It was officially the second Saturday of the Congress, but for many exhibitors it was the first day of showing and for some the first time to compete at the world’s largest horse show. The day belonged to Small Fry Exhibitors, who saw Showmanship and Horsemanship classes held, Equestrians With Disabilities, who competed in Showmanship and Western Pleasure, Western Non-Pro Longe Line and a number of over fences classes.

Longe Line Trifecta

Nancy Wilkerson Ditty and her parents, Stanley and Susan Scott, earned the perfect trifecta in the Non-Pro Yearling Longe Line. Keeping the placings all in the family, Nancy won the NSBA and Southern Belle Breeders portion of the class earning $1,796.25 and another $530.61 for the Southern Belle. Stanley earned reserve in both divisions, winning $1,293.30 and $448.98 respectively, and Susan earning third in each part of the class with paychecks of $934.05 and $285.71. Nancy showed her RL Best Of Sudden filly, The Best Cowgirl, while Stanley showed How Do U Figer, and Susan took the lead of Certainly Lookin.

“It’s sure not very often that I get to say that I won the class, Dad was second and Mom was third,” laughed Nancy. “It’s very special to have everyone in the top three. This filly is the third generation that I’ve won with at the Congress. I won with her mother, Huntin For A Cowboy, as a three year old in 2012, and I won with her grandmother, Huntin A Cowboy, as a three year old in 2007.

Nancy trained The Best Cowgirl, who is known as Raspberry or Razzle Dazzle, as well as Susan’s horse, Certainly Lookin. “Raspberry makes my job very easy,” she said. The filly got an extra practice in on Friday evening, when Nancy took her to the Longe Line demonstration presented by David Dellin and Randy Wilson. “It was a really good practice for her and I think it helped her,” Nancy said.

The class 27 quality horse shown. “It was a tough class,” Nancy observed. “There were so many really nice horses shown.” The Open Western Longe Line will be held on Monday, October 15.

Equestrians Show Their Abilities in Showmanship and Western Pleasure

Equestrians of all abilities competed in the first EWD classes of the 2018 Congress on Saturday. Exhibitors and their families and coaches cheered each other on in Cooper Arena for the EWD Walk/Trot or Jog Showmanship Level 3. It was a large class with 22 exhibitors completing a tough pattern for the judges.

An emotional Darlene Morrison was named the Congress and NSBA class champion with So Hot Im Krymsun. “I just can’t believe it,” Darlene exclaimed. “This is the second year I’ve shown at the Congress, but this was a new horse for me. She won the Independent Heroes On Horses class yesterday. This horse Sara is great.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis, have had knee replacements and a knee replacement with rods, so I’ve had a lot of down time. I wasn’t really even sure I could trot, but we did it,” she said. “Sara just trotted off and stayed right with me. She listened and came around and did really well.

Working with the horses is what keeps me going. I have a lot of health issues, and I can’t take a lot of medicines because I’m allergic to everything. The horses are my whole life. I’m so thankful to my daughter Carrie and my granddaughter for being such great support. Carrie helps me with the horses and she made my jacket that I showed in.”

Ten riders and their teams competed in the EWD Walk/Jog Western Pleasure Supported Rider class. Exhibitors were all smiles as they sat up and put their horses through the gait calls both directions of the arena. As the placings were counted down, Charlie Osborn found himself as the last rider, earning first in both the Congress and NSBA division of the class.

“My horse is Chippin N Zippin, but we call him Oscar because he’s grouchy sometimes,” Charlie said. “I’ve been riding horses for 14 years, but this is my first time to show at the Congress. I really like riding horses because they make me feel like a winner.”

Charlie came to the Congress from Pennsylvania, and promised his family and friends that he would celebrate by buying dinner.

EWD classes continue on Sunday. The National Snaffle Bit Association Foundation is the sponsor of the EWD classes at the Congress.

Small Fry, Big Wins

They may be the littlest competitors at the Congress but the Small Fry exhibitors have the hearts of the most experienced exhibitors at the show. Small Fry weekend at the Congress kicked off on Saturday with Showmanship and Horsemanship classes.

Kenzie Bracken took her horse ‘Tex’ or Styles Sophisticated through the Showmanship pattern and won the class in a tough group of 46 exhibitors.
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“There were definitely parts of the pattern that were pretty challenging,” Kenzie said. “I really liked the extended jog though. It’s fun to go fast!”

Kenzie noted that winning her first class was a great way to start the Congress. “I’m showing in all the Small Fry classes except for Trail,” she said.

Dana Moore bested the field with another type of pattern to win Small Fry Horsemanship with her horse Cudda Invited Me.

“It’s my third year to show at the Congress,” she said. “We call my horse Cudda. I like that he does what you ask him to do.

"There were parts of the pattern that were hard and some that were not too bad. I liked the extended trot the best.”

Dana earned 15th place in the Small Fry Showmanship and will continue to show in more classes on Sunday.

Congress Small Fry classes continue through Monday.

Over Fences Champions Named, Queen Taylor Crowned

The Celeste Center hosted Working Hunter and Youth and Amateur Equitation Over Fences classes on Saturday. Ryan Painter guided Kamanyawannadance to win the AQHA and NSBA Senior Working Hunter for Payton Bivins. In Level 1 Youth Working Hunter, Eye Spy Sumthin Blue and Elizabeth Smith spied both the AQHA and NSBA Congress champion trophies. Level 1 Amateur Working Hunter saw Hezasmoothmovinvette and Margaret Mary Costanza win the AQHA and NSBA portions of the class. Morgan Ratkowski and Better Buy The Minit took the AQHA and NSBA Amateur Working Hunter as well as the AQHA and NSBA Amateur Equitation Over Fences titles. One Bad Corona and Tayah Hummel took the Level 1 Youth Equitation Over Fences title. 

Taylor Foster, representing the Indiana Quarter Horse Association, was crowned the 2018 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. Arkansas Quarter Horse Association’s Ashton Rein Williams, who is the first queen candidate to represent Arkansas in 20 years, earned the first runner up title. 

The All American Quarter Horse Congress continues through October 28. Sunday’s show schedule will include Small Fry Trail, EWD Trail, Halter Mares, EWD Hunter Under Saddle Small Fry Western Pleasure, EWD Western Pleasure, English Longe Line and Working Hunter classes. 

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