by Allison GraysonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Parker and Always A Kid capture the gold at the 2012 AQHA World Show. (Journal photo)
After being out of the show circuit for a number of years, Melinda Clark can now say that she has a world champion horse. AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Parker showed Always A Kid to the family’s first AQHA World Championship title.
“I showed when I was a youth, that was a couple years back,” Melinda said with a laugh. “I got to show halter when I was a youth and I’ve been out of it all these years. And my husband and I discussed it, and a couple of years ago, we decided we’d get back into it. So this is my third time visiting (the World Show).”
Melinda’s daughter, Casey Relleke, shows as well. In fact, she brought home a reserve world championship from the inaugural Nutrena AQHA East Novice Championship Show with “Kid.”
“It’s a mother-daughter thing,” Casey said.
Melinda actually hasn’t had Kid very long, but that hasn’t limited their success in the show ring.
“We bought him (at the AQHA World Show Sale) a year ago, in between the amateur and open, so we’ve had him right at a year,” she said. “And Casey showed in Novice this year for the first time and got along real (well).”
“We just have a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a family thing and we just have a lot of fun doing it.”
And the win was just the icing on the cake for the two ladies. For them, just being at the World Show makes all the hard work worth it.
“It’s fun, I love this show,” Melinda said. “The last three years that I’ve had the opportunity to come, I mean, the people are great and there are all these fabulous horses. That’s why I like to come, (to) see all the horses that you read about in the Journal ... It’s a neat show.”
“This is my first time being here,” Casey said. “So I’ve been grinning from ear to ear ever since I got here.”
Although Melinda and Casey do show Kid, they don’t take the credit for the success that they’ve had over the last year.
“Andy and Kendall Staton have done a wonderful job with this horse,” Melinda said. “They’ve had him a couple months and they’re just great people. We’re so blessed to be in their barn and get to work with them.”
Melinda and Casey had a few people to thank.
“(We want to thank) Andy and Kendall Staton, I mean, they’ve just done a great job with Kid,” Melinda said. “And our family, Mike, Mom and Dad (Bob and Kay Mason). They’re at home … They’re watching (and) they were texting us and stuff throughout it. I know they’re excited.”
“Mike is my husband,” she said. “He was gonna come with us this trip, but I wasn’t showing (and) it’s opening season for deer hunting, so he got my eight-point buck that I was supposed to get. (But) it was worth it; we’ve got meat in the freezer for the winter.”
This win has special meaning for Melinda because, to her, the horses at the World Show are the best of the best.
“It’s amazing (to be at this show), I mean, these are the best horses in the world and we get to see them and watch them,” she said, “I love Quarter Horses and we’re blessed that we get to do this. And our family is supportive and it’s a family thing that we do.”
And now, after all of the years that the family has been watching, they finally have their own world champion horse.
“I think Kid deserves some peppermints for sure,” Casey said. “He’s a good boy.”