In mounted shooting, consistency is key, and no horse demonstrated that quality better than Flying Spark, a 2000 chestnut tobiano gelding by Hes A Tiger Paw and out of Laura Darlin (QH). Flying Spark used his dependability to earn the 2015 CMSA High-Point APHA Horse award with owner Shannon Andress of Mathews, Alabama, and previous owner Trevor Lewallen of Trinity, North Carolina.
Affectionately known around the barn as “Clutch,” the gelding has been Trevor’s main shooting mount for the last five years.
“He had been shot off before we got him, but he was a lower-level shooting horse. After his owner got out of shooting, Clutch basically sat in a pasture for two years,” Trevor said. “I was in the market for a new shooting horse, so Dad said, ’Let’s go look at him.’ I saw him and fell in love with him. It took about three or four months to get him back in shape again, and after that we just kind of clicked.”
Trevor and Clutch had quite a successful career together, winning the CMSA APHA Youth world title twice at the CMSA World Championships in Amarillo, Texas. Trevor credits Clutch with always giving his all.
“Clutch has a big heart. He always strives to do his best and give you more,” Trevor said. “He’s a really sweet horse around the barn, and he’s very laid-back.”
Trevor is getting ready to head to college in 2016, so he decided it was time for Clutch to have a new partner; he found one in Shannon. She’s quick to acknowledge how lucky she is to own Clutch.
“I call him my grand old man because he is still outrunning a lot of younger horses even at 16 years old,” Shannon said. “He’s got many, many more good years left. He is amazing. I’m so blessed the Lewallens allowed me the opportunity to own Clutch.”
Looking forward, there’s no doubt that Clutch is the first of many Paints to come in Shannon’s barn.
“I had never owned a Paint Horse before, and I am so impressed with the heart and the strength he has,” Shannon said. “I’m totally sold on American Paint Horses.”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to Flash and a link provided back to apha.com.]
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