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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Amateur Working Cow Horse

Mike Doud rides his bay gelding Hickorys Blaze to their first world championship.

Fairly new to the World Show scene, Mike Doud made a big impression on the judges November 9 during the amateur working cow horse finals. With his 1998 bay gelding Hickorys Blaze, Mike scored a 434.5 for a three-point lead and his first world championship.

“I’ve had ‘Blaze’ since he was 4,” Mike said. “This year, we yanked him out of the corral and went to the last couple shows of the year, got him qualified and here we are.”

Blaze is by Son Of Hickory and out of Peppys Butterfly by Peppy Docsan. He was bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Chuck Crago.

Mike has been showing working cow horse for about 10 years and said he owes his World Show success to his trainer, AQHA Professional Horseman Jimmie Paul, also of Phoenix.

Mike’s November 9 rein work was smooth and crowd-pleasing. But he was worried about the beginning of his cow work.

“Generally I like the run-in patterns, but tonight, as you know, the pattern worked for us,” he grinned. “[The cow] came out a little soft and didn’t really challenge me. Jimmie had me box him a little bit and told me when to take him down the fence and as soon as he went down the fence, he gained some speed. I took my horse right to the hip and let him do his thing.”

He said his finals competitors were all tough.

“It’s anybody’s game when you get out there,” he said. “The cows dictate who’s gonna be a winner and who’s not. We’re all on a level playing field. It could have been anybody’s game tonight.”

No time to celebrate – Mike has to get a good night’s sleep to prepare for tomorrow’s amateur cutting prelims with Smart On Base, also trained by Jimmie.

Michael Doud and Hickorys Blaze win amateur working cow horse

Mike Doud of Phoenix pilots Hickorys Blaze to their first world championship. (Journal photo)