by Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Judys Ten and Kim Lindsey work their way to a fence work score of 221.5 in the working cow horse finals at the 2013 Adequan Select World. (Journal photo)
If there’s ever a time to put in the best ride of your life, it’s in the finals of the Adequan Select World Championship Show.
Last in the draw, Kim Lindsey and Judys Ten gave it their best August 25 in the working cow horse finals at the 2013 Adequan Select World. Following Kim and "Reno’s" run, a spectacular 218.5 in the rein work and 221.5 down the fence, there wasn’t a dry eye to be found in the Amarillo National Center.
It’s been a long road to the winners circle. You see, on May 15, 2012, Kim and Reno suffered a devastating loss – a car accident took the life of Kim’s son, Zinn, who was just a week shy of graduating from high school.
Long before Reno stole the crowd’s admiration and the coveted gold trophy, the buckskin gelding had earned quite a few accolades in the ranch horse and stock horse arenas with Zinn. In fact, Zinn and Reno captured the very first AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge non-pro title back in January 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.
A 2006 son of Ten O Sea and out of the Black Chick Gold mare Crows Judy, Judys Ten was bred by Bill and Dana Smith of Spur, Texas. He traces back to Doc Bar and Doc O’Lena on his topside and Joe Hancock and Hollywood Gold on the bottom.
“We bought Reno at the Caprock Ranchers Sale, Kris Wilson and I did, when he was a 2-year-old,” Kim said during her Journal world champion interview.
In the following years, Reno won multiple stock horse and ranch horse titles with Kris in the saddle. Next, Kim took over the gelding’s sole ownership, and Zinn stepped in to take Reno’s reins.
Zinn and Reno made quite the pair. Among their many wins, one of the most memorable came just three days before Zinn’s death, when he and Reno captured the Ranch Horse Association of America’s junior world championship.
“So that was on a Saturday, and we all went home on Sunday,” Kim said, recalling Zinn’s win. As the director of the Texas Tech University Equestrian Center in Lubbock, Texas, Kim spends a good deal of time commuting back and forth from there to the ranch she and her husband, Matt, own in Dickens, Texas.
“I went back to Lubbock, and Zinn lacked that week of school,” Kim added. “Tuesday morning, my husband called me and he said, ‘Zinn’s had a wreck.’ And I said, ‘Well, did you call the insurance?’ And he said, ‘No. He didn’t make it.’ ”
It was a car accident that took Zinn’s life as he was on his way to school. Dealing with the aftermath of Zinn’s death was traumatic, as one can expect, but Kim set her mind to doing something for Zinn, and for herself.
“I thought, ‘You know, he won a world championship, and that’s what I want to do, too.’ ”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch Ford Youth World video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.
It was anything but easy at first, Kim said.
“I started riding Reno after my son got killed, and it was terrible at first. I couldn’t even change leads on him, I couldn’t stop him; I couldn’t do anything.
“Zinn had just won the ranch world on Reno, and I thought, ‘How did this kid show this horse? He made it look so easy, and I can’t even change leads on him.’ ”
With the help of AQHA Professional Horseman Don Murphy of Burneyville, Oklahoma, plus the support of a number of friends and family – especially her mother, Norma Belcher, and husband, Matt – Kim set her sights on the Adequan Select World.
“He usually is always good,” Kim said of Reno. “He doesn’t like to be corrected, because he’s never bad. You’ve just got to show him, and it’s quite a deal to get him shown, because it’s kind of all on you. He tries his heart out every time for you. He’s just such a pleasure to ride.”
Her aim for her working cow horse prelims run was for a good, clean ride – one worthy of making the finals. From there, she planned on fine-tuning a few things for their finals performance.
“That’s probably the best run I’ve put together,” she admitted. “That horse was hard for me to ride down the fence; he’s real cowy and so I wanted him to be free, but rate and just run up there beside that cow and just let that cow set up.
“Reno’s been a champion,” Kim added. “Some horses are just that way, and Reno, I think, is one of them.”
To rise from trauma as gracefully as Kim has takes a special kind of support network – made up of both horses and humans.
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the Adequan Select World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch Adequan Select World video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.
“I just can’t tell you how thankful I am for everybody’s support,” she said, her voice thick with emotion. “The Lord let me win today, and I feel like Zinn was riding with me.
“I prayed that he would, and I think he was.”