By Krissy MailmanThe American Quarter Horse JournalJuly 19, 2013
The AQHA Region Six Championship always features fun events and clever ways to stay cool. (Krissy Mailman photo) See a full slide show of photos via the link below.
The 2013 AQHA Region Six Championship Show, which began Thursday, July 18, was the biggest, and most likely, the hottest one yet. More than 1,200 entries braved the heat in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The largest class was the Novice youth showmanship, with 42 entries. Marge Tanner, show secretary, said entries were up after the success of last year’s show.
“We had a great show last July and everyone wanted to come back,” Marge said. “Exhibitors love the annual aisle hop and prize drawings in every class.”
Plenty of activities were also in store for the youth, including a team tournament, an AQHA rule book trivia competition and T-shirt decorating.
“I bet close to 100 kids participated,” Marge said. “We try to make the shows fun for everyone.”
The heat couldn’t stop Abigail Smith and Red Carpet Rita of Falmouth, Maine, from being named Region Six and overall circuit champion in the youth 14-18 hunter under saddle.
"Rita" is owned by Capall Creek Farm in Falmouth. It was only Abigail’s 10th ride on Rita.
“If felt awesome to win,” Abigial said. “This is the only horse show I’m going to this year before I leave for boarding school.”
View a slideshow of photos from July 19 at the Region Six Championship.
To stay cool in the extreme heat, the team stayed close to fans and drank plenty of Gatorade.
Erin Cecchini of Five Star Performances Horses in Guilford, Connecticut, suggested drinking plenty of water and finding shade. “You don’t want to overdo it riding in this heat,” Erin said. “You don’t want to enter the pen with your horse too tired.”
Thankfully, Love My Hotrod, a 12-year-old gray gelding, found enough energy to carry Genevieve Ahlstedt from Cohasset, Massachusetts, to a first-place finish in the walk-trot hunt seat equation. Genevieve is 10 years old and has been riding for three years. When asked what her favorite part of showing AQHA was she said, “Everything!” Genevieve has been showing for three years.
“I love having fun with my friends at the shows and riding 'William' (Love My Hotrod).”
Even with the heat, exhibitors still had smiles on their faces and were glad to be reunited with their AQHA friends.
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