2011 Select World

Western Riding

Mary Lou Searles had a 'game on' pattern in the western riding finals.

As Mary Lou Searles went into the ring August 31, her graddaughter told her, “Game on, Lou Lou.”

After being announced the 2011 Adequan Select World Champion in western riding, Mary Lou had tears running down her face.

“It is awesome, totally, totally, awesome,” she said.

Mary Lou was aboard her granddaughter, Taylor’s, horse, Flashy Attraction, affectionately known as "Ryder." She knew and wanted it to be “game on.” The 1996 bay gelding by Hot Attraction and out of Sheza Flashy Lassie by Flashy Zipper had just carried Taylor Searles to the reserve championship title in western riding at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

“I can’t believe this even happened,” Mary Lou said. “I didn’t ever think I’d ever be able to come near to how good (Taylor) rides, and Ryder just sort of took care of me.”

Ryder is new to the Searleses. They just purchased him in January.

Mary Lou doesn’t get a chance to ride Ryder much because Taylor competes in all-around classes with him.

“I’m the hop-and-go kind,” she laughs. “I have to thank Jim and Deanna (Searles). Jim’s my son, and Deanna is my daughter-in-law. They tune him up and yell at me to listen to them.”

Mary Lou had a goal of having a better finals go than her preliminary one.

“And it was. I couldn’t believe it, standing next to Harley (D Zip) was pretty exciting.

Mary Lou’s final western riding score was a 130.

“This week, I had a little more time to prepare, and I thought for a while that is wasn’t good because it made me more nervous than just hopping on and going. It worked out really well.”

Mary Lou Searles and Flashy Attraction

A "game on" ride meant a gold trophy for Mary Lou Searles and Flashy Attration. (Journal photo)