Linda O'Brien and Corporate Credit take a victory lap after winning western riding at the Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
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by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Let’s get this straight: Corporate Credit is a trail horse.
He has a 2005 high-point year-end amateur trail horse buckle to prove it: He’s a trail horse.
So rider Linda O’Brien of Rancho Santa Fe, California, was disappointed when she didn’t make the trail finals at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show.
Right up until she won a world championship in western riding on August 30.
Working first in the draw, Linda trotted in on her trail horse wearing a bright pink shirt she made herself.
“I was just right in the flow,” she said in her exclusive Journal Winning Run interview. “I was in the zone. He did everything I asked for.”
After she was done, she waited for the other exhibitors to complete their patterns. It was a deep class, and when Linda was called back in with the other finalists, she sat on her trail horse and waited for the results.
Win or lose, she was going to be happy with “Dusty.” The 1997 sorrel gelding by Investment Creditor is a peppermint-snacking people-pleaser, and Linda loves riding him – in trail.
“He’s the sweetest, kindest animal,” she said. “He wants to please. When I got him, I had only been on his back five times, and I showed him in Florida, and he was first under both judges with 25 people in the class – in trail. When I got on him, he just said, ‘I’ll take care of you.’ And I felt that. And he has taken care of me ever since.”
In 2011, Linda and Dusty were fourth in trail and eighth in western riding.
“I love the event,” she said. “(AQHA Professional Horsemen) Charlie Cole and Jason Martin are amazing. They’ve made him better than he even was.”
But she still wasn’t expecting her name to be called as the world champion in western riding. Shocked and astonished, she took a long, slow victory lap as Dusty sported the championship wreath he earned.
“I was wanting to take that victory lap,” Linda said. “It was exciting. I never expected it in this event. Trail is my stronger event, but I guess now this is my strongest event.”
Sure is, Linda. Dusty’s a western riding horse now.
“Charlie and Jason at Highpoint have worked with me and just done an amazing job,” she said, listing off her thank-yous. “I want to thank Bruce Vickery for finding the horse for me. I want to thank my husband, (Barry), for letting me do this. My sister came. She’s never seen me show before so it was exciting to have my sister Kathy with me. Now she’s my lucky charm, so she has to go with me to every horse show.”