The final Wednesday of the All American Quarter Horse Congress was another busy one for horse show exhibitors, with classes ranging from Trail and Showmanship to Hunt Seat Equitation to Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure Futurities and Stakes..
Tops In Trail
The Trail Stakes classes are a relatively new addition to the Congress, starting as a three and four year old class and dividing into three year old and four and five year old divisions a few years ago. The classes give Trail exhibitors an opportunity to win money in a futurity-style class.
Jason Gilliam dominated the Trail Stakes classes on Wednesday, winning both the Four and Five Year Old Trail Stakes with Hil Have A Taco for Loretta Grossnickle, and showing Legacy Made for Janet Gunn to win the Three Year Old Trail Stakes.
It was the second Congress championship for Jason and Hil Have A Taco, who had won the Level 1 Junior Trail earlier in the show. Brent Maxwell normally shows the gelding for the Grossnickle family, but due to his obligations as Congress tri-chairman is unable to show at the event. Legacy Made also won the Southern Belle Breeders division of the Three Year Old Stakes.
Blake Weis showed Cool Cruzen Lady to reserve in the Open Four and Five Year Old Trail Stakes as well as the Southern Belle Breeders champion, and won the Limited division and Southern Belle Breeders division of the Limited.
“She was so good,” Blake said. “We won the Western Riding with her here last year, and now she’s won the Trail too. She listened really well and was especially good on the trot and lope overs. She was right with me the whole class.”
Kelly McDowall showed Flat Out Lopin to win the Limited Open Three Year Old Trail Stakes. He was showing for Darlene Schwab. Known as Donald, the gelding comes from a Western Pleasure foundation.
“I got him after the NSBA World Show last year from Charles and Angie Cannizzaro,” Kelly said. “He was a pretty loper. He’s just a nice soft mover, and had a great personality. I knew he would make a great Select Amateur horse for Darlene.
“He’s by VS Flatline and out of an Only In The Moonlight mare. He won the Three Year Old Trail at Sun & Surf earlier this year. He’ll get a break and come back and learn how to be a Western Rider.”
Laina Banks showed Strawberri Wine to win the NSBA title in Amateur Select Showmanship, and reserve overall in the class.
“I’m so thrilled,” Laina said. “Showmanship is kind of special to us. I won the world in 1990 and I haven’t shown since then, so it’s been a fun journey with her. We showed in Western Riding, and won it last week. We are showing in the Level 2 in a few things at the AQHA World Show.”
Tony Anderman completed the trifecta in Amateur Showmanship this year. With his Congress AQHA and NSBA win, he completed titles at the 2017 AQHA World Show, 2018 NSBA World Show and the Congress.
“I had never been higher than fifth at the Congress so it was definitely a goal,” Tony said. “This is my very first win at the Congress, but my horse won the Congress with his former owner Kip Riley in Select Showmanship.
“I bought him in February last year, so we haven’t had a long time together. I’m very lucky. Clint (Ainsworth) had two Showmanship champions earlier in the week and Chris had won this morning. I’m very lucky to have the best of the best behind me."
Preparing for the class wasn't without its hiccups for Tony, however. “Last night when I was supposed to be up for practice, I fell asleep on the couch and slept through it," Tony said. "So we went out to the Denny Hales to practice, and when I was doing the extended trot I somehow made contact with his feet, and completely fell down in the dirt. I can’t remember anytime in practice when I completely fell down before. Chris was impressed that I didn’t lose the lead, because Max has a history of getting lose and running away!”
Scoot Augsburger and Stiffler Make It Three In A Row
Cheyenne “Scoot” Augsburger and One Hot Kat won Youth Hunter Under Saddle 12-14, marking a special milestone for the partners.
“The last two years I’ve won the 11 & Under, and this was my first time showing in the 12-14,” Scoot said. “Stiffler is completely blind, but he listens to me and he trusts me. You have to talk to him all the time in the arena and that’s how we get around.”
Scoot was reserve Congress champion with her other horse, Huntin For Candy, and also shows younger horses in the Non-Pro events.
Andrea Foss Level 1 Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation
Andrea Foss and her horse Imma American Made were the champions after besting 61 exhibitors in the Level 1 Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation.
“I won the Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle here four years ago, and this is my second Congress win, my first in Equitation,” Andrea said. “This is my second Congress to show with her. We got her in 2016 but Robin showed her at the Congress that year. I showed her last year in the Horsemanship, and we were third.
“I had a lot of difficulty with diagonals with this particular horse, she’s very soft and it’s difficult for me, so I’ve worked hard on that with her.”
Marilyn Masterson Wins Amateur Select Western Pleasure
Marilyn Masterson piloted KM Weknowsheshot to win AQHA and NSBA Amateur Select Western Pleasure in a deep class of horses.
“It was a tough group of horses out there with us,” Marilyn said. “She felt really good, and like she was enjoying showing. She was good on and off the rail. She’s the best horse in the world!"
Known as Mercedes, the show mare is by the Masterson’s stallion RL Best Of Sudden. “Mercedes is six this year, and we have two babies by Machine Made on the ground. I’ve already got a name picked out for them. We’re excited for the next group of horses we’re bringing along.”
Hillary Roberts and Pearl Win Two Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure Stakes
Hillary Roberts made her first trip around the show arena with her family’s filly, Whats On Ur Mind, a great one, winning the Two Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure Stakes.
“This was my first time showing her because she’s our Coughlin Two Year Old Maiden Western Pleasure horse, and she was great,” Hillary said.
Known as Pearl, the striking road filly is by VS Flatline and out of Whatscookngoodlookin. “What I like about her and what I like a lot about a lot of Whatscookngoodlookin’s babies is she just stamps them,” Hillary said. “They look a lot like her, they move around the pen a lot like her and show a lot like her. They excel wherever you put them. Several of them have gone on to do other things. We’re really lucky to own a mare like that and it’s been a big blessing to show the babies successfully.
“When she was born, I was excited because I hadn’t gotten to show a roan yet. It’s just something different and I got to show in different clothes and everything. She’s a really fun show horse, and she’s great minded and no matter what she does or where she goes, she’s going to be great for somebody.”
Rusty Green and Vital Lines Are Red Top Maiden Western Pleasure
When Ray Arnona sold his two year old at the NSBA World Championship Show to barn mate Ruth Rowe, he didn’t have to look far to buy his next two year old. The filly, Vital Lines Are Red, was already in his trainer Rusty Green’s barn.
“Ruth Rowe hounded me at the NSBA World Show to sell my filly,” Ray said. “I really didn’t want to sell it, because she’s a damn nice horse, but Ruth told me her story of losing her stud and so I sold her mine. There’s always another one. Rusty had told me about this other horse of Adam Kober’s and Adam had some obligations and decided to sell his. I went and looked at her, and he sold her to me, and I’m very grateful.
“Her barn name is Ivy. She’s by VS Code Red and out of the great mare Zipped Tight. She’s so sweet. They rode her ten minutes today. Rusty will show her at the AQHA World Show, and I’ll get to show her next year. I’m a very lucky guy!”
To view the complete show results, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com, and the view the live video feed, go to nationalsportsbroadcasting.com/congress/. The show continues through October 28.