2011 Select World
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
The road to a world championship begins with a strong athlete. Mix in the kindness of family members and a lot of years of experience, and it was a winning combination for Billy Emerson of Addison, Texas.
On August 29, Billy rode Stylish Lizzorro to the cutting world championship at the 2011 Adequan Select World Championship Show in Amarillo with a 221.
“I have a very kind son to loan me a horse like this,” Billy told the Journal. “I appreciate the AQHA. It’s such a family-oriented association and allows us to share immediate family members' horses. He can show mine, and I can show his. I had two qualified. My mare, I messed up my cut on the preliminary round and didn’t make the finals, so fortunately, I had this second horse and it looks like my son’s horse is the best horse.”
Stylish Lizzorro, a 2005 sorrel gelding by Lizzys Gotta Player and out of Stylish Sharon by Docs Stylish Oak, was bred by Timothy Drummond of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
“He’s just a big old athlete that can hold the toughest cow,” Billy says, so he and his herd help were looking for fresh cows that would challenge “Lizard.”
“I was just concentrating on trying to pick cows,” Billy said. “I was late (in the draw). I was 14th, so I was worried about whether there would be any good cows left and fortunately they were, so I was just trying to stay focused and not worry about what everybody else was doing. It’s just me and that cow out there.”
Billy had help from his trainer, Josh Townsend, AQHA Professional Horseman Teddy Johnson, Rick Darling and Bill Perkins.
“We had four real true professional helpers and believe me, they helped pick the cattle and they helped find the cattle for me and point them out when I’m deep in the herd. They made the whole run possible,” Billy said. “We had three cows that were left that we knew were fresh, and it was pretty difficult – it’s like I tell the trainers – we can’t interview the cows the way we do employees, so you just have to try to judge them the best you can, and this particular horse has such a big stop. We know that the judges are going to mark him better if I cut a cow that will what they call ‘carry him’ somewhere, make him have a big stop, very athletic, and he can come back through, so we needed a little tougher cow to mark a big score on him than you would a horse that’s real fancy in the middle.”
Billy has been showing for about 20 years as a stress relief from his work in the music distribution business
“Then after retirement, that’s when I tried to get serious and learn to show,” he said.
For the last few years, he has been showing at the Adequan Select World, hoping for a win. His gold trophy was a dream come true, he said.
“I really want to compliment AQHA for having the consideration to have a senior Select show to give us old geezers a chance to compete and have an opportunity to win a world championship,” he said. “Also to Adequan – it’s very kind of them to sponsor and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been up here several years, and it worked out really good this time.”
Billy Emerson of Addison, Texas, cuts August 29 on Stylish Lizzorro at the Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)