Article by Allison Rehnborg
Photo above by Allison Rehnborg; photo below courtesy Larry Williams Photography
As the first day of the APHA Western National Championship Show ended, Madison Wojcek’s own personal celebration was just beginning. The 15-year-old equestrian from Bremerton, Washington, and her mare, A Lady With Assets, swept the national championship in Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under, the final class of the day—and with that trophy, Madison has already met one of her goals for the whole show.
“I just wanted to place well at this show, especially in the classes I enjoy, like equitation,” Madison said. “So, this feels so awesome! All of our hard work has paid off, and I’m insanely proud of ‘Holly.’ ”
Although the 2008 bay overo mare by Frozen Assets and out of Acceptable Ecstasy is Madison’s first horse, Madison says that Holly has already become her heart horse.
“She is an amazing mare,” Madison said. “We have the same personality, and we get along super well.”
But just like in all partnerships, Madison says she and Holly don’t always agree with each other.
“She’s kind of a mare, and sometimes she can be a mare,” Madison said with a laugh. “She’ll get angry and then I’ll get angry and then we fix it.”
With the help and guidance of her trainer, Shelly Sloan of Sloan Performance Horses in Poulsbo, Washington, Madison and Holly have spent the last three years learning how to work together. All that hard work paid off with their winning performance in Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under, which Madison says is one of her favorite events. The pair also earned a reserve championship in Novice Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation.
“I love doing all the maneuvers with Holly,” Madison said. “Being able to do a pattern is the most fun thing, and then getting to watch the other competitors go through the pattern is fun, too.”
Over the course of the Western National Championships, Madison and Holly will be showing in the all-around events in the Youth, Novice Youth and Youth 18 & Under divisions. Although she has a busy weekend ahead of her, Madison is loving every minute of her time with Holly.
“I’ve always wanted to ride horses, and now I finally can,” Madison said. “I started taking lessons when I was 10 or 11. My mom had horses when I was a baby. Growing up, I had a pony, but I didn’t get to ride much. I started playing sports instead but then I missed horses and decided I wanted to get back into it. I quit all sports just so I could get back into riding. I’d say it’s worth it.”
Madison’s goals for the next few years including showing Holly at the APHA Youth World Show, and then she hopes to breed Holly.
“I’d love to breed her someday and have a healthy foal,” Madison said. “I’d really like to have a piece of her to keep because I just love her so much.”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
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.