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Belle of the Shootout

Paints turned out in force for the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association Jeffers National Championship, April 16–19 in Tunic, Mississippi.

With eight Paints competing for APHA titles, times were tight between the top competitors.

In the APHA Open class, Cody Clark won with Starrs Minnie Max, a 2000 bay overo mare by A Titan In Style and out of Maxie Hancock. Owned by Rock and Terri Clark of Columbia, Tennessee, the mare helped Cody, a M6-level rider, earn a total time of 101.30, which took the lead over second-placed Jimmie Allen and his 2000 sorrel solid gelding Costa Del Nic (103.73).

Although “Belle” is normally ridden by Cody’s mother, Terri, the mare’s honesty and speed worked well for Cody. The pair ultimately placed fifth overall among the M6 riders.

“It went fantastic. I knew I had a good shot at winning the APHA division. She’s so fast and so consistent,” Cody said.

Although originally bred by Gary and Irene Starr—extended family to the Clarks—Belle was sold as a youngster. When Rock and Terri began looking for a new shooting horse, they found and purchased Belle without knowing she had been born and raised by family.

It was then that they learned that as a young foal, Belle already showed grit and strength. When a river in the pasture flooded, she swam next to her dam all night because the water was too high for her to touch down.

“She’s so fast and so honest,” Cody said. “She has a bunch of motor to her, and she’ll just go wherever you point her.”

With Belle now in her prime as a shooting mount, the Clarks recently put her up for sale, but Cody says he might keep showing the mare until the time comes to pass her along to another rider.

Thomas Porter of Greenbrier, Arkansas, topped the APHA Amateur class with Moondancers Honey, a 1996 red roan solid Paint-bred gelding by Idle Moon and out of Jet Bar Too.

Their total time of 102.84 over five stages beat out No. 2 Amateur Jeanne Davis’ time of 105.31 with Red Hot Lucky Streak, a 2007 sorrel solid gelding by Frenchmans Irish (QH) and out of Red Hot Roxanne.

Alex Urton was the only APHA Youth contender in Tunica. She rode aunt Cindy Karp’s mare Tys Tri Bar Penny, a 2006 bay tobiano by Morning Stars Bo Ty and out of Wyoming Queens Chief, to a total time of 122.12.


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