Friday, October 12, was all about honoring our military heroes – especially those who participated in the 2018 All American Quarter Horse Congress Heroes On Horses classes.
Veterans gathered for brunch and fellowship on Friday morning, where they enjoyed visiting with their peers as well as received a small token of appreciation for their service and their participation at the Congress.
In the afternoon, corporate sponsors, exhibitors, and friends gathered in the Celeste Center to lead a procession and presentation of colors in honor of the veterans competing at the show. The afternoon culminated with two Heroes On Horses classes for Supported and Independent Riders.
Alan Foster Wins Supported Class
Alan Foster had only spent five Fridays of riding time preparing for the 2018 Heroes On Horses class, but he’s had a lifetime of counseling other veterans. “For me, the important thing is the fellowship,” he said. “It’s really important for me to get together with others once or twice a month. With the horses and our military careers, we have similar experiences.
“Horses opened a door to that fellowship,” he said. “When you’re on a horse, you have a heightened sense of non-control, and you need to work with them – it’s less that they work with you and more that you work with them.”
Alan was drafted into the Army in 1966, and spent time in Viet Nam at Kasakahn and Dong Hung. He later joined the Air National Guard, and became a counselor in 1990. “I was always called to work with the guys coming back,” he said. “I’ve also become more involved in my Christian commitment, and that has really shaped who I’ve become. I’ve made some great friends.”
Alan showed Cee I Got Principles, who, along with the other four horses in the Supported Rider class are owned by Stockhand Horses For Healing. “They are doing great things at Stockhand,” Alan said. “I sometimes just go to the barn and watch them work with the autistic children because it is so interesting and so meaningful.”
Alan noted that he used to ride horses when he was a boy, but always liked to go fast. “There is a lot more to this showing part that I didn’t know anything about,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun learning.”
Rounding out the placings in the class were
2- Caitlyn Moreland and Izzy
3- Lisa Upperman and Sweet Pea
4- Richard Nash and Ziggy
5- Bruce Kern and Beauty
Shayne Cochi Earns Independent Class Win
Although Shane Cochi has been riding for a few years, he didn’t know about the Heroes On Horses class until a little less than a year ago, and now he is a Congress champion.
“I spent five years in the Marines in the infantry,” he said. “I am so lucky that I get to ride horses on a private farm that has about 300 acres. When I’m riding, it puts me in a place away from my mind. It’s very therapeutic.”
Like Alan, Shayne had not been involved in showing horses. “There was a lot to learn to be able to show,” he said. “When I got done with the class, I kept thinking that there were a lot of things that I could have done better. I was just hoping to maybe make it into the top five.”
Shayne showed So Hot Im Krymsun, or Sarah, who is owned by Addyson Chafin.
Additional placings in the Independent class were:
2- Helen Voss and BMQ Show Me The Money
3- Ty Throngkumpola and Make Me Feel Good
4- Matthew Mankins and Izzy
5- Gregory Wilcox and Ziggy
6- LeAnn Hosmer and Sailor
7- Luke Poljak and Sweet Pea
8- Peter Shearer and Cee I Got Principles
9- Dallas Ratchiff and Beaty
10- Christina Paysn and Bella
Additional events during the day on Friday at the Congress included a reception for Equestrians With Disabilities riders and their coaches and families, who will begin their competition on Saturday.
The Congress in cooperation with the National Snaffle Bit Association also hosted a demonstration that explained what judges look for in the Yearling Longe Line class, presented by NSBA Past President and APHA Director of Judges, David Dellin, and NSBA Hall of Fame Rider and NSBA Judges Committee Member Randy Wilson.
Saturday will see several Small Fry and Equestrians With Disabilities classes as well as Western Non-Pro Yearling Longe Line, Working Hunter and Equitation Over Fences classes. The day will culminate with the popular Freestyle Reining performances and the crowning of the 2018 Congress Queen. The All American Quarter Horse Congress continues through Sunday, October 28.
View complete show results at www.quarterhorsecongress.com, and view the live video feed at nationalsportsbroadcasting.com/congress.
Group photo below courtesy of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association.