By Gabrielle Sasse, PleasureHorse.com
Eric Mendrysa and Only By Moonlight win double gold in Nov Am Horsemanship and Showmanship at the East Novice Championship Show (Journal photo)
The Second Annual AQHA Novice Championships in both the East and West divisions finished up this past weekend, both shows finishing up yesterday. The East show was held in Murfreesboro, TN in the Tennessee Miller Coliseum October 1-6. The West Show was held in Las Vegas, NV during October 2-6 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center.
More than 3,000 entries graced both Novice Championship shows, which many exhibitors used as a precursor to Congres. Exhibitors had to qualify nationally or through affiliate qualifying methods, such as placing top ten at their Regional Experience shows. The largest strictly Novice show, both East and West shows experienced great exhibitors, trade shows, Ride The Pattern clinics, parties, and wonderful people. The largest class for both shows was the Novice Amateur Horsemanship!
Shea Graham and Lets Talk About AOK. Photo courtesy of the Journal
Shea Graham and Lets Talk About AOK won the Novice Youth 13 & Under All Around, and Ashley Sioco with Zippos Gold N Sonnet won the Novice Youth 14-18 All Around event. High point awards were given out for age groups and English and Western events, as well as a High Point Rookie award. Novice Amateur All Around winner was Sydney Janet Shafter and Thumbs Debut. Jayne M. Hickey and A Natural Artist won the All Around Novice Select award. Congratulations to Halter Champion of Champions award in the Novice Amateur: Sarah Hall and Only At Knight, and Novice Youth: Harley Ann Migliori and Shesa Telusive Kid.
One of the most heartwarming parts of these shows, are the stories of competitors who have made it all this way all on their own. The story of Mindy and “Red” is one such story, a woman who picked up from Maine to move to Wyoming and has trained her horse CLG Mito Money to compete in Barrels, Stakes and Poles. She qualified in Stakes, and decided to give a shot at Halter and Western Pleasure. Her attempts at new things paid off, with Mindy and Red winning the Novice Select Rookie High Point! “I ride up in the mountains, and clean houses, and have fun with my horse!” Mindy said. “I gotta keep trying things. You can do anything… Just find out where the road goes.” To read the full story, click here.
For a full list of West Results, click here!
The Tennessee show experienced a lot of the same great successes and stories that its sister show in the East held. Congrats to Novice Youth Halter Champion of Champions, Donna Mullins and Shes Just Golddiggin and to Novice Amateur Chase Alan Baker and Won And Only Fella. McAuley Ross and A Timely Version won the Novice Youth All Around 13 & Under, with Sarah Orsak and Smokin Charlie Too winning the Novice Youth 14-18 All Around. Kimberly Stewart-Burritt and Sleep In My Suite won the All Around Amateur in the East, and All Around Select was awarded to Lisa Marshall and Willie B Caaned.
Triple Threat: Grace DeGelder and Achieva Classic (Journal photo)
This was the first year that fence classes were included for both East and West shows, and they had a great welcoming from exhibitors. High school senior Grace DeGelder certainly experienced a great show in the fence classes, with a triple win in Novice Youth Equitation Over Fences, Hunter Hack and Working Hunter! This Rockford, Michigan native shows the grey gelding Achieva Classic, or “Pepper”. “I can’t be grateful enough that AQHA put the over fences classes in the Novice Championships this year,” shares Grace about the East show. “This show gave me the opportunity to accomplish my wildest dreams, and it truly showed me that with a horses heart that matches your own, determination, hard work, and faith, anything is possible!” The pair is preparing to head for Ohio this week, getting ready to show at the Congress.
Another Congress bound individual also sincerely enjoyed her first trip to the East Novice Championships and the addition of the fence classes. Jennifer Klika, of Poynette, Wisconsin, showed her grey gelding Hes So Captivating in the Novice Amateur Equitation Over Fences and in Working Hunter. “I just wish AQHA had a Novice Jumper Class, so that I could have done that too!” Jen says. The team won bronze in Equitation Over Fences, and sixth in Working Hunter in TN. “We qualified at the Region Three show. We really need to show these Regional Shows support in the future, because I couldn’t have qualified on a horse I hadn’t shown all year without them!”
“I loved the World Show type of environment,” Jen shared of her experience. “It helped me to feel more prepared for Congress and Amateur World shows. I only wish that there hadn’t been as much confusion over qualifying and entries. Overall, I cannot wait to go back. I really enjoyed my time there!” she smiles.
To see full results of the East show, click here!
Congratulations to all exhibitors!