by Allison GraysonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Lainie Deboer and A Chanceof Blueskies win the World Champion title in senior working hunter. Journal photo.
For A Chanceof Blueskies, the third time has been the charm in the senior working hunter class at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. She and AQHA Professional Horseman Lainie DeBoer are finally taking home the world championship trophy.
"I've had her in my program for three years … she's owned by Meghan O'Malley, who's an amateur," Lainie said in her Journal Winning Run interview. "She's been a very successful amateur horse, and I won the senior hunter hack on her last year; but she's just always had things go wrong in the senior working hunter.
"Last year, she tripped, and the year before, she lost her hair and she was jumping funny," she said. "So it's just like three times is the charm because this is the thing that we wanted so much for this horse because she's such an exceptional horse across the board."
Going into the ring, though, Lainie wasn't sure how successful the pair would be.
"Her signature thing is that she whinnies, and she usually whinnies when she's outside of the ring … and she didn’t do it, which kind of made me a little nervous," she said. "And then when I went in there and she whinnied on the end of the ring, I knew we were OK."
"She really just felt super dialed in," Lainie said of "Lucy's" go. "I didn't have much time in between my horses. I could only jump a couple jumps before I had to go right back in and she just has been feeling great.”"
For Lainie, Meghan's decision to place Lucy in training with her speaks volumes of the work that she does.
"Meghan bought her and basically did all the work with her when she was a baby. She bought her when she was a yearling," she said. "And she had the foresight to know that she was gonna be a quality horse, and she's just such a wonderful horse.
"I ride her at home and pinch myself every day because she's just amazing. I'm so lucky and blessed that they trust me enough to have her in my program because she's super special," she said of Lucy. "She's just one of those special mares that I'll never forget, for sure."
In fact, Lucy's great personality has driven Meghan and Lainie to breed her in the hopes of continuing her legacy.
"We bred her last year, and she's kind of an over achiever, and she had two embryos on the first flush," Lainie said. "And she has two babies on the ground … they're a filly and a colt by Allocate Your Assets, and they are stunning."
"I cannot wait. Their mother tells them every day that they'll eventually be in my program, and I just can’t wait to get my hands on them," she said.
Lainie wanted to thank a couple of people for helping her and Lucy achieve the gold trophy.
"First and foremost (I’d like to thank), the owners, Meghan and her mother, Joanne O'Malley. They've just totally trusted me with this horse," she said. "They don't live with me, one lives in Virginia and the other lives in Ohio. The mare lives with me full time in Minnesota, and they trust me 100 percent with her.
"And that means a lot for me because she is just validation that my program really works for her. It's a big deal for me," she said.
Lainie also wanted to thank her barn manager, Brad Foss.
"He knows Lucy inside and out, and he got her ready … He babies her and he puts lotion on her legs every night," she said. "He is my second half. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Brad."