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by Mallory MartinThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic have been on a winning streak this year.
The duo was on Team USA at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. While there, Craig and “Montana” were members of the gold medal-winning team. Individually, they took home the silver behind teammate Tom McCutcheon with Gunners Special Nite.
At the AQHA World Championship Show, Craig guided Montana to a world championship in senior reining on November 20.
Craig was ready to show and was confident going into the pen.
“I don’t think I was nervous,” Craig told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “I was excited to show that horse; he’s so fun.”
Montana was responsive to Craig throughout the pattern and worked well waiting for Craig’s cues, according to the rider.
“Pattern 5 is a nice, fun pattern,” Craig said. “Those old horses get a chance to rest in between maneuvers. I kicked him off in the left lead, and he waited for me to kick him up to speed. When a horse waits for you that is that old, I knew he was going to be on. He really ran and stopped today, so I was thrilled.”
Craig has been riding the 1998 bay stallion for the last ten years.
“He’s had quite an extensive show career,” Craig told the Journal in his winning run interview. “He’s 12 years old, so he’s been making runs… So I was pretty excited to show him.”
Now that Montana won at the World Show, he is preparing for Rookie of the Year at the 2010 NRHA futurity, according to Craig.