by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Cleeshay is the weanling mares world champion with AQHA Professional Horseman Ronald Stratton oif Bountville, Tennessee. (Journal photo)
A sorrel weanling filly trotted her way into the spotlight at the AQHA World Championship Show. Cleeshay was amateur champion November 6 with owner Angie Watts Schmeck of Newnan, Georgia, and she repeated the feat November 18 in the open class with AQHA Professional Horseman Ronald Stratton of Blountville, Tennessee.
“She is by Im Kidding out of a mare called Love The Knight Life that Maggie Bellville owns, and we raised this filly,” Ron says. “Maggie showed her to the win of the Big Money Futurity, and I sold her to Angie Watts Schmeck in Georgia. She and her daughter and I won trophies with (the filly) at the All American Quarter Horse Congress this year. Angie came here and won the amateur world, and we were fortunate enough to win the world in the open.”
Cleeshay was at the top of two judges' cards and second on two more cards to take the win.
“I think she’s just square built, pretty head and neck and tremendous hip and hind legs,” Ron says. “I think this mare will be a show mare for a long, long time. (She has) balance, correct legs, great conformation.”
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After her big fall showing season, Cleeshay will get a few months off.
“We’re going to take her home and let her down a bit and decide what we’re going to do next with her,” Ron says. “Her barn name is ‘Juanita.’ She was given that name by our farrier. Juan (and Desiare) Caride own the stallion that she’s by, so my farrier named her Juanita.”
Juanita doesn’t get treats, but her big personality demands attention.
“Listen, she’s a diva and knows it from Day 1,” Ron says. “She’s a big eater, so I guess that’s her treat.”