I remember seeing her from across the arena last year and thinking, ‘WOW that horse is special!’ You can just tell when they’re special. They just have that look.” Those were the words that Anthony Montes used to describe She’s A Lopin Machine, a five-year-old sorrel mare who won the NSBA Color Open Western Riding with Anthony in the driver’s seat. After his run in the BCF 4-6-Year-Old Open Western Riding, fellow trainers complimented the team, calling it “the best run of the morning”. They won that class too. The mare’s owner, Lana Banks bought the mare in June, and describes the mare as simply, “special”. The goal is for the mare to be Lana’s Amateur horse. “We bought her for her brain because she’s a show horse. She’s better in the show pen than she is outside the show pen. She’s happy, laid back, easygoing about everything.” Once Lana bought the mare, she placed her in the hands of Anthony. His double win in the Western Riding marks his first ever NSBA wins. “I’m very fortunate to be able to ride a horse of her caliber and very blessed to be supported by a group of people who care and are willing to give me the opportunity.” For Sandra Morgan, her morning could not have gone any better. Her 2-year-old gray gelding, Willy In The Sky was named the unanimous World Champion in the 2-Year-Old Limited and Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle. “[It was] an awesome ride with an awesome horse,” said Sandra in response to her win. “He didn’t need any help so I just used my legs.”

For Sandra Morgan, her morning could not have gone any better. Her 2-year-old gray gelding, Willy In The Sky was named the unanimous World Champion in the 2-Year-Old Limited and Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle. “[It was] an awesome ride with an awesome horse,” said Sandra in response to her win. “He didn’t need any help so I just used my legs.” Sandra bred and raised the gelding out of her famed stallion, Good I Will Be. “He was the first baby after Willy’s passing so that’s why his name is Willy In The Sky.” “Cole” as Sandra calls him, is full of personality on the ground, but when he’s under saddle, it is all business. “He’s a great horse to ride, always has been,” admitted Sandra. “He was just big, easy, and I like the gelding. I even put the first three months on him and he was a ten-minute a day horse. HE was born with his head in the right place.” After his win, Sandra decided to let Cole show one more time today, even though he was not originally entered in the class. Cole walked out of the show pen today, a World Champion once again, this time, in the 2-Year-Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle with Tammi Thurston the saddle. Amateur Horsemanship World Champion, Michelle Forness and Stretch Machine have been a team for the seven years, and their level of familiarity with one another shows. “The pattern challenged the rider but it was great.” As for her gelding, “Stretch”, Michelle described him as, “a once in a lifetime horse,” as she lovingly patted his neck. “Stretch is special. He’s quite a quirky character.” She continued, “He got to have a hideous for a while, but he’s come back and we love every second with him.”

As the NSBA Color Maturity Open Western Pleasure Champion, Been There Scene That and Garth Gooding, walked out of the pen, owner Coleen Bull was left speechless. 2017 is the first time Coleen has ever traveled to watch or compete at the NSBA World Championship Show and her experiences topped the charts. She bought the gelding last fall and has been in love ever since. Named “Winston” because he is a “diamond in the rough” horse for Coleen. “He’s so sweet, he gives you everything he has all the time. I’m still trying to figure him out, but he adores Garth. I couldn’t ask for anything better."

The NSBA Foundation’s Heroes On Horses was featured in the Ford arena today, honoring our US Military and US Military Veterans. Veterans rode in a Western Pleasure Walk/Trot class and participated in a flag ceremony that included a riderless horse, in tribute to fallen heroes. Retired Air Force Colonel, Rick Wilson showed for the first time today and walked away from a World Champion in Heroes On Horses. Across all disciplines, backgrounds, and interests within the horse industry. We all share an amazing love for the animals that we base so much of our lives around. In return, those horses give us their entire worlds and become so special to us as we do to them. Never lose sight of the freedom we have to ride, the ability horses give us to ride, and never forget that we are always part of a family of people who love horses and showing too. Tomorrow wraps up the World Championship Show with Ranch events.

For more information, please visit www.nsba.com and like NSBA-National Snaffle Bit Association on Facebook and Instagram.

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