Friday, March 24, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, was the moment for maiden and Novice horses to shine and earn large payouts during the 2023 Virginia Maiden at the Spring Breakout AQHA and NSBA show.
Kenny Lakins and “Sheldon” Win Three Year Old and Older Novice Horse Western Pleasure
The Three Year Old and Older Novice Horse Western Pleasure saw stiff competition among its 11 entries, who competed for a purse of just over $15,000.
Kenny Lakins showed VS Bettin On Jacks to the win for William and Lisa Wilkes, earning a paycheck of $3,500. The four year old red roan gelding is by VS Code Red and out of the Wilke’s mare, Bettin With My Heart.
It was a long wait for the team. “Lisa and Mike were very patient waiting to get to show this horse,” Kenny said. “He got hurt somehow in his neck as a yearling, and we don’t really know what happened to him, but his balance was way off. He had to have stall rest, and we really gave him a long time before we even started him.
I think I started him in July of his two year old year, and at first he wanted to be a hunt seat horse. We did a lot of long trotting everywhere, but then he started figuring out how to be a show horse his three year old year. He’s only been to about three horse shows. He was circuit champion at the Winter Circuit in Venice and was third in the Fun In The Sun futurity class there.
“He’s going to make a really nice horse. His top line is so good, and he’s so steady in his head and neck. For as big as he is, he’s 16.1, he jogs really pretty too.”
The win was somewhat bittersweet for Lisa Wilkes, who recently lost “Sheldon’s” dam. “Lisa will be showing him in Select and Non-Pro classes but we’ll probably pick and choose what shows we want to show him at,” Kenny said.
Keith Miller Rack Up Second Virginia Maiden Futurity Win in Maiden Hunter Under Saddle
The inaugural Virginia Maiden Three Year Old and Older Maiden Hunter Under Saddle also saw a tough group of horses compete for a $30,000 added purse.
Keith Miller guided Boy Oh Boy to three firsts and a second on the judges’ cards to earn first in the composite to win the class and a $10,000 payout for owner Joy Geallis. The gray stallion known as Cedrick is by Iron Enterprise and out of Blue Skys Movin In and was bred by Capall Creek Farm LLC.
“With a maiden horse, you never know until you get out there, but he is so good minded and pretty honest, so I thought we would be OK,” noted Keith Miller. “He trotted in really well, had really great expression, cantered off and relaxed and just let me show him. He handled the traffic great and just had a good go.”
The gelding is special to Keith. “We had bought his full brother from Amy (Smith at Capall Creek), and I had a lot of success in the three year old classes with him,” he said. “Amy had sent me a video of him as a long yearling, and I loved him. Later when he was two, I rode his third ride ever on him and we bought him. We plan to show him in the Novice Horse classes throughout the year.”
The Limited division of the class saw Kaitlin Hutchinson and So Youre The One take the Limited Rider bonus and fourth overall, showing for Tali Terlizzi, winning a $1,500 Limited bonus. Her mount is by Allocate Your Assets and out of The Party Starts Now.
Steve Meadows and "Alvin" Win Inaugural Maiden Ranch Rail Class
Steve Meadows didn’t have a lot of time with his horse Seven S Crossfire before he brought him to show in Virginia, but he made the most of his horse’s debut in the inaugural Three Year Old and Older Maiden Horse Ranch Rail class. They earned $4,000 for the first place win for owner Kara Bennett.
“We just bought this horse in January, and he’s only been to one other show,” Steve said. “But he’s so good minded. He’s very cow bred, and has a lot of feel, but I don’t think I’ve ever ridden another horse that has so much heart and try. Even if he’s scared of something, he’s willing to try, and he’ll come back the next day and master it, and he retains it.”
Steve was appreciative of the new class. “We don’t have a lot of classes like this, and we really appreciate the Troutman family for all the support they provide to the industry,” he said. “Having this event is just so positive for the industry. We had a lot of people in the stands and a lot of really nice entries in the class.”
The gelding known as Alvin is by Stevie Rey Von and out of Seven Pepto Whiz. “He’ll continue to show in the Ranch Riding classes, but he has some cattle experience, and he will eventually show in the Versatility Ranch Horse classes. He’s going to be a lot of fun to show.”
Young Cole Guthro showed his palomino stallion to the highest placing Non-Pro in the class, earning a new Bob’s Ranch show saddle and placed fourth overall in the class. Cole and the palomino were a crowd favorite, earning a first, second and fourth under the judges.
“I’ve only had him for two weeks,” he said. “This was his first time to go anywhere. My favorite part of the class was that he loped really good in both directions, and he was pretty consistent.” Cole noted that his horse will get some treats, and he planned to celebrate with his friends.
The Spring Breakout/Virginia Maiden show continues through Sunday, March 26. To view complete show results, visit the Horse Show Tracker app or go to showsbysuzanne.com.