2012 Select World

Hunter Under Saddle

Kirsten Farris and Lyles Al Lie win hunter under saddle August 31 at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show.

Exhibitors in hunter under saddle lined up in the center of the ring and waited for their names to be called August 31 at the Adequan Select World Championship Show.

One by one, they trotted up to accept their prizes until finally only two were left on leggy American Quarter Horses, Margaret Ring of Milton, Florida, and Kirsten Farris of Phoenix.

As announcer Clark Scoggin described the reserve world champion, he included the phrase “first in Intermediate.”

Confused, Margaret and Kirsten looked at each other, wondering which one of them was an Intermediate. It was Margaret, and as she trotted up to accept her reserve world championship trophy, Kirsten leaned over and hugged her horse’s neck. She and Lyles Al Lie were the world champions.

“Oh, my God! It feels so different than you would ever think,” she said in her exclusive Journal Winning Run interview. “I’ve thought of this so many times, and it’s different, but it’s amazing.

“When you’re out there, you just kinda do it, but now that I’m thinking about it, I just love this horse so much,” she said, tearing up a bit.

Lyles Al Lie is a 2006 sorrel gelding by Allocate Your Assets-Sheza Detail by Last Detail. He was bred by Kirsten’s barnmate, Katherine Tobin of Scottsdale, Arizona, who was on hand as a class sponsor to watch “Lyle Jr.” and Kirsten win the world championship.

“It was great (ride),” Kirsten said. “(The day’s schedule) went a lot faster than we thought. I thought (the class) was going to go around 5:15, and all of a sudden it was time to get ready, so I had to focus and not worry. I waited out here and didn’t get involved in the crowd. We went in, trotted in, took a deep breath and 20 minutes later we came out and we won.”

The lights in the arena flickered during the class, but Lyle stayed right with Kirsten.

“It was great,” she said. “He was so right there for me. I was able to maneuver around, and when the lights went out, he just kept going.”

Kirsten had been out of riding for six years before she bought Lyle on the advice of AQHA Professional Horseman Deanna Searles of Scottsdale, whom she has known for 20 years.

“Kathy and Gerry Tobin, who have Allocate Your Assets, are in our barn,” she said. “And they always had (Lyle), and I just loved him so much, and when Deanna saw him, she said ‘Kirsten, this is a perfect horse for you because of the way he is,’ and she just knows what kind of horses I like. It was a match made in heaven, and we went from there. I got him when he was 3, and now he’s 6.”

In 2011, Kirsten and Lyle were reserve world champions in hunter under saddle at the Adequan Select World.

“It took a long time for us to get together riding-wise, but personality-wise, from the first day, even when I didn’t have him, I was in love with him,” Kirsten said. “I remember when Kathy had him, I’d run over and brush him.

“He’s so special. He’s such a good horse. I like him just for him, but then he’s so fun to ride, too. He’s so fun to be around. He’s our pet.”

Lyle has a quirky personality, she said, and an unerring ability to discern less desirable peppermints.

“He is a goober,” she said. “If you scratch him, he’ll almost fall over. If you give him flat (peppermints) and he’s in the mood for flat ones, he’ll eat them, but if you give him a round one, he’ll spit it out.  He’s very picky.”

Kirsten said having her trainer’s undivided attention is one of the best parts of the Adequan Select World.

“It is so laidback, and it’s nice that our trainers aren’t showing and that they can be there for us,” she said. “They’re not competing with four or five different arenas, and they really have time to sit down and help us prepare. I think having our own Select World Show is a good thing.”
2012 Adequan Select World Champions in Hunter Under Saddle Kirsten Farris and Lyles Al Lie

Kirsten Farris of Phoenix takes a victory lap on Lyles Al Lie after winning hunter under saddle at the 2012 Adequan Select World Chanmpionship Show. (Journal photo)