Monday may be a day many people dread, but for several exhibitors at the APHA World Championship Show, Monday brought world championships in Western Pleasure futurity classes and Horsemanship runs..

Shes A Flatliner Takes Four Year Old and Older Western Pleasure Sweepstakes

Was it a premonition that RJ King’s shirt and saddle pad matched the purple champion’s neck ribbon in the Four Year Old and Older Western Pleasure Sweepstakes? Perhaps.

“Sara (Simons) always picks out my shirt and saddle pad,” laughed RJ King. He showed Shes A Flatliner to win the class for MC’s Dragon Ranch, earning $736.

“We bought her from Charlie Cole and Jason Martin as a young two year old, and have had her ever since. She was third or fourth at the AQHA World Show as a two year old, and she’s won the two year old and three year old classes here at the APHA World.”

Named Tatsu, the four year old mare is named after owner Marilyn Caliendo’s favorite animal besides horses – the dragon. “Marylin is part Japanese, and dragons are a very important to her culture,” RJ explained. Tatsu means dragon in Japanese.

In addition to showing in Open events with RJ, Tatsu also serves as a Non-Pro horse for Marilyn. “Tatsu has a lot of self-carriage and it’s so easy for her. She is so soft and a great mover, that it’s easy for her to be a Non-Pro horse. She just goes out and does her job. She’s one of the most fun horses I’ve ever shown.”

By VS Flatline and out of WW Satin Dreams, Tatsu expresses the talent of her bloodlines. “I’ve ridden several VS Flatline horses, especially when I worked for Shirley Roth, and they fit me really well,” R.J. said.

An ‘Eye Witness’ to A Three Year Old Win

Megan East Hogan piloted her three year old gelding, Scene It Eye To Eye, to win the Non-Pro Three Year Old Western Pleasure Sweepstakes, earning $768. By A Scenic Impulse, the gelding is out of Certainly Flirtin.

“We raised him, and my mom showed his mother,” Megan said. “He’s special. He’s quiet all the time, and doesn’t want any trouble. He’s also very smart, and he stands up and shows when you go in the pen. He’s kind of like a dog, he wants to be around people and he watches what everyone is doing in the barn aisle.”

Known as Luke, the gelding is no stranger to the winner’s circle. “He won the Two Year Old Sweepstakes here, and Two Year Old Open with Mike Hachtel, and I was third with him in the Amateur Western Pleasure the other day,” Megan said. “I think he gets to stay around for a while.”

Never Had I Ever Earns Another World Title

In a tough group in the Two Year Old Western Pleasure, Jay Starnes and Never Had I Ever earned the top spot for the second time for owner Dakota Andrie.

“When we started riding her, we could tell she was going to be special,” Jay said of the mare known as Madonna. “Everything is easy for her. She’s fun to be around.”

By No Doubt Im Lazy, Madonna is out of A Certain Illusion, whom the Starnes now own. Madonna was bred by the Rawlings family of Australia. “Dakota is going to show her in Youth 13 & Under at the Congress, and she’s going to show her some next year too.”

Jay reflected on showing at the APHA World Show. “I’ve shown here before but it’s been a few years since I’ve been here,” he said. “Everything has been tough here. All of the classes I’ve watched have been really good. It’s a fun show.”

Shannon Yeaton and Legs For Days Earn First World Championship

“I was just hoping to make it back to the finals. I never in a million years thought I’d be the champion.” Shannon Yeaton said of her ride in Novice Amateur Horsemanship aboard Legs For Days.

“It’s been eight years since I did the All Around, and I just leased Pickles a month and a half ago. It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime to get to show this horse. She has the best mind in the whole world. She is so even tempered, and happy all the time. I couldn’t have asked for more, and she really took care of me.

“My favorite part of the pattern was the turn up to the left lead lope,” Shannon said. “I worked really hard to get the break to the simple lead change. I kept watching my trainer, Erin Fick, and how she did it so I could copy it. Since Pickles is just four years old, they didn’t tell me until after I showed that this was the first time she had been shown one handed in a bridle.”

Pickles is by the stallion John Simon and out of My Legs Are Sensational.

Cory Mathia Earns Intermediate and Amateur Horsemanship Titles

After Cory Mathia lost his old show partner during colic surgery three years ago, his partner, Joe Hansen, gave him Stewart, aka Can I Get Your Number. Since then, Cory and Stewart have become quite the team, and the judges took note. They won both the Intermediate Amateur and Amateur Horsemanship world championship titles on Monday, winning unanimously on the judges’ card.

“Stewart had won the Amateur Longe Line here and was reserve in the Open Longe Line. Since I started working with him, we concentrated on Western Pleasure the first couple of years. We have been adding the All Around events. It can take a little bit for the Western Pleasure horses to learn how to move a little more forward and extend for some of the patterns. He’s still pretty green on lead changes, but Wade and Carly Parks helped get him well prepared.

“Horsemanship is by far my favorite class,” Cory said. “But we also still show in Western Pleasure – we were reserve champions in the Novice Amateur Western Pleasure the other day.”

The eight year old gelding is by A Sudden Impulse and out of She Made It Sweet.

The APHA Open and Amateur World Championship Show continues through September 29. To view complete show results or follow the live feed, please visit