2011 Select World
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Leslie Harrison is no stranger to the gold trophy at the Adequan Select World Championship Show.
In 2005 and in 2006, she won the barrel racing championship with the great mare Yoder. For 2011, though, she brought an even more special mare, Spirit Of Talent.
“(Breeder) Cindy Sipes had saved this mare for herself,” Leslie said. “Cindy got busy with family and just other responsibilities and didn’t have time to ride, so she called me.
“I told her I’d love a shot at (the mare). I got her and she was still pretty green, but we went to hauling, and once we finally bonded, she was awesome. She’s really special. The bloodline is gone, and she’s one of the last. She’s really done just super for me.”
Spirit Of Talent is a 2002 sorrel mare by Flaming Talent and out of Eternal Offset by Eternal Steel. Leslie calls her “Sheila,” but the pretty mare picked up a second name along the way.
“My granddaughters, they could never call her ‘Sheila,’ so they called her ‘Shishi,’” Leslie said. “She’s been wonderful. She’s so quiet. You (might) think she’s a pleasure horse or something. But when she sees the barrels or the poles, it’s all business. You just hold on.”
Leslie’s second-round time of 17.315 added to her first-round go gave her a cumulative 34.801, almost two-tenths of a second ahead of reserve world champion Roy Quinn Jr. and Swiss Mocha Jet with their 35.610. Roy, who hails from Cedar Hill, Missouri, also placed seventh with Oughta Be Crazy.
“I feel like she always gives me a good shot (at winning),” Leslie said. “I’m there for the ride. The first run, she felt like she couldn’t get hold of the ground. She really slipped and slid. I don’t know – usually she doesn’t have any trouble with the ground. In the second run, she really didn’t feel as fast the second run, but she could hold on a bit better. Going to the third barrel, I kicked her and said, ‘Come on, Sheila, we gotta make this one.’ And she did it.”
Leslie Chapman Harrison pilots her special mare Spirit Of Talent to the barrels world championship August 31 at the 2011 Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)