Tuesday saw a sunny but cool day at the Ohio Expo Center as the Congress got started with pattern and futurity events.

First Stakes Champions Named

Sara Simon and Get In Line Behind earned the first futurity/stakes title of the 2018 Congress when they won the Two Year Old Limited Open Western Pleasure Stakes. The gelding known as “Whistle” is a double registered AQHA and APHA overo who is by VS Flatline.

“We bought him in February, and he’s owned by my family,” Sara said. “Richard and Sue Bercher raised him, and Tom Beever started him.

“We just loved his size and his look. He’s beautiful, and he has so much self-carriage. Plus he’s so good minded. He’s just happy to do his job, and he does what you ask him to do. We’re really excited about making him an All Around horse later.

Sara noted that the revised dates for the APHA World Championship Show, which moved from November to September, helped her team devote more time to the Congress. “It used to be a pretty quick turnaround, and we like the new schedule much better,” she said.

The other stakes champion of the day was Beter Late Thn Never and Tiina Volmer. This duo has now won the class two years in a row. “This was really unexpected,” Tiina said. “We had won this class last year, and just didn’t think it would happen twice.”

Tiina’s six year old gelding is known as Rainman. “He came to us with that name when we got him from Lindsey Soderburg,” she said. “He’s a special individual and it sort of fits him. Anything that a horse usually does, he does the opposite. He doesn’t think he’s a horse. Usually horses go with the herd, but he’ll go off by himself. It took him a long time to come together. For a while, I didn’t think he would work out, but my mom always had faith in him.”

Tiina showed Rainman at the Sun Circuit and won the Non-Pro Maturity Hunter Under Saddle at this year’s Riders Cup. “Since then we’ve got the All Around events a lot more solid. He does the Horsemanship, Equitation and Showmanship. He tries so hard, and he’s never naughty. I was actually pretty nervous going into this class, because usually I do a warm-up show. Tim (Kimura) and I took a three-week trip to Europe to spread my mom’s ashes, and so I was away from him for a long time. I wasn’t happy with our first two gos, but we had a really nice work in the finals.”

AQHA Achievers

Aaron Moses started the Congress on a high note when he showed Moonrageous to win the Level 1 Western Pleasure for Starland Ranch LLC. “Spyder has had such a great year,” noted owner Aneene Miller.

“He was co-champion in the Novice Horse class at the Madness, won the Tom Powers and Nebraska, and won Green and Novice Horse at the NSBA World Show before we came here.”

Aneene commented on her black gelding. “I don’t like to use the term ‘perfect horse,’ but he really is. He has such a remarkable cadence with every stride he takes. We are excited about him.”

Aaron added “He doesn’t take a lot of work, and you can’t say enough good about him. He’s just a really trustworthy horse, and he’s gotten even better as the year has gone on.”

Troy Lehn and Zippin A Breeze earned the win in a class he was a little less confident in. “I’m a lot more comfortable in Trail but getting my first win at the Congress in Western Riding is really great,” he said.

Troy drew lucky number 13 in the order out of 49 entries and earned a monster score of 231.5. “I felt pretty good with my run, and when I looked at the scores right after I went, I was leading by eight points,” he said. “He has a great top line, and he kept a really nice pace through the whole class and had really good lead changes. But I knew that we still had Charlie Cole, Deanna Searles, Blake Weis and a whole bunch of very good riders and horses to go.”

Perfect for the Level 1 division, this is the first year for ‘Danny’ to try Western Riding. “We bought him from Aaron Moses, and Jeff Mellott, Carol Metcalf and Brad Ost all brought him along,” he said. “Alex Chavez owns him, and Kaylee Mellott is leasing him. She’s at Baylor University and will be showing him later in the Congress.”

In the last of the over fences classes, Gretchen Ingersoll and Good By Me completed a quartet of Congress championships by winning the AQHA and NSBA Select Amateur Hunter Hack. The duo also won Green Working Hunter, Junior Working Hunter and Select Working Hunter at this year’s Congress. 

“I’ve owned him since he was a yearling,” Gretchen said of the five year old gelding by Zippos Mr Good Bar. “It’s been a busy couple of days, and we’re done for now. We’ll be showing at the AQHA World Show.”

Other Congress champions on Tuesday included Junior Hunter Hack – Bertram, shown by  David Warner and owned by Connie Brown, NSBA champion and reserve overall; and Senior Hunter Hack – Kamanyawannadance and Ryan Painter showing for Peyton Bivens.

The All American Quarter Horse Congress continues through Sunday, October 28. Wednesday will feature the Junior and Intercollegiate Judging Contest as well as Senior and Amateur Pleasure Driving, Junior and Senior Hunter Under Saddle, Senior Western Pleasure, Youth Western Riding and the finals of the Maturity $10,000 Limited Horse Limited division Western Pleasure, Maturity Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle Stakes, Limited division of the Non-Pro Maturity Western Pleasure Stakes.

To view the complete show results, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com, and the view the live video feed go to nationalsportsbroadcasting.com/congress/.