World champions Sarah Anne Lesh and Niki Saggione
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by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Both Sarah Anne Lesh and Niki Saggione had unique problems when it came to getting qualified in ranch sorting for the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show – they were pregnant.
Sarah Anne and her husband, Jared, welcomed son, Gunner, into the world in March, and Niki Saggione and her husband, Louis, welcomed daughter, Callie, in July.
“It was very rough for both of us,” Niki said. “I didn’t like to ride pregnant at all. And she had hers in March, so she had some time. I had mine in July, so I had to ride pregnant which wasn’t good. I luckily got qualified in two or three shows.”
But once it came to their finals sort, third in the go November 9, they had no problems at all.
“We were sitting third (coming out of the prelims),” Sarah Anne said, “so we were sitting pretty good. All we wanted to sort was four (in the finals). We had a little bit of luck and everything just played out and rode good: We ended up getting ten (sorted).”
Their combined 16 cattle sorted in 118:334 slid them solidly into first place, and won them the world championship.
Both Niki and Sarah Anne have done well at the World Show in ranch sorting and team penning; both have multiple world championships in both classes, and have been team members for many of them. According to Niki, “We ride the same style and get along.” They also look for the same kind of horses – cutters.
But, this year, there’s not going to be much in the way of traditional celebrating.
“We have a baby, we can’t do much celebrating!” Niki laughed. “We’ll probably go back to the trailer, get something to eat and that’s about it. We have a long drive home.”