by Samantha EckertThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Joyce and Darrell Saul of Des Arc, Arkansas both made it to the amateur pleasure driving finals at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
Along with 10 other finalists, Joyce and Darrell worked through a long finals go and Joyce ended up placing first on three out of five judges’ cards and won the overall title of AQHA world champion in amateur pleasure driving.
“I’m numb,” Joyce says. “I am numb. I’m so excited.”
This was a very special win to Joyce and Darrell, who both competed on homebred horses.
“She’s out of my world champion mare I had years ago, CC Surprise (nine-time world champion),” Joyce says. “This is her granddaughter; my husband drove her daughter (PS Surprise Card, by PS Sign the Card out of CC Surprise).”
Huntin For Blues was Joyce’s ride to the top. The 2005 gray mare is by Skys Blue Boy and out of top-10 junior pleasure driving horse, Cee Regals Surprise by Regal Lark and out of CC Surprise.
“She’s like my other horse, her grandmother,” Joyce says about “Gladys.” “She doesn’t have that much personality or anything.”
“I’m just so excited I don’t know what to do. It’s just so much fun. I just can not believe it because (Terrie Brewer Booth of Dallas, Texas) I was against was so pretty and so cute. And her horse is good, and I could not believe I beat her. So it’s a real compliment to get this.”
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Joyce was not as confident going into the finals round as she was the preliminaries.
“I didn’t feel really good like I did in the prelims,” Joyce says. “I felt like she could have been a little fast, but they said she wasn’t. I guess she must have done pretty well and I was just maybe too hard on her.”
You would think that competing against your husband would be hard, but…
“Oh no, I love that,” Joyce says. “I love beating him. We kind of compete against each other.”
Joyce and her husband raised their children on horses and make a living raising live bait. The job keeps Joyce very busy throughout the year.
“I don’t get to go to the barn very much,” Joyce says. “I just stay in the office a lot. They all get to go to the barn, all my family does but me. I just have to practice when I can, when we go on a trip.”
The lack of practice time didn’t slow down Joyce and Gladys on November 10.
“I can’t express it,” Joyce. “I couldn’t believe it when I was called out last. But it’s fun. Everybody should try it.”
This will be Joyce’s sixth AQHA world championship title and hopefully not her last.
Joyce Saul earns her sixth amateur pleasure driving world title with Huntin For Blues. (Journal photo)>