Arianna Ortiz In-Hand Trail
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Arianna Ortiz & Tardee To Hollywood shine in Open Yearling In-Hand Trail

When Arianna Ortiz of Rocky Ford, Colorado, stepped into the John Justin Arena to compete in Yearling In-Hand Trail at the APHA World Championship Show, she was hoping to see her hard work pay off with a Top 10. She was the only Youth competing against adults and professional trainers, after all, and she wasn’t supposed to be showing Tardee To Hollywood in Fort Worth anyway.

Two years ago, Arianna and her mother, Meredith, bred their mares. Arianna lost her mare after foaling to a cervical tear, and then tragically lost the foal six months later. The young horsewoman was heartbroken.

To help reconcile her grief, Arianna began working with her mother’s foal, Tardee To Hollywood. “Hope” is a 2023 sorrel tobiano mare by Heza Hollywood Star and out of Tardees Jackie. The pair began dabbling in groundwork and in-hand trail.

“I loved it,” Arianna said. “I thought we could do something with this. About a week and a half before [World Show] entries were due, my mom brought it up to me. I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ This was originally meant for my mare’s foal, so I wanted to do it for him.”

A World (Show) of Opportunity

Arianna and Hope signed up for the Yearling Futurity Project, a special division of World Show competition designed for Youth learning to train their own horses. They earned a reserve championship in the futurity project’s in-hand trail class, third in showmanship and fourth in longe line.

“When we got here, I knew it was going to be tough, but I had a lot of faith in her,” Arianna said. “I trust that filly a lot and she trusts me. It’s been a wonderful experience working with her.”

But that wasn’t the end of Arianna’s World Show journey—the 17-year-old entered the Open Yearling In-Hand Trail class, too. There, Arianna and Hope won the Intermediate championship and placed third overall.

“Going in this class, I was going to be happy with a Top 10—I had no expectations,” Arianna said. “I was just happy to be there. I couldn’t believe it when we placed first in the Intermediate. I’m unbelievably happy with her. For my first time working with a yearling and my first Paint World, it was amazing.”

The opportunity to train Hope provided Arianna with new insight.

“What I learned the most is how hard everyone works,” she said. “Being able to go in there with other Youth and know they worked just as hard as I did with their yearlings, I was very proud to be part of that group. I’ve learned a lot about myself, what I can improve and what I’m good at. Young horses take time; they need a foundation and someone who will take the time to work with them every day. You have to be their guide and their leader. It’s been a very good experience overall.”

Even though her personal journey didn’t take the road she originally envisioned, Arianna is grateful for the opportunity. She encourages others to chase their dreams, too.

“Even though things might tear you down, go for it and follow your dreams and don’t give up,” Arianna said. “If you work hard, all of the blood, sweat and tears that go into those horses will pay off.”


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About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association. Since it was founded in 1962, APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses. Learn more at