Pleasurehorse.com is very excited to introduce our special guest blogger for the Ford Youth World, Tori Ferreira! Tori hails from Williamson, Georgia, and will be showing at the Youth World with her 2011 gelding Be Won RV Machine in Trail and Western Pleasure. Tori rides and trains with Glenn Wells and Sheala Kelley of Glenn Wells Quarter Horses where the team has been adding more all-around events to their resume and is already proving they’ll a force to look out for by already racking up points in trail, horsemanship, hunter under saddle, in addition to already rocking the western pleasure classes. The pair finished in the Top 40 in the nation last year in Novice Youth Western Pleasure and picked up a Top Ten placing at the Congress in Novice 14-18 Western Pleasure, an impressive feat to accomplish for any 3 year-old!
Follow Tori as she blogs about her experiences at the Youth World and gives us the “backstage access” to see the event from an exhibitor’s perspective.
Day 8- August 5th
Today is my last day here at the AQHA Youth World before heading out to the NSBA World Show so I thought I would do something different! I wanted to talk to the first year amateurs who just got out of youth. This was so much fun speaking to them about the fun they had and all the success.
Keaton Crawford and Deuce
First up, is Keaton Crawford and her gelding, My Ace Is Hot aka Deuce. Keaton trained with Jim and Deanna Searles out of Arizona. I asked her what she misses most about being a youth, and she misses being with all of her friends the most. Being at the Youth World, especially, makes her sad that she’s not getting to be in the pen with all of the people shes shown with for about seven years. Then, I asked her when her first youth show was, and she thinks it was in Colorado at the Gold Rush Circuit. I ended up winning my class and my sister won her class too. She was addicted from the start. She wanted to qualify for the World Show after that, and she wasn’t gonna stop until she was there! Her favorite moment in her youth ‘career was getting the globe last year at her last Youth World. Deuce was such a good boy for her, and all of their hard work had finally paid off. It was an amazing moment! She’s looking forward to showing as an amateur and showing with some new people. She’s excited to have something new to do and get to see a different side of the shows, and she’ll be showing with her sister again.
Elizabeth Ellis and Jacks
I also got to talk to Elizabeth Ellis with her gelding, Zips Cracker Jack aka Jacks, who she trained and still rides with Meneely Show Horses out of Georgia! I asked her what she misses about being a youth and she misses how involved she was. Elizabeth was president of GQHYA 2 years, YES, and getting to know a lot of people, she was also a national director. Her first show was in 2009 October Georgia Quarter Horse Association Boo Rama. Her favorite memory as a youth was her first year she went to YES, she ran for national director, won, and stayed for 2 terms.
Mark Mowbray and Teddy
Also, I got to talk to Mark Mowbray with his gelding, A Good Storm aka Teddy. With his trainers, Rebecca and Austin Halvorson, whe was a Reserve World Champion in the Performance Geldings in 2013, which is also his favorite memory with his horse . The thing he misses most about being a youth is the World Show. He misses showing and just being in OKC with all of his friends. His very first show was in the leadline on a palomino gelding. All he can remember is his dad leading him around the arena and having the time of his life! If you think about it, that’s all horse showing is about: having fun! This has been such a fun experience blogging for Pleasurehorse.com! I’ve gotten to talk to a lot of people and learn more about them! Congrats to all riders who had amazing rides and worked their butt off to get here. It’s an amazing accomplishment. Everybody should be proud no matter what! It’s an amazing experience, and I love every minute of it! I hope everybody has a great rest of Youth World and hope to see everybody soon!!!
Day 7- August 4th
Today was a very busy day for final riders! One thing that really stood out to me, was Showmanship World Champion, Sydney Scheckle, got on her horse and did a victory lap! I thought that was so cool! I got to talk to a couple of youth today, and they told me a little bit about themselves.
First, I talked to Hayley Riddle with her mare Good Miss Sunny, aka Kitten. This year Hayley showed in the western riding and horsemanship, and was actually a finalist this year in the western riding! Go Hayley!!! Her favorite part about Youth World is the showing; she loves competing with the best of the best. Hayley has been showing ever since she was 3 years old in her first leadline class, so you could say she’s been around awhile! Her first Youth World was in 2012, and she says there are many more to come till she is an Amateur.
Hayley Riddle and Kitten
Next, I talked to Justin Clay Arrington with his gelding, RV Miracle Machine, aka Miracle. His first Youth World was in 2009 with Appraised Adventure, and he showed in the showmanship and trail. His favorite memory at Youth World is in 2013 when he made the Trail finals, was 16th overall, and won the 13& Under with RV One Good Version aka Vern. Clay showed in the Trail and Pleasure this year and made the quarter finals in his first year doing Pleasure with Miracle. His favorite class is Western Pleasure because of how he can make the horse move the same way the entire way around the pen. He also loves the work it takes to be able to work your horse. Clay has actually started Miracle from when he was just a baby. His favorite horse is Miracle because of how willing he is, and he’s just so easy going.
Justin Clay Arrington and Miracle
Next, I talked to Laska Anderson with her gelding Immortalized aka Stretch. Her first Youth World was in 2010, when she was only 12 years old! Her favorite memory is stepping into the show pen at her very first Youth World- the atmosphere is unlike any other, which is very true! This year, she is showing in Performance Geldings, Hunter Under Saddle, and Equitation. Her favorite classes are Horsemanship and Equitation, because it emphasizes a connection with your horse. My favorite class to watch is probably western riding, because it requires so much grace and talent. Her favorite horse would have to be Stretch, because he is so good minded, and she is so excited for their future together. Thank you everybody for talking to me! It’s been such a fun time talking to y’all and learning so much more about you guys!
Laska Anderson and Stretch
Day 6- August 3rd
So today was the showmanship prelims and semi finals and the western pleasure prelims, quarter finals, and semis! I was lucky enough to make it to the quarters! I was so happy with my horse! The best of the best was in the pleasure and showmanship today! You could see everybody riding and showing their hearts out! It was a good day here at AQHA Youth World! I just want to thank my trainers Glenn Wells and Sheala Kelly for helping my horse and I show to the best of our ability even with a hurt back! Tomorrow starts with finals in showmanship and horsemanship!
Day 5- August 2nd
Today was a very though day for trail exhibitors. With Deanna Green scoring a 239, it was a hard one to follow, and she’s now a back-to-back world champion!
MaryGracen and Gator
I also got to talk to Mary Gracen Reed, a 17 year-old from Bastville Mississippi. MG, as her friends call her, rides with Dukes Performance Horses with her 7 year-old gelding, UF A Lightsmoke, also known as Gator. This will be her second world show with Gator, and this team is very successful in Hunter Under Saddle. They are planning to add the Eq in 2016. This team’s biggest accomplishment is winning the circuit at the Silver Dollar Circuit earlier this year!!! Watch for Mary Gracen and Gator in the Hunter Under Saddle!
Mackenzie Matthews and VP
I also got talk to Semi Finalist in Horsemanship, Mackenzie Mathews with her horse, Virtually Perfect, who is under the guidance of Michel Colvin Performance Horses. She showed in the Performance Geldings, Horsemanship, and has the Showmanship and Equitation left. This is her first year with her new horse, VP, and she loves him so much! I have also enjoyed watching this team grow together and have so much success. Her favorite class is the Horsemanship because of the connection it takes with you’re horse and the precision.
Me and Terry Cross!
My favorite person I talked to today was AQHA trainer, judge and professional horseman, Terry Cross. Fun fact about Terry, he broke and trained my horse Be Won RV Machine! Terry has been showing for 36 years and has been coming to the Youth World for 25! His favorite classes to teach and train are Showmanship and Horsemanship, as you can tell by his client, Bailey Anderson, was reserve in those two classes last year! Also, that was his favorite year ever at the AQHA Youth World. One thing he always tells his clients, is just breathe and relax and treat it like it’s any other horse show. It was his birthday today so I hope if you saw him you told him, “happy birthday!!!” Thank you, Terry, I really enjoyed talking to you!
Reserve World Champ, Bailey Anderson, and trainer, Terry Cross
Day 3- July 31st
First class of the day was Performance Halter Mares with 32. Such a great class with beautiful horses and beautiful people. Third place went to Carley Mae Shockley with Lighten Up Rainbo.
Reserve went to Katie Bussing with CK Mardi Gras, and your 2015 World Champion is Paulina Marie Martz with Onlythebestchocolate. Congrats ladies!!!
There were so many beautiful horses in the halter classes!
Next was Performance Halter Geldings, then Aged Geldings, and Western Riding preliminaries was the last class of the day! With western riding about to start, you can see everybody starting to put their makeup on, make sure the ponytails are straight and no fly-always. Christie Arrington, of Graceville, Florida, has always given me some of the greatest advice at shows. They help me so much, and I would love to share them with you. Don’t get overwhelmed. Have a plan for practicing and preparing your horse. Know your pattern and be confident in executing it. Don’t worry about who else is in your class. Do your best. You are showing with the top youth in the world, and the fact that you qualified to be here is an accomplishment in itself. So, have a good time and enjoy the experience. Stay focus and remember to breathe!! Thank you Christie for you’re tips; I know it will help me!! Good luck to all of the exhibitors tomorrow and have great rides!
Trainer Christie Arrington has given great words of wisdom.
Day 2- July 30th
So, the craziness begins. Today started out like any ordinary day at a horse show: come to the barn, feed horses, and once they eat, go lunge your horse. As you look around on the show grounds, you see every single youth exhibitor attending to their trainer’s needs and wants. Everybody has their game face on as soon as they walk in the doors. I got to talk to parent, Carla Lario, owner of Blue Walkers Terms, on how much she enjoys watching her daughter, Avery Lario, show in the all-around events. She says it’s so nice to see the youth being highlighted at the Youth World. It’s all about the work they have done and the friendships they have formed. Everybody seems to cheer one another on, and that’s why she loves sending her daughter to shows. One of the things she really enjoys, and I love too, if I do say so myself, that it’s not a self-centered activity. It’s a partnership between you and your horse. You can’t think all about yourself . You have to step outside yourself and focus on your partner. It’s how you’re controlling an animal who has a mind of its own. Good luck to everybody showing tomorrow and kick some butt!!!
Avery and Carla Lario with Blue Walkers Terms
Day 1- July 29th
We have finally arrived here at the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds after being in the truck for 15 hours. When you first get here, you have to check in your horses and find a place to park and unload all the equipment. It’s like a madhouse trying to get in because everybody arrives at the same time. After helping out AQHA judge and trainer, Dean Bogart, when he broke down and to also add to our trip, Angie Schmeck from Newnan, Georgia, had a flat tire about 10 miles in front of us so we stopped and helped out. When we finally got in touch with a wrecker, it was an hour later, and he didn’t even bring the right tool! There were 4 rigs pulled out on the side of the road. During this very exciting trip, it was Glenn Wells, Sheala Maslen, Avery Lario, Dean Bogart, Tammy Schuster, Cydney Benes, Angie Schmeck, Erin Mask, and Beth Dunlap. I think the best thing about horse show friends is when one is broken down, anybody will do anything to help out. I’m so glad we all got to spend this time together even if it was on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in Arkansas.
Horse show people are always willing to help out in a pinch, even on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
During this “uneventful” trip, I got to talk to Cydney Benes, of Boca Raton, Florida, on the side of the road. I’m very thankful she decided to talk to me even if it was 4:30 in the morning. She will be showing in the Hunter Under Saddle, Horsemanship, and Equitation with her horse, Call Me Blazing Hot, who she just recently started in the all-around but has always had huge success in the English classes. She also has a new horse named Moon Me who she will be showing in Pleasure. Everybody is so excited about this new team! They look great together and made their first appearance at the Big A in Conyers, Georgia. Cydney has been coming to the World Show as long as she can remember and always with her horse, Rockin Raisinette . She has decided to retire her this year, and she said it feels totally different with out having her. Cydney loves the Youth World, and it is in her top shows. It gives her the chance to show what she has been working towards all year! Nothing is going to stop Cydney from being in the show pen when she is away at Auburn University on her equestrian scholarship! I wish you the best of luck, Cydney, this coming week!
After helping other fix some flat tires, we were on the way to Oklahoma City.
Well, today is move-in day. They will let you in at 8:00 am and once everything gets unloaded and the horses get settled, I can say for half the trainers, especially who drove a long way ,will be going back to hotel, trailer, or RV and taking a nap. I know we will be! Then, once we rest up, we will be coming back and riding the horses to start preparing. Friday starts with Performance Halter Mares, Performance Geldings, Aged Geldings, and the prelims of Western Riding in the Jim Norick. Wishing everybody safe travels as they are heading out show and let’s make this year count!
It was great talking to Cydney Benes, even if it was on the side of the road!