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November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Amateur Hunter Under Saddle

State qualifier Laurel Champlin bounces back from her horse's illness to win world championship.

Laurel Champlin’s long, hard year ended in a victory lap.

The journey to a world championship in amateur hunter under saddle with Look N Hott began with a case of pigeon fever and ended at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.

“Last year, he won the world in junior hunter under saddle with Beth Case right after I bought him in July,” Laurel said. “In February (2012), he got pigeon fever. It was a pretty bad case.”

Six months later, he still wasn’t fully rehabbed. And though Laurel was qualified for the Adequan Select World Championship Show, she couldn’t go.

Then the invitation came.

“Because of AQHA’s policy to invite the next person in line from a state, I was lucky enough to get that invitation,” Laurel said. “I was so excited to get invited because of course I’ve been showing at Select for the last five years. I had never won anything at (Bank of America Amateur Week) all these years. I was lucky enough to win at Select with another horse.”

After an extensive rehabilitation, where “JJ” swam frequently, it was time for boot camp with AQHA Professional Horseman Beth Case of Highpoint Performance Horses.

“I just don’t know how to thank her enough or Charlie Cole or Jason Martin or Marco or all of our team,” Laurel said. “They are such a team at Highpoint Performance Horses. I don’t know how to thank them enough. Beth brought him back in three weeks to be a world champion. I just don’t know how to thank them enough. Beyond my wildest dreams is to win amateur. The horses were so amazing, so amazing here this year, and I just went in and wanted a good ride. Really that’s all I wanted.”

Her “good ride” earned her two first places, one second, one third and one fifth. Her best friend, Susan Wilson of Ramona, California, was third on So You Say. Courtney Ryan of Collinsville, Texas, was reserve world champion on Gracious N Fabulous.

“I’m so happy today I don’t even know how to explain it in words,” Laurel said. “(As I was taking the victory lap), I was thinking it has been a long hard year getting him back to this point. I was just so thrilled with that group of horses. I mean, Courtney’s horse is an amazing horse, and I just really didn’t have words at that point. I was so excited.”

She listed the crew at Highpoint, her family, her husband and her daughters as part of the support team that lets her show.

“I’m a blessed and lucky lady.”
Laurel Champlin and Look N Hott win amateur hunter under saddle

Laurel Champlin and Look N Hott claim the amateur hunter under saddle title at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)