The first Sunday of the NSBA World Championship Show and Breeders Championship Futurity saw Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle and Youth classes get underway. Not only were several large checks paid out in futurity and World Show competition, but some of the previous Yearling Sale Graduates earned their share of the graduates’ purse after placing in the top ten in their classes.

Hunting Championships

The morning began with Keith Miller piloting All The Girls Dig Me to win the Color Senior Hunter Under Saddle for owner Rosemary Smith, earning $812.80. “We bought ‘Roman’ as a two year old, so we’ve been together for four years now,” Rosemary said of the six year old gelding by All Time Fancy.

“We love his personality. He’s very sweet and very quiet, but he loves to get into things. He’s really a 17.2 hand puppy dog. He’s the kindest, sweetest horse, and he loves to go and show.

“We won the Senior Hunter Under Saddle at the APHA World, and we’ve won Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle and the Color Hunter Under Saddle here at the NSBA World. He also has some Pinto World titles too. I think he has won eight world and reserve titles so far.”

Laura Spell showed Al Be Under The Hood to win the Three Year Old Novice Horse Hunter Under Saddle for owner Allison Board, earning a $2,487 paycheck. “Drew DeBuhr started him, but since he doesn’t ride Hunter horses, Allison sent him to me. Drew gave him a really solid foundation, and I’ve been working with him since the middle of his two year old year,” Laura said.

“He’s by Mechanic and out of an Allocate Your Assets mare. He wants to be a show horse. We won the March To The Arch and the slot Hunter Under Saddle class at the Madness, and were reserve at the A Sudden Impulse Futurity in this Novice Horse class. Allison will be showing him in the Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle. We may be keeping him as an All Around horse.”

Laura Bracken showed a horse that she bred and raised and owns both the sire and dame of Hez Dressed Best. She and Percy won the Color Breeders Championship Futurity 4-6 Year Old Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, earning a $916 paycheck.

“Percy is by our stallion, Sophistication Only, and out of a mare I’ve shown many times, Shes Dressed Hot, who is by Hot Ones Only,” Laura said. “He’s been showing since he was two years old. He is just so consistent, and predictable. He’s a fun horse to show, and he’s very sweet.

“We’ve been raising our own horses since 2005, and it is so much more gratifying when you’ve raised one and trained it and see success with it.”

When Mark and Judy Zeitler started working with Makin It Platinum, Mark was working with the horse to become a Western Pleasure star. “He’s by Makin Me Willy Wild and out of a Platinum Dream mare, so he’s really bred to be a pleasure horse,” Judy said. “Oscar’s owner, Kurt Heling, showed him in Western Longe Line last year.

“A couple of months ago, I was watching Mark ride him and I thought he could long trot, so I started riding him. So we changed our plans and decided to enter him here. This was his first time shown, and he was very consistent, soft and he listened really well. It turned out really well considering that wasn’t originally what we had planned for him.”

Gimme Ur Best Stuff was another horse that started out with a different career in mind, but switched to a new discipline, and it resulted in a BCF championship in the BCF Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle with Jana Leigh Simons.

“Puff is by RL Best Of Sudden, so he’s really not bred to be a Hunter Under Saddle horse, but he got so tall,” Jana said. “I never thought we’d be doing this, but my sister Sara suggested that I show him in Hunter Under Saddle. We bought him in the NSBA Yearling Sale two years ago. It’s so easy for him. We practiced in the Green Hunter Under Saddle and ended here. He’s such a pretty trotter.”

Gimme Ur Best Stuff also qualified for a piece of the Yearling Sale Graduate money by winning the class.

In the Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, Im Willy Good Today continued to be good for his owner Erin Shapiro Boatwright, winning the world championship unanimously and earning $1,463.

“I think this was our first time to win a class unanimously,” Erin said. “Last year we had a great show here, and this year is starting off great too! He just wants to be a show horse. He is the same every time we take him out. I don’t have to worry about anything when I show him and he makes this really fun.

“Today was even more special because I was standing on the wall after the class with his former owner, Sandra Morgan, talking, and I think he recognized her voice because he kind of perked up. I am so thankful to her for selling him to me.”

The Western World

Sara Simons took the reins of Air Ryde for owner Anita Weiscamp and took the world championship title in the notoriously deep Maturity Open Western Pleasure. “He really is a dream,” Anita said of the gelding, who is by Machine Made and out of an RL Best Of Sudden mare.

“We didn’t know how great he was until Sara started working with him. In Ocala, he went from winning the Western Pleasure Sweepstakes to scoring the highest Trail score half an hour later. He can do Western Riding too. Whatever we point at him, he just does it. I thank God every day for the opportunity to own him.

“The NSBA World Show will always be special to us, because three years ago we came here with just 45 days of training, and so every year it marks a milestone for us.”

In the Color Breeders Championship Futurity Three Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure, Megan Ryden showed Made Me Famous to the win and $1,552. “He was amazing,” Megan said of the APHA/AQHA gelding by Machine Made.

“He had been in our barn, but I just bought him in January. Sara Simons had picked him out as a yearling for another customer, and then I was blessed to get him. I’ll show him in the Color Amateur Western Pleasure and the BCF Limited Three Year Old Western Pleasure, and Sara will show him in the Color and Carson, Sara’s assistant trainer, will show him in the Limited Open Color Three Year Old class.

"He’s the sweetest horse. We just started him over poles, so hopefully he will be able to do Trail, which is my favorite class.”

The Color Breeders Championship Futurity Two Year Old Open Western Pleasure saw a familiar color showing some genes from the past when Jay Starnes showed the red roan mare VS Whole Lotta Lucy to the win for Kristen Galyean. They earned $2,430.

“Her barn name is Candy, and we brought her home after the AQHA World Show last year,” Jay said of the red roan mare. “She’s very easy going and quiet, and has been since we started her. She reminds me a lot of her grandmother, Vital Signs Are Good. She just does everything correct. She was really good in the class, listened well and did what I wanted her to do. She’s a really nice horse.”

In the Novice Amateur Western Pleasure, it took two splits and a final to determine the world champion, but Jennifer D’Onofrio borrowed her daughter Isabella’s horse to show and win the class, earning $1,850. “We haven’t had Cameron very long, just since last November,” Jennifer said.

“We showed him in Florida for the first time. We bought him for Bella to show in Western Riding and Western Pleasure, and she’s generous and sometimes lets me take him for a spin. Our trainer, Missy Thyfault, is teaching me how to ride and show Western Pleasure.”

Jennifer had some strategy to her ride. “I’m usually a timid rider, and for the finals I decided to trot in first. He’s talented and I just wanted to show with confidence. He was perfect the whole class, I was able to use my legs, and we had the perfect spacing. It was a lot of fun.”

In the Breeders Championship Futurity Four To Six Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure, Mirk Mueller showed Snap It Send It to earn his first NSBA World Show title, earning $2,873.91 for owner Evon Werner.

“My boss Blake Weis usually showed Bailee, but I ride her a lot at home and I got to show her in Performance Halter at the World Show,” Mirko said. “I loved my ride. Our lope was the best part. It’s pretty unbelievable to win my first world title.”

Laura Atkinson had to become a quick study of a horse that she and her husband Dax raised but had previously sold, but getting back Socks For Dayz led Laura to her first NSBA world championship in the Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure.

“Mallory Vroegh had showed this gelding to win the Three Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure at the Madness, and Gil Galyean also showed in the Novice Horse Western Pleasure there. We bought him right before The Premier, and I realized I was going to have to learn how to ride this horse,” Laura said.

“I’m blessed to have Aaron Moses and Cody Conover as my trainers, and they got us here. Winning this class hasn’t even sunk in yet. He has great expression and is just so soft and always gives you 100 percent every time. He’s an amazing horse and the best minded horse ever. We have a full sibling to him coming next year.”

The final class in the Ford Arena on Sunday was Amateur 50 & Over Western Pleasure, and Susan Roberts returned to claim the world title for the third time with her third different mount. This time, she showed Start Ur Engines to the win and earned $1,803.

“I had to work for this one,” Susan said. “We had two go-rounds and the finals, and it’s pretty hot. He is a fun horse, but he is a little quirky. When Andy (Cochran) started him, we weren’t sure he would be a Non-Pro horse. Andy was able to show him in the Open, and then Hilary showed him some in the Non-Pro as a three year old.

“I just started showing him at March To The Arch sort of at the last minute. I always liked him ever since he was a baby. It’s must so fun to raise them and get to show them.”

The NSBA World Championship Show and Breeders Championship Futurity continues through Sunday, August 21. To view complete show results, view the live feed or learn more about the show or NSBA, please visit

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