by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A tricky trail course sent a lot of junior horses to the ticked-pole penalty box November 13 at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.
“It was a pretty tough course,” said AQHA Professional Horseman Buddy Fisher of Abilene, Texas. “It was real challenging. I don’t think there was one horse that went through that course clean without a tick. It was a great course. Made you think.”
Buddy guided PF Put It N Park to the 2012 world championship in junior trail after the team earned the reserve world champion title in junior trail in 2011 for the Guelker family of Colorado City, Texas.
“He’s a great horse,” Buddy said. “He’s real special to the people who own him and myself both. We’ve had him since he was a yearling. This is his event. He can do some other events … but in trail, he’s a real special horse. He has expression, he has fixed distances, he rates poles. He’s got a lot of lift.”
PF Put It N Park is a 2007 sorrel gelding by Huntin For Chocolate and out of Flashy Fanny Parker by Flashy Zipper. He was bred by Charles and Jeannie Pircher of Rio Medina, Texas.
Buddy talked through the course in his exclusive Journal Winning Run interview, starting with the serpentine pole set in the photo at left.
“It started off with that serpentine at the (Jim Norick Coliseum out) gate, so two times, you were crossing a pole headed toward the gate, which is pretty tough,” Buddy said. “That’s sort of a magnet, and a horse wants to draw that way and lose focus.
“But you get through there and then you had to lope off on a left lead with a regular lope, and then you had to extend it around over five poles. That was kinda tough, because you started extending, and you wanted to lengthen the stride and show a definite lengthening of the stride for that particular set of lope-overs so you could get a maximum credit.”
“Parker” handled the extension question well, Buddy said, and the next part of the problem was to shorten. The distance between the last two lope poles was a bit more than five strides.
“As the horse was lengthening, he had to rate back in order not to have a chip right there at the last pole,” Buddy said. “He started rating five strides back. I could feel him and I thought, 'Oh, he’s going to fix it for me,' and he did.”
That’s the sort of thing Parker does – fixing problem distances and making difficult questions look easy. He also likes hanging out with humans.
“He wants attention,” Buddy said. “He likes to be your buddy. He doesn’t want to be in trouble. He wants to put his head in your lap and he wants you to rub on him and all that sort of stuff. He’s a great horse. He’s been fun. He’s been part of the family.”
The victory was bittersweet for Buddy and the Guelkers.
“This horse – he’s going to change ownership after tonight, and so it’s going to be a long trip home without him in the trailer,” Buddy said. “He’s wonderful and we’ve really enjoyed him. He’s been a blessing to us all.”
PF Put It N Park and AQHA Professional Horseman Buddy Fisher make their way through the trail course November 13. (Journal photo0