by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Wayne Halvorson of Guthrie, Oklahoma, leads LWR Play To Win to her world championship in 3-year-old mares November 17. (Journal photo)
Alan and Roberta Whetzel almost did themselves out of a world championship trophy.
The couple from Wichita, Kansas, qualified two mares for the open 3-year-old class at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
The family’s longtime trainer, Aaron Hall of Kechi, Kansas, led LWR Maid Of Honor in the class November 17, and the family asked Wayne Halvorson of Guthrie, Oklahoma, to present LWR Play To Win.
It was almost the wrong choice, Wayne says in his exclusive interview with the Journal.
The mare LWR Play To Win has been a great mare all her life,” he says. “I really want to thank Alan Whetzel and his wife, Roberta, for allowing me to show this great mare. (They) had another great mare in the class that beat us under one judge and could have cost us the world championship. That’ll probably be something we’ll talk about for years.”
LWR Play to Win is by Grand Slam Touchdown and out of Enchanted Playgirl by Playgirls Conclusion. She was reserve world champion at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show,with Wayne's son, Calyn, and placed third at the World Show in yearling mares in 2009. She was bred by Hilda Grainer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was born in a tough year, because the 3-year-old mares class has been deep throughout the show season, Wayne says.
“Whether we were at the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress or at the (Built Ford Tough) Youth World,” he says, “the class had a bunch of very, very nice mares in them. Each mare may have had a little bit of this that somebody didn’t like or a little bit of that somebody didn’t like, but fortunately, we had the horse that everybody liked enough for her to win.”
LWR Play To Win was first under two judges and second under three to claim the world championship in a class of 20.
“She’s a great mare,” Wayne says. “She has a lot of showing ahead of her. I just feel very fortunate to have the chance to show great horses. Hats off to Aaron and his family on their fitting and conditioning of the horses.”