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World Show competitiors share 14 tips for first-time exhibitors

The APHA World Show can feel like a daunting place—with all the activity, competition and pressure to perform at the highest level of Paint competition, nerves can run at an all-time high as the November 4 start date approaches.

Whether it’s your first time in the arena or you’re a seasoned veteran, a little bit of encouraging advice could be just what you need to put your best boot forward as you step into the arena. World Show exhibitors shared their advice for fellow or first-time competitors in their exhibitor biography forms, and we’ve compiled our favorite responses.

“Don’t quit. Success is failure turned inside out, so you must always persevere.” —Malisah Lea Moravitz, Richmond, Texas

“Do your homework. You can’t change or fix something last minute at the show. It all comes down to prep work.” —Sabrina Seehafer, Ankeny, Iowa

“Breathe! When I first started showing again, I would hold my breath without knowing it.” —Sandy DuBose, Montgomery, Texas

“Try to relax enough to enjoy the experience. The memories made here are priceless!” —Elizabeth Goodale, Pawleys Island, South Carolina

“Go out there have fun, smile and relax because you have earned the right to be out there with the other elite horses in the Paint Horse industry. Enjoy it, because life will not get any better than this. Except, of course, for the World Show next year!” —Scott Schuetz, Highland, Illinois

“Ride a lot once you get to the show. It’s better to ride more rather than less.” —Lindsay McLain, Altoona, Iowa

“Have fun! I have learned over the course of my show career that having fun doing what I love to do is so much better than worrying about what others think or do, stressing out about being perfect and being too hard on myself and my horse. If you’re having fun, enjoying your Paint Horse and your fellow competitors, and doing your best, winning just becomes the cherry on top!” – Nicole Sparrow, Marysville, Washington

“Don’t let your nervousness get to you. When I start to feel nervous, I just think about how, if I let my nerves get to me and I blow the class, then I am wasting my horse’s time! I don’t want to waste my horse’s time because she worked hard for this moment, so I swallow those butterflies and take a deep breath. Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Just focus on riding your horse exactly like you do at home; if you did your homework, you will do just fine.” —Morgan Ilic, Franklinville, New Jersey

“There is so much going on try you get around to the different arenas and watch the different disciplines show. Talk to people and ask for help. Everyone is so nice, and I feel we all go the extra miles for each other. There are great life-long friends to be made here.”—Mikey Trueba, Williams, Arizona

“Be brave and have fun! For some, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—make the most of it. We are all here rooting for you!”
—Lexi Heney, Morrice, Michigan

“It’s my first time, and I am constantly telling myself to just enjoy this experience. I never know when this chance will come again, and I want to live it out to the fullest.” —Caylee Conner, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

“Keep your family and friends at the front of your World Show dreams. They have been there from the beginning, before you had these dreams, and they are there to keep a hand on you at all times.” —Shannon Leggett, East Falmouth, Massachusetts

“Relax and enjoy the experience. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your horse. It’s only your first time once—make it a good memory.” —Tracy Billing, Ben Wheeler, Texas

“You are here because you can do this!” —Samantha Wurch, Wilmington, North Carolina

There’s still time to tell your World Show story! Complete your exhibitor/owner biography form to detail your journey to Fort Worth.

Feeling social? Connect with APHA during the show on FacebookInstagram at @APHAworld show and on Twitter at @WorldShow. Tag us in your photos, detail your triumphs and ask questions!


[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.]

About APHA

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.