by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Lindsay LaPlante and Only Good Sox win the 2011 junior trail world championship at the AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Lindsey LaPlante of Encinitas, California, was hoping to just make the junior trail finals with Only Good Sox, aka “Leroy,” for their very first AQHA World Championship Show appearance. Her plan for the November 16, 2011, finals was “to just go for it and give it my best.”
When she was among the last three exhibitors left in the arena after all the finals goes, she was thrilled.
The scores were high – AQHA Professional Horseman Derek Hanscome and OHK Maid Krymsun were called for third with a 227.5; then AQHA Professional Horseman Buddy Fisher and PF Put It In Park for the reserve with a 229.5.
“I was so surprised when they announced my score,” Lindsay says. “I was a 223 in the prelims, and that’s what I thought I would be here…when they announced the 233.5 I was shocked.”
The top three were also the top three Intermediate award winners, the highest placing exhibitors who had not made the World Show top 10 in that class previously.
“I bought my horse as a 3-year-old,” Lindsay says. “I trained him, I taught him the trail and got him qualified this year, and here we are. I was thrilled just to make the finals. (This is) unreal.”
The Tim “The Trail Man” Kimura pattern featured tight transitions, a tough serpentine, tricky walkovers and a sidepass that followed moving a rain slicker.
“The toughest part was coming down through the trot serpentine and then back up to the lope, doing a U-turn and then loping out again,” Lindsay says. “That was the hardest part and we got it done (well)…. He was right there listening the whole time.”
She continues: “On the walk, up over the bridge, he kind of spooked at his shadow a little bit, and got his ears up and looked down real cute."
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Lindsay began riding as a child, and jumped when she was younger. When she got hurt, she “quit for a little while, then came back and started riding western.”
“I had a few horses here and there as a youth, and I never actually was an amateur. I just started showing the open classes in trail. I love trail, it’s my favorite. It’s just what I do!”
Her mother, Susan Fristoe, and longtime trainer, AQHA Professional Horseman Liz Place of Del Mar, California, were among those in the stands cheering her on: “I owe them everything,” Lindsay says.
Lindsay’s plans are to try to come back again with another horse: “I would like to sell him and get another one and start over again,” she says. “I like starting with the young ones.”
She adds: “I have to congratulate everyone in the class; they all did a fantastic job; it was a hard pattern.”