Leanne Bandy of Sagle, Idaho, might be a small-scale owner and breeder, but she’s got big dreams and a eye for quality. Juggling a full-time job with her horse hobby, the Amateur equestrienne recently realized her dream of taking home a world championship title with Execute Imprint, a 2015 sorrel overo colt purchased from Phillip and Susan Drawdy of Fort Pierce, Florida.
“I purchased him sight unseen from pictures—I had fallen in love with his pictures,” Leanne said. “He had been home for four or five weeks, and he just really started to come on. I told my fiancée, Kent, that I might think about sending him to the World Show.”
Though she had never before competed at the APHA World Championship Show, Leanne decided the time was right to make her World Show debut with “Mister.” Leanne usually trains and fits her own horses, but she decided a bit of expert help was in order for the premier Paint Horse competition, so the horsewoman asked the Drawdys—veteran World Show exhibitors—for advice.
“We do our local APHA shows and futurities here in the Pacific Northwest. I usually do all the fitting on my horses; he’s the first one I’ve ever sent out to a trainer,” Leanne said. “When we got in touch with Phil, he recommended some trainers and that’s when I got in touch with Jimmie Hardin. We just really connected, so we shipped him there for two and a half months.”
Leanne didn’t let nerves about competing at her first World Show get in the way of her success—she was confident her colt was a good one. Mister proved her right, placing fourth in Amateur Weanling Stallions, winning that class’ Intermediate Champion title, and earning a unanimous world championship in Weanling Stallions with handler Jason Smith.
“It was surreal to go to the World Show and hope and pray you might place Top Five,” Leanne said. “We never dreamt that at our first World Show we’d come home with a unanimous world champion. I owe huge thanks to Jimmie Hardin and Jason Smith for getting that done.”
Mister was one of 316 different horses to take home a world or reserve world champion title at this year’s World Show—the variety of winners reflects the depth of this year’s competitors. Though Mister’s enjoying a well-deserved vacation this winter, Leanne is already making plans to come back to the World Show in 2016.
“He’s got some time off right now, but come early spring we’ll start to fit him again. If everything works out as planned, we’ll be in Fort Worth next year hopefully defending his title,” Leanne said. “It took a few years to get our program together, and the first baby that we had hit the ground in 2006. We haven’t been doing this for too long, but we’ve been pretty successful.”
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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 creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.