2016 AQHA East Level 1 Championship All-Around Winners
A year ago, Chayna DeNicolo was discouraged.
Her mare, Onehot Shade Of Gray, wasn’t living up to her potential.
“A year ago, we hit a rough patch, but she’s a show horse now,” Chayna said May 7 at the 2016 AQHA Nutrena East Level 1 Championship Show. “Her movement – I just knew there was a horse in there. I don’t like to give up and I pushed myself and had a great support system, and we got through it.” The proof was in the prize, as Chayna accepted the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award for Nutrena East.
“It’s so exciting,” Chayna said. “It’s been a week to remember. I’ve had her since she was a yearling. My mom and I and another woman who owns the farm with us have done all the training ourselves and so it has been a big reward – a big rewarding week.”
Chayna and Gracie competed in halter, hunt seat equitation, showmanship and horsemanship.
“I just wanted good rides,” Chayna said. “We were third in eq, and that’s our sketchiest class. We probably came here for showmanship and ended up winning showmanship – our best event – and then (the win in) horsemanship was just the icing on the cake.”
Chayna cried after every win.
“Every single time,” she said. “We were third in mares, and I didn’t cry in the mares. Just three times – waterworks.”
The busy college student also juggles a job and farm duties in between getting in rides on Gracie.
“Right now I’m at a community college, and I’m going to transfer to Northern Illinois University, majoring in elementary education,” she said. “Again. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology.”
The all-around winners at Nutrena East received a Professional’s Choice saddle pad, a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle and a trophy.
The 2016 all-around winners were:
Farnam All-Around Amateur
Exhibitor: Chayna DeNicolo, St. Charles, Illinois
Horse: Onehot Shade Of Gray, 2011 gray mare by One Hot Invitation-Socially Impulsive by Impulsions
Owner: Chayna DeNicolo
Breeder: Terry Robinson, Francesville, Indiana