It took eight and a half hours to determine the champion of the AQHA and NSBA Senior Trail, and other champions in the Celeste Center had to wait their turn for the 140 horses to show their pattern to the judges.


Trail Toppers

It was a monster class and it took a monster score to win, but Terry Cross showed Only When Considered to a score of 243.5 to win Senior Trail. They showed for owner Tiffanie Burya. The class saw 140 horses show the pattern, and just a half point separated Terry from Jennifer Paul and Some Hot Potential for the reserve title.

“We’ve had her for five years, and showed the Green/Level 1 with her. We were very successful in the Green/Level 1, and now she’s stepped up to be a great Senior Trail horse. Her barn name is Promise, and she’s 13. She’s by Consider His Source and out of an Invitation Only mare,” Terry said.

“I ran 49th, so I had a lot of runs to wait through. I would check in on the scores every so often, but as it got toward the end I checked the scores a little more often. There was a little anxiety.

“The very first element of the trot was tricky. I watched the first ten horses go and I saw that that was the spot where people were hitting poles. I told myself I had to get through that first. Once I asked her to lope off, she’s such a great loper that I knew she would be good through there. I thought it was a fun pattern to ride. Just when you thought you were done, there was still more at the end.”

In the Level 1 Amateur Trail, Kelly Rauschenbach showed her mother’s horse to win AQHA and NSBA titles and her own horse, Really Sudden, to third place.

“Dusty is actually my mom’s horse, and I’ve shown him just a handful of times. My mom shows him in Select,” Kelly said. “I was fortunate enough to be Novice again and pulled it out. My Amateur horse, Steve, is in his first year as a Non-Pro horse in the Trail. I was very proud of him.

“The pattern rode very well actually for both horses. The most challenging part was the breakdown after the lope from the gate to an immediate trot. Trail is a main thing but we do the All Around. My trainers told me to keep my eyes up (going into the pattern). I was reserve back in my Youth days, but this is my first Congress championship. It feels amazing!”

Gary Holme piloted his buckskin gelding Come N Get Ya Some to win the AQHA and NSBA Level 1 Amateur Select Trail.

“I bought him in August of 2014. His barn name is Bucky,” Gary said. “He has the best mind. He is not a horse, he’s a puppy dog. He’s like this 24/7. He doesn’t ever give you grief. He loves the Trail. He’s by RL Best Of Sudden and a Seven S Flashy Zipper mare.

“I don’t’ remember much of the pattern, but from his first trot overs, I just felt he had this rhythm, and I could tell he was going to be good. The first trot overs are at an angle, and usually when they are straight I can get them, but when they are at an angle, it’s tougher. We didn’t get the correct foot over but we got through it. I was more worried because one of my friends was judging, and I just didn’t want to mess up.

“We also show Trail and Horsemanship. We debuted last week in the Level 3 Horsemanship. I’ve been coming to the Congress on and off since 2000. I love the Congress, it’s one of my favorite shows. I was reserve in Amateur Level 3 Horsemanship last Monday but I’ve never won a Congress title. It feels amazing!”

In The Hunt

LTwo Hunter Under Saddle champions were named in the Celeste Center following the marathon Trail session.

Alicia Porter showed Hubbout A Dance to win AQHA and NSBA Amateur Hunter Under Saddle. “He was so good today,” Alicia said of the gelding known as Henry.

“He’s a big puppy dog really. I’d love if he could stay at Highpoint, but we have so many babies to bring along. He’s been so much fun. He’s starting to learn other events and it’s been neat to watch him come along and be successful."

The judges thought Im Willy Good Today was "really good" on Thursday and awarded the gelding and Tami Thurston first in the Two Year Old Hunter Under Saddle Stakes class. The duo also won the Southern Belle Breeders portion of the class. Im Willy Good Today is owned by Sandra Morgan.

“He’s by Good I Will Be and out of A Walk In The Sky, and he’s a full brother to my gray horse that I show in the Select Amateur,” noted Sandra Morgan. “I started him, and then I sent him to Tami and Paul in the spring.”

“He’s so striking,” noted Tami Thurston. “He’s beautiful and he’s the whole package. He has an incredible trot and a great presence. He’s got such a pretty head and neck and he’s just a cool horse.”

To view the complete show results, please visit, and the view the live video feed, go to The show continues through October 28.