by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
The Road to Normandy kicked off November 9 when reiners at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show competed in a CRI 3* reining.
AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle of Whitesboro, Texas, rode Gimme Major Bucks, a 2003 sorrel gelding owned by John McElreath of Prosper, Texas.
“Money” is by Smart Starbuck-Majors Serendipity by Major Bonanza. He was bred by Ed and Nancy Pickett of Aubrey, Texas.
“He showed really well,” Pete said. “I was concerned after two hard runs in amateur just the Saturday before and no chance to really school him as far as in a class somewhere and know that he was coming back for a hard run. But he showed really well. He turned really big for me and ran to his stops and stopped really big. I was very happy with him. He waited on me everywhere and didn’t try to take control of the pattern anywhere. I was very pleased with his run.”
The horse has been part of Pete’s barn for a long time, and Pete competed on him in freestyle reining at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
“He’s an older gelding that we’ve had with (Christy McElreath) for a while,” Pete said. “She shows him a lot in non-pros. She showed him, in fact, in amateur here and made the finals.”
The CRI3* took place in conjunction with the AQHA senior reining preliminaries.
“I qualified him for senior, and when it ran concurrent like that, it made it easy to cross-enter him,” Pete said. “He’s been a really nice horse for us.”
The 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games will be in Normany, France, and many reiners are already starting to think about what horses they would like to try to make their national teams on.
“Definitely, you start thinking it’s a big-time competition there and so that year of 2013, you really think about what shows you need to go hit, because you still need the horse to go and compete at a high level, especially the younger 4-year-olds (since) they have a chance to still win quite a bit of money,” Pete said, adding that older horses could be backed off some. Either way, he was pleased to get an FEI win under his belt.
“It was a nice win, really an honor here at the World Show,” Pete said. “I appreciate them getting it put on and having the kickoff for our Road to Normandy. To be able to go compete in it’s a thrill, and then to win it’s even a bigger thrill.”
AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle slides Gimme Major Bucks to a stop. (Journal photo)