2021 Congress champions had plenty to celebrate on Friday as the Congress rolls into its big “youth” weekend part of the schedule. Trail and futurity finals also rounded out the day’s schedule.
Vickery And Banks’ Woody Win Junior Trail
Friday morning saw the best of the young stock going through the Trail course at the North end of the Celeste Center. It was Bruce Vickery and Wouda Coulda Shoulda earning the highest score of 327.5, earning the Congress and NSBA bronze trophies for Ken and Laina Banks.
“This pattern was really fun,” Bruce said. “You went in trotting, which is kind of unusual, and it really got your momentum going and you could show off your horse. There were also some fairly high poles that were a good degree of difficulty. The pattern flowed really nicely and it was a pretty pattern to work.”
Bruce and the five year old Machine Made gelding known as Woody have been working together since the beginning of 2020. “Ken and Laina raised him, and he’s out of one of their old show mares,” Bruce said. “We showed him some and gave him some time off, and then started showing again in Ocala. He’s back in show mode now!”
Watch for Woody and Laina to begin showing in Non-Pro and Select events in the future.
Emma and Buster Are Tops In Level 1 Youth 14-18 Trail
With a 233.5 score, Emma Roland and her horse Hot Blazin Rodder, known as Buster, were the tops in Level 1 Youth Trail 14-18 Friday morning. “I’ve had Buster for about four years now,” Emma said. “He’s by Radical Rodder and out of Hot Blazin Angel. He loves to have magnawave, vanilla wafers and just get all the attention. He loves Trail.”
Emma noted that there was one part of the pattern that made her nervous. There were five or six poles at the top and I was afraid he’d go a little faster and hit one or tic a walk pole, but he had a good go,” she said.
The win was Emma’s first Congress championship. “It’s unbelievable,” she said. “We were world champions at the NSBA World Show for the first time too, so now we’re double champions.
Scott Jones and Prescott Earn Second Congress Title
Scott Jones and Couture Blue Genes won the Maturity Open Hunter Under Saddle Stakes, making a sweep of both the Limited Open and Open divisions of the class. This time, owner Kristen Atchley was able to be in the stands to witness the win.
“I was ugly crying on the plane coming over here the other day,” Kristen said. “I was able to watch the live feed on the plane, but I just couldn’t get here in time. I am so blessed to own Prescott, and have been and had the support of Debbie Hodde, Beth Case and a lot of others. When we bought Prescott about a year ago, his personality won me over, but his support group with Debbie and Beth, I just knew it was right."
Trinity And Lucy Win Youth Western Pleasure 11 & Under
Trinity Bell is already a Congress veteran, having been a champion in Small Fry previously. However, winning the Youth Western Pleasure 11 & Under with her horse The Beat Gos On, or Lucy, was her first win in the Youth division.
“I just love everything about Lucy,” Trinity said. “I have been riding her between one and a half and two years now. In the finals today, she just felt amazing.
"We still have Showmanship and Horsemanship to go, and we will need some luck in that, but it was a really good start to the show.”
Madison Nirenstein And Henry Sweep Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle
Another repeat winner at the 2021 Congress was Madison Nirenstein and Hubbout A Dance. Madison showed the seven year old known as Henry to win the Maturity Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, after winning the Limited division earlier in the week.
The duo earned $2,704.20 for the win along with the Congress and NSBA bronze trophies.
Truly Priceles Flirt And Jaden Chappel Win L1 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle
There are times when your trainer and coach gets more emotional than the exhibitor. Such was the case for Jaden Chappel and Truly Priceles Flirt, who won the Level 1 Youth 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle. Trainer Julian Harris was brought to tears as he realized his client had just won the Congress and NSBA title.
“I went from being the only one in my Youth class at the Tom Powers Futurity in June to showing against 68 horses and winning this class,” laughed Jaden.
“When I went into the class, I wasn’t expecting to win. I just wanted to have fun and try to fit in with the crowd. There was a lot of traffic in the finals, but overall it was easy. Kiki knows her job and she was really good.
Congress Super Sale Classes Earn Big Checks
The Congress Super Sale Two Year Old Non-Pro and Open Western Pleasure Stakes classes saw large purses and awards for highest placing Limited riders. In the Two Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure Stakes, She Bee Stylin and Rebecca Smiecinski took first as well as the highest placing Limited Rider award. She earned $2,970.40 for the first place finish and an additional $2,000 for the Limited award.
“Wilbur was raised by North Farm, and we bought him at the sale with this class in mind,” Rebecca said. “I knew he was my trainer’s (Chase Barnes and Jennifer Stein) style. Her name is JoJo, and was special from the start. She never gives you a hard time and just does what you ask her to do.”
In the Super Sale Open Two Year Old Western Pleasure Stakes, Randy Wilson piloted Invest N The Best for Big Rock Farms LLC.
“We bought Sasha in December last year,” Randy said. “Ryan had showed me a video, and we went and looked at her and bought her. She’s just a great mover. She’s very pretty, big and strong, and her demeanor just can’t be beat.
Randy was pleased with his go in the class. "She went great in the class and stayed with me the whole time,” he said.
NoNo Says Yes Yes To Congress Win
Decorated show horse No Doubting Me and Chad Piper bested a field of 23 horses in the finals to win the Limited division of the Maturity Open Western Pleasure. They showed for owner Cynthia Kaufman.
“I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad ride on NoNo,” Chad said. “He’s just always fun, day in and day out. I think being in our home town helped a little bit, and NoNo has a big following. We had a really good show in Ocala, and now coming here we’re having a great start to the Congress too. Cindy shows in the Select and Novice Amateur Western Pleasure, and we still have the Open Maturity to go.”
The All American Quarter Horse Congress continues through Sunday, October 24. To view the complete show schedule, show results or the live video feed, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com.