by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Hilary Carrel knows a thing or two about keeping a horse going.
Since 2006, she and PRF Hitchn Fora Ride have collected the AQHA world championship in jumping twice and have been reserve world champions once.
On November 12, they added a third championship to the shelf for Nancy Carrel of Birney, Montana, “Flora’s” owner and Hilary’s mother.
“It was a fun course,” Hilary exclaims. “I had a good time on the ride and good footing, so I was able to gallop and turn and not be afraid to fall. The fences were pretty big, and she jumped really, really well.”
After a clean round in the first go on the Mike Christian-designed course, Hilary had a game plan for the jump-off, knowing former world champions Dr Hollywood DVM, Jettin Boone and this year’s amateur world champion, Generals Investment, also had clean first rounds.
“I was first to go, so I wanted to go fast and clean,” Hilary says. “I knew there were some really good horses behind me, so I let her run where I could. That’s the first time I’ve let her do that, and she thought that was fun!”
PRF Hitchn Fora Ride is a 2001 chestnut mare by WF Two Thumbs Up and out of Docs Jocassee by Docs Bodacious. She can be quiet at home in Sheridan, Wyoming, but she turns up the heat at shows, Hilary says.
“She’s quiet in the hills, but when she sees a jump, she’s all ahead full,” Hilary says. “She likes it! But you’ve got to keep waiting for the jump to come to you. I have always ridden her, so we have a good relationship.”
Flora was bred to be a hunter under saddle horse, but that career didn’t suit her.
“I exercise and keep her fit in the hills and jump lightly and just keep whittling away at her rideability,” Hilary says. “She’s kind of strong-willed … but she jumped good and we gave her a job and never regretted it.”
Hilary Carrel takes a victory lap complete with jump on PRF Hitchn Fora Ride. (Journal photo)