reserve world championship titles in Novice Amateur Working Hunter and Novice Amateur Trail. They were also fourth in Novice Amateur Western Riding and fifth in Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle.
“I didn’t really expect to win this high-point,” Candice said. “I just worked on having a great show and wanted to finish strong. It’s so special because we’ve had him since he was a yearling and this has always been a goal of mine, so it’s super special to me.”
High-Point Amateur Walk-Trot: Kirsten Pfab & Mr Cool Zippo
When she realized the horse she’d purchased in late December 2018 wasn’t going to pan out for the 2019 APHA World Show, Kirsten Pfab turned to her barn family for help. Another client in trainer James Saubolle’s barn—Raygan Follis—offered to lease Mr Cool Zippo to Kirsten, resetting her hopes of competing at the World Show once again.
Since they were a new team, and given some confidence issues Kirsten had experienced with past horses, the duo set their sights on the Amateur Walk-Trot division. Training was tough—Kirsten resides in Granger, Iowa, while her trainer and “Bear” live in Texas—and she only rode the 2006 red roan overo gelding a handful of times before heading to the World Show. Bear’s sweet personality and willingness to try helped Kirsten find success in the show pen, winning a world championship in Amateur Walk-Trot Horsemanship and Top Fives in Amateur Walk-Trot Showmanship, Hunter Under Saddle and Equitation.
“The patience he has for me is amazing,” Kirsten said. “I can run through a pattern and mess up tons of times, and he’ll still try just as hard that next time. He’s willing to give me everything he has every time out.”
Bear is by MC Zip A Zip and out of Cool Gift.
High-Point Novice Amateur Ranch Horse: Michell Anne Kimball & Gotta Rowdy Baby
Michell Anne Kimball of Encinitas, California, is proud of every foal by her stallion, National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz, but she might now hold an extra special place in her heart for Gotta Rowdy Baby. After all, the 2014 bay overo mare by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Rowdy Brinna (QH), carried Michell to considerable success at her very first APHA World Championship Show.
Riding under the instruction of Rusty Dare of Gainesville, Texas, Michell and “April” claimed world championships in Novice Amateur Ranch Rail Pleasure and Novice Amateur Ranch Riding, along with a reserve world championship in Novice Amateur Ranch Pleasure and a fourth-place finish in Novice Amateur Ranch Trail. Stellar rides in each of her classes also put Michell in the lead for the coveted High-Point Novice Amateur Ranch Horse award. Though it’s hard to pick a favorite class out of so many top rides, Michell says her favorite buckle was earned in the pair’s most challenging class.
“The Ranch Rail Pleasure was the hardest win,” Michell said. “You’re in the ring with all the horses, and you have to present your horse in a way so that the judges can pick you out of everyone else. It’s hard for April, too, because she’s only 5 and she couldn’t get too excited if others horses passed or crowded her. You can’t be too fast, you can’t be too abrupt, your transitions have to be precise; it’s tough to do all that, but I think that’s why I enjoy the class so much.”
Though Michell’s seen her stallion make some epic wins—including team and individual reining gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games—her championships and high-point title with April are pretty special, too.
“It feels pretty incredible,” Michell said. “This is the first time I get to put a record on a horse by my stallion, and the whole show was fabulous; I had the best time ever.”
High-Point English Horse: Thanks For Zip En Me
It’s been about a year since Thanks For Zip En Me has sailed over fences, but it seems the time away has done nothing but help “Winston” look at his signature events with fresh eyes. The 2006 sorrel overo gelding is always a force to be reckoned with in jumping events at the World Show, and he added seven new Open and Amateur world championships to his resume in 2019 en route to claiming his second-consecutive High-Point English Horse award.
Among Winston’s world championships were titles in Senior Hunter Hack and Open Jumping; trainer Ryan Painter showed the gelding to those wins, along with earning a reserve world championship in Senior Working Hunter and seventh in Senior Hunter Under Saddle. Winston now has 24 world championships, tying him for third on APHA’s all-time list. He is by Thanks For Com En and out of Zippin In Charisma.
“In the beginning, everybody told me to sell him—they said he wouldn’t be good enough, he’d only do the English, he’s not big enough or competitive enough for the 14-18. Now, we’re looking at what kind of legacy he’ll leave,” said Sharon Miller, the gelding’s owner and breeder from Eaton, Colorado. “He’s only 13 and still very sound. The thing about Winston is his brain—he’s willing to go out and try anything, as long as you’re fair.”
High-Point Solid Paint-Bred & High-Point Amateur Solid Paint-Bred: S. Lynn Walker & Gunner Got Out
It wasn’t their first rodeo, and the veteran duo of S. Lynn Walker and Gunner Got Out took the World Show’s Amateur and Open ranch classes by storm. Their efforts resulted in four reserve world championship titles along with two high-point solid Paint-bred awards.
The horsewoman from Shreveport, Louisiana, piloted the 2007 gray solid gelding herself through the Open and Amateur classes. They were reserve world champions in Amateur and Open Ranch Riding, as well as in Amateur and Open Ranch Rail Pleasure, a new class for 2019. They were also fifth in Amateur and Open Solid Paint-Bred Ranch Riding. How’s that for consistency?
Owned by Lynn, Gunner Got Out is by APHA Hall of Famer Colonels Smokingun and out of Miss Taris Rey (QH).
Oscar Crigler Cattle Award: Rolex Bar Twister
A World Show veteran, Rolex Bar Twister added another feather to his cap with a solid performance in roping events at the 2019 World Show. Now 14 years old, the 2005 bay tobiano stallion turned in consistent performances in heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer stopping, capturing the Oscar Crigler Cattle Award along with the reserve High-Point Western Horse title.
Marie Kettle of Craig, Colorado, owns the skilled stallion; he was bred by Marie and her late husband, Ronald. The stallion, who is by A Tru Rolex and out of Odes President Gal, earned a world championship in Heading, a reserve world championship in tie-down roping and thirds in Heeling and Steer Stopping. He was piloted by T J Watts, also of Colorado.
High-Point Open Exhibitor: Sara Beth Simons
Sara Beth Simons of Aubrey, Texas, brought a trailer full of talent to the 2019 APHA World Championship Show, and she drove away with plenty of payouts and hardware for her dedicated clients. Riding a multitude horses in both English and Western Open events, Sara claimed five world championships and five reserve world championships, along with a slew of Top 10 finishes.
Among her string of horses were Hez Blazin Trouble, One Flashy Sensation and Even More Sensational, whom Sara rode to several victories.
Hez Blazin Trouble is a 2015 sorrel overo gelding owned by Bonnie Sheren of Studio City, California. Sara piloted “Parker” to world championships in Green Western Riding, Green Trail, Junior Trail and Junior Western Riding, as well as reserve world championships in Green Hunter Under Saddle.
One Flashy Sensation is a 2005 sorrel overo mare owned by Lauren Gralla of Norman, Oklahoma; “Mel” carried Sara to a world championship in Senior Western Riding, and they were fifth in Senior Trail.
Even More Sensational, a 2013 bay overo gelding by Zippos Sensation and out of Good Enchantment (QH) owned by Samantha Rose Stubblefield of Montgomery, Texas, was piloted by Sara to a reserve world championship in Senior Western Riding and ninth in Senior Trail.
Other horses include Zensational, A Sensational Paint, RC Wowed Me and No Doubt Im Invited.