October 3, 2012
By Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
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Exhibitors, vendors and AQHA staff started moving in October 2 at the Nutrena East Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (Journal photo)
Welcome to Tennessee!
Exhibitors, vendors and AQHA staff started moving in October 2 at the Nutrena AQHA East Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, an event with close to 3,000 entries.
“It’s an opportunity show,” says Kirsten Mason of Morganfield, Kentucky, who plans to enter every amateur class she can. “If you’ve ever thought about doing it, you should get in it.”
Kirsten is competing with Invest N Promote, aka “Toby,” a 2004 sorrel gelding by Promote This Chip-A Peach To Invest by Allied Invester. He was bred by Denny Duello of Vinton, Iowa.
So far, Kirsten says, the Novice championship has been a great show.
“Everybody here has been more than generous to help out,” she says.
On October 3, the Miller Tennessee Coliseum and the second show arena was filled with horses and riders practicing for their classes. Horse owners stood in lines for their chance to longe in the warm-up arena and the outdoor arena. A constant flow of exhibitors checked in at the show office.
Samantha Usoff drove 10 hours from Jacksonville, Florida, to Murfreesboro to compete in all the amateur classes. Her trainer, watching Samantha fill a water bucket, stepped back a little, thought about it and assessed Samantha’s chances as “decent.”
“Thanks, Mom,” Samantha says.
Julie Steinmetz Usoff – Samantha’s trainer – says Samantha’s riding horse, Zippin Bonanza Bar, had been retired to pasture for 10 years before he went to live with them two years ago. “Bo” is a bay gelding by Zippin Bonanza Flash-Par Bars Dream by Sonny Par Bar. He was bred by Billy Driskill of Benton, Kentucky, and is owned by Diane and Deanna Latham of Live Oak, Florida.
Julie has used the 17-year-old horse for everything, including lessons, and she likes her daughter’s chances.
They’ve been careful to prepare for the patterns, she says, and not overdrill.
“I told Bo we need to win this year so he doesn’t have to qualify me next year,” Samantha says.
The Novice championship begins October 4 with halter classes and runs through October 7. In addition to Novice amateur and youth class winners, halter Champion of Champions will be named as well as high-point and all-around winners, with prizes from generous AQHA corporate partners.
The Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics will focus on the patterns exhibitors will be performing.
AQHA Professional Horsemen April and Casey Devitt will run clinics on horsemanship and equitation, and AQHA Professional Horseman Jerry Barrett will concentrate on speed events. AQHA Professional Horseman Ryan Cottingim will lead a trail clinic.
Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics are open to all, and exhibitors who have not qualified for the championships can still attend and learn from the clinicians. To view the complete schedule of clinics, refer to the Nutrena East Novice Championship schedule.