For most of the All American Quarter Horse Congress, exhibitors were blessed with Indian Summer weather. However, on the final Saturday, as if to usher in November, the day dawned cold and raw, with some snow to place an exclamation point on the end of the show.
The cold weather couldn't dampen the excitement in the Congress Masters classes, however.
Deanna Searles Becomes Newest Quarter Million Dollar Club Member
Deanna Searles not only won the Open and Limited divisions of the Masters Two Year Old Hunter Under Saddle Futurity aboard Best Jazz Album Yet, she rode into a very sweet note when her earnings pushed her into the position of the National Snaffle Bit Association's latest Quarter Million Dollar Rider.
Deanna showed a stallion owned by her husband that was raised at the Searles' Circle S Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona. By Allocate Your Assets and out of the late mare Jazzy Detail, Deanna was very familiar with the cross. "We have raised several siblings, and they've all won classes at the Congress," Deanna said. "His full brother, Lastcallfour Alcohol, won the Masters in 2011. We lost his mother when he was a few months old, so we named him Best Jazz Album Yet in honor of her mother.
"When we started working with him, we knew he was very laid back, but we picked him out for our Masters horse right away. He had the movement and the personality."
Deanna was unaware that she was close to achieving her career milestone in the Quarter Million Dollar Club. "I'm really in shock," she said. "I had no idea. It's kind of cool. I'm so honored to be with all the other riders that have been an inspiration to me."
Deanna earned $10,000 for the first place finish in the Open division. She earned an additional $5,000 for the Limited division win.
The complete placings in the Open division of the class included:
1st - Best Jazz Album Yet, Deanna Searles for Jim Searles, $10,000
2nd - Made in Hooville, Beth Case for Tammy Thompson Dyer, $4,160
3rd - Without Permission, Dawn Baker for Joanne Taylor, $3,040
4th - Sheza Iron Marecedes, Keith Miller Jr. for Meghan Whelan, $2,080
5th - Kruzin In Style, Heidi Piper for Jennifer Conny, $1,600
6th - Al Toast To That, Amber Hansen Pickard owner and rider, $1,440
7th - Hoo Carez, Troy Lehn for Alexandra Chavez, $1,280
8th - Escapingwiththegoods, Joy Wheeler for Tracy Harrell, $960
9th - Tails Never Fail, Jennifer Leckey for Jessica and Andrew Alleman, $800
In the Limited division of the Masters Hunter Under Saddle:
1st - Best Jazz Album Yet, Deanna Searles for Jim Searles, $5,000
2nd - Al Toast To That, Amber Hansen Pickard owner and rider, $3,000
3rd - Hoo Carez, Troy Lehn for Alexandra Chavez, $2,000
4th - Escapingwiththegoods, Joy Wheeler for Tracy Harrell
5th - Tails Never Fail, Jennifer Leckey for Jessica and Andrew Alleman
Limited division qualification was determined based on past earnings at the Congress.
Aaron Moses Winner of the Masters 2 Year Old Western Pleasure on VS The First Lady
Shane Pope with Chexy When Im Lopin
Aaron Moses Wins First Congress Masters Title
Aaron Moses piloted VS The First Lady to win the Masters Two Year Old Western Pleasure in his first time showing in the class. He showed for owner Kristen Galyean.
"It's pretty exciting," Aaron said. "Winning the Masters was my main goal in coming to the Congress this year. I've always wanted to win it, and this was my first time to get to show in it."
Aaron showed the red roan filly by VS Code Red and out of Cool Lookin Lady. "When I started her, she was a little tough at first, but I could see she had a lot of potential. We just kept working at it, and she just got better and better," Aaron said of the filly known as Kennedy."
"Her three quarter sister is the one that won the Masters in 2015," added Kristen Galyean. "It's been so fun to watch her grow up. We knew she had the top line, the size and the strength, as well as the lift and the hock to do this. I got to ride her for the first time in March, and it was so fun to get the feel for her. She is so natural.
"What I love about all of these horses is that they love their job - they get that from Vital Signs Are Good. Her ears are always forward and she just wants to work for you."
Kennedy will compete at the 2017 AQHA World Championships and will campaign in three year old Open and Non-Pro events in 2018.
Shane Pope showed Chexy When Im Lopin to win the Limited division of the class for owner Cathy Corrigan Frank.
"I think Cathy bought this colt when he was a day old," Shane said. "He has been so easy from the day we started him, and he just got better and better. He's very trainable, and he's one of those horses that will last a long time, and I think he's going to be famous one day. He's still a stud, and he's got the mind of a great one."
The complete placings in the Masters Two Year Old Western Pleasure included:
1st - VS The First Lady, Aaron Moses for Kristen Galyean, $25,000
2nd - Believe It Or Not, Rusty Green for Kent Taylor, $6,500
3rd - Classically Lazy, Jay Starnes for Rawlings Enterprises, $4,750
4th - Shesa Candy Machine, Angie Cannizzaro for Scott and Linda Berwick, $3,250
5th - KM Cheerstothebest, Casey Willis for Masterson Farms LLC, $2,500
6th - No Doubting Me, Brian Baker for Sue Sancken, $2,250
7th - Best Brew At The Bar, David Archer for Ernest Branson, $2,000
8th - Keeping Vitals Good, Randy Wilson for Ron Shelly, $1,500
9th - Chexy When Im Lopin, Shane Pope for Cathy Corrigan Frank, $1,250
10th - Always Original, Cole Baker for Tamara Ray, $1,000
11th - U R Certain To Look, Karen Hornick for Beth McNichol
12th - Bet N On A Dream, Travis Duit for Donna Grosse
13th - VS Life Support, Patrick Heeley for Francesca Weirda
14th - Takealitleridewithme, Jamie Zuidema for Ronald Plantz
15th - My Wild Invitation, Jessica Gilliam for Robyn Davies
In the Limited division of the Masters Two Year Old Western Pleasure Futurity:
1st - Chexy When Im Lopin, Shane Pope for Cathy Corrigan Frank, $5,000
2nd - Bet N On A Dream, Travis Duit for Donna Grosse, $3,000
3rd - Takealitleridewithme, Jamie Zuidema for Ronald Plantz, $2,500
4th - My Wild Invitation, Jessica Gilliam for Robyn Davies
Final AQHA, Futurity Champions Named
Jason English with Gone Viral
Laurel Champlin on Lukin Hot
Final AQHA, Futurity Champions Named
Throughout the day on the final Saturday of the Congress, some familiar faces found their way to the winner's circle.
Repeating Hunter Winners
Laurel Champlin showed Look N Hott to two Congress AQHA and NSBA titles. The duo first won Amateur Hunter Under Saddle, and came back to win the Amateur Select Hunt Seat Equitation two classes later in the show.
"I had set a goal at the AQHA Select World Show to win both the Hunter Under Saddle and the Hunt Seat Equitation, and we accomplished that," Laurel said. "So, I set a goal here to win both classes at the Congress. And we did!
"JJ has been so good this year - we actually won the triple crown. We won at the NSBA World Show, then the AQHA Select World Show, and then here at the Congress. He's had his share of Congress troubles - he has some sores in his ears, so he's been a bit grumpy, but he showed wonderfully."
The Hot N Blazing gelding is out of the Rugged Lark mare, Regal Lark. "He's ten years old now. He's been such a great horse. He's been a trooper. He's been here at the Congress a while, and we've kept him by himself. He got tired, but showed really well."
Beth Case & Hubbout A Dance
Jeffrey Johns and Lopin For A Chex
In the Three Year Old Hunter Under Saddle Futurity, Beth Case showed Hubbout A Dance to win the class and added to the gelding's list of accomplishments. "He is so great minded," Beth said. "He always shows well."
Added Alicia Porter, "He reminds me so much of his dad, Hubba Hubba Huntin. He's always happy, loves to show and loves to do his job. He has such a great personality. Beth has done such a great job with him. He's had an awesome show here - we were won the Limited Non-Pro Three Year Old class and were reserve in the Non-Pro, and we were reserve in Junior Hunter Saddle with Beth as well."
Another Highpoint Performance Horses horse and rider added to their laurels on Saturday when Angela Fox and HP The Rusty Fox won the Two Year Old Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle Stakes.
The horse had not been in the care of Highpoint for very long, having been bought just before the NSBA World Championship Show. "He was started as a Western Horse, but I just thought he could do the Hunter Under Saddle, so we tried it," said Beth Case.
Angela and 'Rusty' won the Breeders Championship Futurity in August, and have kept on winning since their arrival at the Congress. "He's going to be my next all around horse, but he needed to get a foundation first," Angela said.
"The hardest part is waiting. In fact, I had him entered in the Showmanship, but he wasn't quite ready, so we didn't show. We'll be adding Horsemanship and a lead change to him pretty quickly. He's a lot of fun to show."
In Amateur Western Riding, Jeffrey Johns bested himself by winning both the champion and reserve titles with his mother's horses, Lopin For A Chex and Its A Good Pleasure, with scores of 225.5 and 224 respectively.
"I was a little concerned about the quick change in the weather, since the horses are from Arizona, but they were perfect," he said. "They're definitely tired now, but they had enough drive to work the pattern well."
Jeffrey added to the win list that included his brother Trevor's champion title in Level 1 Amateur Western Riding on Friday. "I was fortunate that my mom shared her horses with me at this show," he said.
"She showed at the Select World, and let me and Trevor show at the Congress, since we can't show both Amateur and Select in the same show. I love being able to show with my family, and even more so the time we get to spend together outside the ring."
To view complete show results from the All American Quarter Horse Congress, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com.