NSBA World Show exhibitors have had a very busy week around the Built Ford Truck Expo Center complex mid-week as we approach the weekend. The Way To Go talked with several first-time champions over the past few days about savoring their first world championship..

Two Times The Thrill

Samantha Gardner had seen her horse, EPR Face It Im Good, take a world championship title with Keith Miller, but it was her turn to savor a world championship with her horse, not once, but twice this week. This duo won the Breeders Championship Futurity 4-6 Year Old Limited Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle on Tuesday as well as the Maturity Limited Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle and Color Breeders Championship Futurity 3-6 Year Old Hunter Under Saddle on Thursday.

“We call him Chrome, and he’s a four year old Paint gelding,” Samantha said. “We got him as a two year old, and he’s been showing ever since. I had always wanted a black horse, and I saw Julie Schmidt riding him around and so we got him.

“Winning a world championship is amazing,” she said. On Thursday, the second world title felt even more amazing for Samantha. “My kids went back to school yesterday, so it was a really hard day and we didn’t practice that well. I blamed him, but I’m sure it was me. Today he felt so great, and it was totally worth all the effort. He just loves being a show horse."

After both Jaida Dreyer and her horse KM Betcha Im Best had to have time off due to injuries, they didn’t have much time together before showing in their first class together, but they were still the world champions in the Three Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure on Tuesday, as well as the Breeders Championship Futurity Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure on Thursday.

“I broke my foot in two places, and Albert hurt his jaw, so I had crutches and he was on stall rest for a month,” Jaida said.

“I’ve only ridden him twice before showing on Tuesday. We just got him in April. I bought him as a birthday present, and we took him home at the Madness show in May. Houston Huff had won the Premier Sires on him in Memphis, and he was the highest earning Western horse in the Premier program this year. I just showed him for the first time at the Tom Powers, so we didn’t do too bad for having broken bones and a lot of time off!”

Donflatteryourself took two young ladies to their first world championships. Kaitlyn Dunsmore also earned her first world championship title in the Two Year Old Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure, while Jessica Duffy showed the mare to win the Two Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure.

“We call her Emmie, and she’s by VS Flatline,” Kaitlyn said. “Aaron Moses found her. She’s the first Western Pleasure horse that I’ve shown. She’s just so consistent. I was in the Hunter Under Saddle world, so this was really switching it up for me. It feels great.”

“I couldn’t have expected any more from her,” noted Jessica of the mare. “She was so soft, and profiled really well and just had such a pleasant look to her. It feels very good to win my first world title.”.

First-Time Success

Courtney Stephens not only won her first NSBA futurity title, she was also showing at the NSBA World Championship Show for the very first time. Courtney showed Pistol Packin Mann to the win. Courtney and her gelding by Machine Made are in training with Parrish Quarter Horses.

“This is just my second horse show, and my first time to show here,” she said. “Pistol is six years old, and he was really fun to ride. I’m looking forward to showing in the Maturity and possibly the Amateur Western Pleasure at the Congress.”


Alicia Carroll has worked for Sara Simons and RJ King for the past three years, and on Thursday, she earned her first NSBA world championship. She showed A Sensational Paint to win the Color Breeders Championship Futurity Two Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure in a unanimous decision of the judges, showing for MC’s Dragon Ranch.

“Known as Lucy, A Sensational Paint is by A Scenic Impulse. “We bought her at the Markel BCF Yearling Sale last year,” Alicia said. “We did some Longe Line with her after the sale, and she’s just been amazing. She has so much self-carriage and is really what the judges are looking for today. Winning a world title is just amazing.”

Alicia also helped MC’s Dragon Ranch qualify to win a portion of the Markel BCF Yearling Sale graduate purse by placing in the top ten.

Amber Hanson Pickard waiting all day to show in the Three Year Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle on Thursday, and after showing in one of two splits and the finals, she and Maid For Money earned their first world championship title in the Three Year Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle on Thursday.

“I’ve been placing reserve or in the top ten all day,” Amber said. “We bought George here at the World Show last year from Keith Miller and Amy Smith. He showed as a two year old here last year, and it just seemed like he got a lot stronger the more we’ve shown.

“He really seemed to come together starting in Tampa. What I love about him is that he never gets mad. He’s tired now, but he’s always a trooper and does whatever we ask. He shows with so much charisma when he’s on. It feels amazing to win this.”

Fourteen year old Kaylynn Heitman showed Huntin Blue Skies for the very first time ever at the NSBA World Championship Show, and came away with her first NSBA world championship title in Novice Youth Hunt Seat Equitation on Tuesday.
“It was really good, that was the third go, so I was really nervous,” Kaylynn said. “When we came out, I was really happy with it. We’ve been working on the serpentine for a while, right bend to left bend. She really listed to me and did it. She’s just five.””

Kolin Fischer picked the right horse to catch ride in the Breeders Championship Futurity Two Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure. He rode Alternative Facts to the win for Troy and Kelly Birkenholtz.

“He set up and showed really well,” Kolin said. “He’s great minded, and Pat Heeley really had him well prepared. It feels really good to win my first world title!”

Heather Caplinger showed Best By Design to win the Limited Non-Pro Western Longe Line in her first ever trip to the NSBA World Show. “We raise them to do the Longe Line, because it’s something we can do ourselves, and sell them,” Heather said.

“Brett and I spend hours upon hours discussing what studs to cross our mares on. Griffin is very special to me because I showed his mother. We love RL Best Of Sudden, and thought that would be the perfect cross. The last time we bred her, we lost the foal and had an emergency C-section. So, we sent her to Ohio State University to foal Griffin out, so if there was an emergency, she would be at the hospital. We got a call at 5:00 a.m. and had a gorgeous black colt.

“He was so good at the Tom Powers Futurity, we decided it was worth it to drive him out here and see what we could do. It’s a lot of faith to put him out on the line, but he was great. I really couldn’t ask for him to be any better. We are beyond excited with the outcome so far!”

The NSBA World Championship Futurity continues through Sunday, August 18. To view complete show results or find a link to the live video feed, please visit www.nsba.com.