Top Horse-Show Moments of 2014
Say you compare 2014 to its predecessor, 2013. Where 2013 was marked by wildfires, floods, tornadoes and a historic blizzard, this year was much more tame and, for the most part, kind to American Quarter Horses and their owners.
So while perseverance was the name of the game for 2013, 2014 was all about the American Quarter Horse proving that it is indeed the world’s most popular breed.
In August, American Quarter Horses took center-stage in Normandy, France, during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, sweeping the medals in reining, an international crowd-favorite sport. Just a month before that, youth riders from 16 countries flocked to Bryan-College Station, Texas, for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup, a bi-annual affair that pitted international riders mounted on unfamiliar horses. To put a feather in the cap of international feats was Lincoln Figueiredo, who became the first South American competitor to win an AQHA amateur world championship.
These are 10 of the most inspiring moments from the 2014 American Quarter Horse show industry.
- Ranch horses won more than ever before thanks to the multitude of Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges. When the Ranching Heritage Challenges launched in 2013, the program listed only three events. This year’s expanded series of seven challenges scattered across the western United States kicked off January 7 at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo in Texas with $10,000 in added money. The challenge at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in March offered another $20,000 and other big paydays came in August at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo; September at the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo; September at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada; October at the Northern International Livestock Exposition in Billings, Montana; and November at the Stock Horse of Texas World Show in Abilene, Texas.
- Twothousand Model Te carried the Henard sisters to amateur and youth equitation over fences world championships. The Henard family of Kingsport, Tennessee, better clear off some mantel space for the horde of trophies their 2000 bay gelding brought home in 2014. At the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in August, Billie Henard and Twothousand Model Te snatched the equitation over fences and jumping world titles. Then in November, Billie’s older sister, Miller, grabbed gold in amateur equitation over fences at the AQHA World Show. In other words, out of the three equitation over fences world titles awarded in 2014 (youth, amateur and Select), Twohthousand Model Te and the Miller family claimed two. Talk about a talented family!
- American Quarter Horses swept the medals at the World Equestrian Games. Spooks Gotta Whiz, Custom Cash Advance and Yellow Jersey displayed their athletic prowess on the world stage of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France. The American Quarter Horse stallions finished gold, silver and bronze and were ridden by Shawn Flarida, Andrea Fappani and Mandy McCutcheon, respectively, all riders representing Team USA. McCutcheon, the only non-professional rider on Team USA 2014, wrote a chapter of the FEI reining history book as being the first woman to win an individual reining medal in the Games.
To read the full article on AQHA.com, click here.