Top exhibitors and Paint Horses were celebrated for their tremendous talents at the APHA Youth World Championship Show, which took place June 25–July 8 in Fort Worth, Texas. Eight all-around and high-point awards were presented on July 4 to competitors who bested the competition in their respective categories, taking home loads of prizes and bragging rights along with plenty of World Show memories.
All-Around Youth 14–18: Rebecca Figueroa & Check Required
Rebecca Figueroa’s smile beamed bright as she stood proudly next to her partner, Check Required, a 2013 sorrel overo gelding by Required Invitation and out of Unchecked Terms . Though the 17-year-old from Ocala, Florida, primarily competes in all-around events, she was thrilled to lead “Bob” to the inaugural world championship in Youth Performance Halter Geldings.
“I actually really enjoy showing halter,” Rebecca said. “It’s cool to just be able to step back, take a moment and perfect one thing—showing your horse; we buy these amazing, talented horses, and it’s really fun to stand there and show them off.”
Coming into the Youth World Show, Rebecca wasn’t expecting much from Bob; the quiet sorrel overo is only 5 years old, after all, and the World Show was only their fifth outing together, so they set their sights on strong patterns and finalist callbacks. Instead, they loped away from tough classes with plenty of ribbons and championship buckles. In addition to their halter win, Rebecca and Bob snagged world championships in Youth Showmanship 18 & Under and Youth Western Horsemanship 18 & Under; a reserve world championship in Youth Hunter Under Saddle 18 & Under rounded out their top placings, along with Top 10 finishes in Youth Trail 18 & Under and Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under.
When the dust settled, the duo found themselves on top to the standings for the All-Around Youth 14–18 award. The accomplishments came as a total surprise to the hardworking equestrienne.
“He’s just so green, so we were just hoping to have good rides while we figure each other out, so this award is way more than we were expecting,” Rebecca said.
All-Around Youth 13 & Under: Lauren Hall & Alotta Vested Pine
Lauren Hall, of Seattle, Washington, made her second trip to the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show an unforgettable one with her partner of two years, Alotta Vested Pine, a 2011 sorrel overo gelding sired by Vested Pine (QH) and out of Alotta Faith. Lauren immediately started her Youth World Show on a high note with a world championship in the Novice Hunter Under Saddle 13 & Under, which helped Lauren’s dream of winning a neck ribbon come true.
“I always wanted a neck ribbon so when I won my first one I almost started crying,” Lauren said.
Lauren didn’t stop with just one, though; she went on to win four more. The dynamic duo clinched world championships in Novice Trail13 & Under and Novice Hunter Under Saddle 13 & Under, along with Youth 13 & Under reserve world championships in trail, hunter under saddle and equitation.
When Lauren found out she had won the coveted all-around title, she couldn’t believe it. She sat on the rail, waiting for the final placings of Youth Western Pleasure 13 & Under, filled with shock and excitement about what she had just accomplished, Lauren says.
“I was so happy, I was hoping I would get it and was just so happy when I found out in my last class,” she said.
All-Around Novice Youth: Ella Storch & Vegas Made Me Do It
From the day she met Vegas Made Me Do It, 15-year-old Ella Storch of Bend, Oregon, set her sights on achieving big dreams.
“Since the moment I started working with ‘Vegas,’ winning an all-around title at the Youth World Show has been our goal,” Ella said. “This is my last Novice Youth year, and so I really wanted to do well. On top of practicing all year, I stayed with my trainer for more than a week right before the show to spend hours practicing and perfecting our patterns.”
All the hard work paid off in the John Justin Arena, when Ella and the personable gelding snagged world championship wins in Novice Youth Reining, along with a reserve world championship in Novice Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 14–18. Top 10 finishes in Novice Youth Pole Bending, Novice Youth Stake Race and Novice Youth Western Pleasure 14–18 helped the team clinch their long-held goal.
Vegas Made Me Do It is a 2008 sorrel overo gelding by FPF Lethal Weapon and out of Almost Kissed.
All-Around Solid Paint-Bred Youth: Sabine Lazo & Original Hottie
Sabine Lazo of Caldwell, Texas, proved that hard work and persistence pay off when she clinched the All-Around Youth Solid Paint-Bred award with Original Hottie, a 2014 black solid mare by The Original Cowboy and out of Lopin Lucille (QH). After attending the Youth World Show eight times and coming home with a reserve all-around title on four occasions, Sabine is finally coming home with the top prize.
A sudden horse switch didn’t stop Sabine from remaining positive and enjoying the chance to show her young but talented horse; the Youth World Show was only “Jazz’s” fifth show and her first time showing in English events.
“Winning the all around is more than a dream come true, it is a culmination of hard work over the years and all of the generosity the Paint Horse community has shown me throughout the years,” Sabine said.
The duo started the week with a reserve world championship in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Hunter Under Saddle 18 & Under and rode on to win the world title in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under. Changing tack to a Western saddle, the duo claimed two more red-and-yellow reserve championship ribbons inYouth Solid Paint-Bred Western Horsemanship 18 & Under and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure 18 & Under. Top 10 finishes in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Showmanship 18 & Under, Youth Solid Paint-Bred Barrel Racing 18 & Under and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Mares helped Sabine seal the all-around title.
High-Point Youth Walk-Trot: Delaney Good & Kewl Zippin Strider
At the 2017 Youth World Show, Delany Good tied for the High-Point Youth Walk-Trot award, but she ended up reserve after the tiebreaker didn’t fall her way. This year, the equestrienne from Boone, Iowa, and Kewl Zippin Strider were back with a single goal in mind: to make a strong run at the high-point title once again.
By their second class of the show—Youth Walk-Trot Hunter Under Saddle—Delany and “Dewey” had snagged their first-ever world championship. They followed that up with three more championships, coming in Walk-Trot showmanship, trail and Western pleasure, and a reserve world championship in Walk-Trot Horsemanship. The momentum was enough to help them capture the 2018 the High-Point Youth Walk-Trot title with 109 points.
“I was super happy and very surprised—I was super-duper excited,” Delany said. “If something goes wrong, it’s OK and you should just keep showing. I love the feeling when you win and I love seeing my friends.
Dewey is a 2003 chestnut overo gelding by LS Legacy and out of Kewl Zippn Rita May (QH).
High-Point English Horse: Amanda Walsh & Aspercel
When Amanda Walsh of Thornton, Colorado, lost her Paint suddenly last December, she was heartbroken. Luckily, though, the big gray overo gelding Aspercel came into her life at exactly the right moment, helping mend her heartache and setting her on the path for a remarkable first AjPHA Youth World Show.
Tiny Amanda and the huge 17+ hand “Arthur”—so named for the big gray jumper in vintage Disney classic The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit—dominated the show’s English classes, taking home world championships in Youth Working Hunter 13 & Under and Youth Hunter Hack 13 & Under, and a pair of thirds in Youth Hunt Seat Equitation 13 & Under and Youth Jumping 18 & Under; that’s in addition to three world titles in Novice Youth hunter hack, equitation over fences and working hunter, along with a Novice Top Five and Top 10.
After English events concluded, Amanda and Arthur had 75 total points toward the High-Point English Youth title, clinching it with ease.
“We’re here more or less in Ben’s tribute. He was a great horse,” Amanda said. “I wanted to be Top 10 in all of my classes. This has been a great experience; it’s really friendly competition here.”
High-Point Power Performance Youth & High-Point Western Youth: Jennifer Stanley & Lightening Sam Bass
Fast and flashy, Lightening Sam Bass burst into the arena for strong performances in roping and speed events to nab the High-Point Power Performance Youth award with 18-year-old owner Jennifer Stanley of Holland, Texas, aboard. The duo captured wins in Youth Breakaway Roping 18 & Under and Youth Goat Tying 18 & Under, and they followed up their championship rides with third-place finishes in Youth Pole Bending 18 & Under and Youth Stake Race 18 & Under. A fourth-place ride in Youth Heading 18 & Under and a fifth in Youth Steer Stopping 18 & Under capped off a stellar World Show and catapulted Jennifer and Lightening Sam Bass to the top of the charts for the High-Point Power Performance award, which recognizes the top exhibitor competing in ranch, speed and cattle events.
Lightening Sam Bass is a 2001 palomino tobiano gelding by PC Frenchmans Hayday (QH) and out of Bad Little Sister.
Watch for full World Show coverage in the September/October 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 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.