As the All American Quarter Horse Congress rolls through its final week at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, exhibitors find the hum of activities is reaching full speed. Several futurity champions were named, Youth showmen finished up their classes and Amateur and Amateur Select exhibitors are also going through their paces in their respective events.
Futurity at Fever Pitch
Aaron Moses topped off the night on Wednesday with a win in the Two Year Old Maiden Open Western Pleasure aboard Its Krunch Time. He showed for Anthony Montes and Bruce Vickery.
The gelding known as Krunch was purchased from Rusty and Katie Green and raised by Stanley and Susan Scott. “Bruce and Anthony bought him to be an All Around horse in July, and we’ve had him ever since.” With Bruce and Anthony and Aaron training in the same training barn, working together was easy, and each could watch the progress of the gelding.
“He’s a good boy. He is a big horse and a little more long-strided, but he is really well put together. I lucked out on my spots and had pretty good position on the rail and only had to pass one time with him.
It was an emotional win for Jennifer Goss and Hez A Dancin Hubba. “I had won here before in about 2006, so it had been a while. I was trying not to cry, but I did,” she said.
Jennifer was a quick study of a horse she rode for Chris Lagerblade and trained by Beth Case. “The first day I rode him was a few days ago,” Jennifer said. “Beth had him really broke. He was a lot of fun to show.
“He’s a great, great trotter and so consistent. He’s big and he’s pretty and he just stands out. He’s by Hubba Hubba Huntin and Betty Jo Carr raised him. He’s a very sweet soul.”
Katie Green showed If U Say So to win the Limited division of the Two Year Old Maiden Western Pleasure Futurity, showing for owner Hannah Olaussen.
“She was really good in her go, and was pretty good tonight. She is a Machine Made and KM Suddenly Its Time, the mare Marilyn Masterson showed before her current horse. The Mastersons bred her, and we bought her in August from Pete Garcia and Tyler Achtenhagen for Hannah. It’s kind of a group win for all of us. She’s going to be her next All Around horse,” Katie said.
“It’s not the easiest thing to bring an unshown two year old to the Congress, but I think the ones that stand out in the class are the ones with the brains and the talent to do so. Quarter Horses have amazing minds, and you just take it one day at a time. If they’re not ready, you don’t show – that’s why there’s two gos, so you just go out there and see what you’ve got. I was pleasantly surprised.
“Her lope is so naturally gaited, and she’s very beautiful – she’s the prettiest thing ever. Those two things together just give her such a presence in the arena. You just want to like her the minute you see her. She looks a lot like her mom.”
Hillary Roberts rode Line Up Behind to win the Two Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure. Known as Calvin, the gelding is by VS Flatline and was bred and raised by Capital Quarter Horses LLC.
“His dam was unshown, so we weren’t sure what to expect when we bred her, and Flatline seemed like a good option,” Hillary said. “He has been one of the easiest horses I’ve ever shown. You just put him in a spot you want and he just has such natural carriage that he just shows.”
Calvin will show in the Two Year Old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure at the AQHA World Show, but his future is uncertain. “He’s a great option for the three year old events, and he has the aptitude to do other events also. It’s pretty exciting to win the Two Year Old class here at the Congress in back to back years, and he’s won quite a bit throughout the year.”
In the Trail pen, two futurity classes took place on Wednesday. Jason Gilliam continued his winning ways at the Congress by winning the Four and Five Year Old Trail Stakes with Whata Moonlite Ride, showing for Brooke Granszow.
In the Three Year Old Trail Stakes, Carli Pitts took her first futurity Trail horse, Phat Tuesday, through the course to win both the Limited and Open division of the class as well as the Southern Belle Breeders portion in both divisions. “We call her Patty the princess,” Carli said. “Katie Bussing raised her, and she’s by VS Code Red and out of CK Mardi Gras that Katie used to show.
“This was a really tough course. When I first saw the pattern, I sort of panicked because it had a side-pass and we hadn’t even worked on that. But she picked it up pretty quick.
“I never thought I would show in a three year old Trail class, because showing Trail in a bosal is really hard, but when I took her over the first pole at the first of the year, I knew she was going to be good at it. She was supposed to be my dad’s Western Pleasure horse, but I sort of took her from him and made her a Trail horse. She’s pretty special. She gives her all every time.”
Hillary Roberts took Johnnie On The Spot to the top spot in Amateur Western Pleasure Tuesday night. “There were a lot of horses in there and it was tough to get a spot, but it worked out,” Hillary said. “I think this is her second Congress championship and my first with her.”
By RL Best Of Sudden and out of Give Me A Mister. “We bought her from Mastersons, and my mom won the Tom Powers on her, Rusty Green won the Tom Powers on her, and I won the Tom Powers on her. Mom and I sort of swapped horses to show in the older horse events, so this is my first year to show her in the Amateur. We’re headed to the World Show.”
Hillary noted that Johnnie is special. “She is the biggest princess I’ve ever been around in my life. You just ride her for about 15 minutes and pet her and tell her she’s pretty and then she’s ready to show. She loves picture taking and she knows when to turn it on,” Hillary said.
“She profiles really nice and she’s beautiful. She has a sweepy front leg and a huge, deep hock to match. She has a lot of arena presence and it’s really easy to show her off. It’s fun to show her. I have the best team in the world – thanks to Andy and Katie Cochran, my parents and Josh Brown and Greg Johnson at home.”
Showing Off in Showmanship
Nicole Griffo and Hez A Croud Pleaser earned the top spot in the Level 1 Youth 14-18 Showmanship, showing against 119 youth.
“Our score was winning the first go, so we needed to go back in and repeat it,” Nicole said. “We had a pretty solid pattern in the finals and I especially liked our spin and our pace at the walk and trot off were really good.”
Surprisingly, Showmanship is not Nicole’s favorite event with her horse, Rowdy. “I would say Trail is my favorite, then Horsemanship. But Showmanship is getting up there!”
Madeline Rippeon and Famous N Foolish outlasted 74 exhibitors and two splits and a final to earn the Level 1 Youth 13 & Under Showmanship title, and also matched her little sister’s go in Showmanship. “My sister Allie won Small Fry Showmanship earlier,” Madeline said.
“We started training with Shannon Vroegh about four or five months ago, and she showed me how to use my feet more, and also how to ride a younger horse,” she said. A wardrobe mix-up resulted in a new tradition for Madeline.
“I got new show pants and I didn’t realize that the zipper went in the back, so I showed with the zipper in the front at the Paint World and we won. So, we had to show here with the zipper in the front, too and we won again.”
Some familiar faces were seen in the winner’s circle at mid-week. Kent Ray Taylor showed All Good to win the Three Year Old Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle Stakes, while Sydnie Ochs and No Doubting Me continued the gelding’s massive success at the Congress by winning Youth Western Pleasure 15-18. Good N Hot Machine continued winning with Lane Kail, winning the Level 1 Youth Western Pleasure 13 & Under.
Marilyn Masterson showed KM Weknowsheshot one last time to win the Amateur Select Western Pleasure for a total of three years as a Congress champion. “I wanted to end on a high note. That last rider was everything I hoped it would be and more. She was soft, and I think she knew,” Marilyn said. “We are going to retire her to raise babies. We’re going to breed her to The Lopin Machine.”
The Congress continues through Sunday, October 27.