By Josie Fladager
Photo by Ruehle Photographix
“I have nine lives,” Tina Shanahan said with a laugh.
Just days before her 2022 World Championship Show appearance, Tina was laying in the ICU with a hemorrhagic intestinal infection, unsure if she was going to be able to make her comeback ride after undergoing heart surgery two years ago. After an incredible fight to get to the 2022 APHA World Championship Show, she saddled up and trotted into the John Justin Arena, ultimately crowned as the Masters Amateur Junior Hunter Under Saddle Intermediate Division reserve champion and placing fourth overall in the class. Later in the show, All The Good Things earned a world champion in Junior Hunter Under Saddle with Keith Miller in the irons.
The 2019 National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductee and 30-year U.S. Navy veteran received her 2019 brown overo gelding, All The Good Things, as a Christmas present from her husband, Kieran, while she was recovering from heart surgery. After extensive negotiations with her doctors, they hesitantly agreed she could begin riding again.
But Tina had bigger dreams in mind than simply riding—she was gunning for another APHA world championship. Her home-kept horses played a starring role in her recovery, and Tina worked daily with trainers Keith and Sydney Miller to prepare herself and “Buster” for this year’s World Show—a goal that nearly didn’t come to fruition. In Fort Worth, Tina says she’s embraced her comeback rides, including the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach as she trotted down the center line once again.
“Let your heart be your guide,” Tina said. “Horses are a powerful driver. They affect your heart and I really believe that. If I can’t do this, I don’t want to do anything else.”
[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 in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.