Punchy Paints showed off their ranch horse resumes during three tough phases of the first-ever Youth Versatility Ranch Horse Challenge at the 2018 APHA Youth World Championship Show.
The challenge included three back-to-back phases—ranch work, ranch cow work and ranch rail pleasure—and paid $1,000 over three places.
Kiana Gomez of Midland, Texas, had her eyes on the Youth World Show all year, and she teamed up with Smokin Dry Olena for the show’s expanded ranch offerings. Kiana and the 1997 sorrel tobiano gelding by Flicker Bar Dry and out of Bright Gingersmoke also earned APHA’s 2017 year-end Youth Ranch Horse High-Point award.
“I like the ranch events because they’re complicated; you have to have good communication because you’re going a little faster than other classes, and there are lots of elements you have to do—just like you were out working on a ranch,” Kiana said. “It’s pretty hard to be perfect at all [of the ranch versatility events], so you have to find your strong suits and then figure out how to work on your weaknesses.”
“Rocky’s” strengths lies in ranch reining and ranch cow work, Kiana says, but the flashy gelding truly shined in the ranch rail pleasure.
Kiana ultimately beat out five other competitors for the inaugural challenge championship, and she claimed her $500 trophy check to the cheers of her passionate supporters.
“I wasn’t sure how we were going to place overall, but I only wanted to beat myself—to keep doing better than my last rides,” Kiana said. “It feels incredible to win—we’ve been working so hard toward our goals all year.”
Other Youth World Show ranch offerings include world championships for Youth Ranch Riding 18 & Under and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Ranch Riding 18 & Under. The inaugural All-Breed Ranch Work Championships, taking place Saturday, July 7 in conjunction with the Youth World Show, pays more than $10,000 in a four-division format to versatile ranch horses of all registries. Learn more and enter online at apha.com/ranchwork.
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.