by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Bruce Walquist guides All But Sudden to the world championship in junior western riding November 17. (Journal photo)
In 2011, All But Sudden was reserve world champion in junior western riding.
“I told the lady who had him before me, Julie Voge, she didn’t leave me much room to improve,” laughed Bruce Walquist of Cleburne, Texas, who on November 17 guided the horse to the world championship in junior western riding at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.
All But Sudden is a 2007 bay gelding by RL Best Of Sudden and out of Fannie Mae Flash by Flashy Zipper. He was bred by Steve Martin of Brenham, Texas, and is owned by the Huver Family Trust of Cannon Falls, Minnesota.
“I bought him last year just before this show for a client,” Bruce said. “I’ve had him a year now.”
In that year, Bruce and “Stevie” have become a great team, earning a 225.5 to win the world championship by half a point.
“It was wonderful,” Bruce said. “I really enjoyed it. That horse gave me everything he had tonight. He didn’t hold nothing back. He was really good.
“(He’s) really laid back, a real quiet horse,” Bruce added. “Doesn’t have any negative things about him. He just enjoys life. He’s one of those horses that does whatever you ask him to do.”
The reserve world championship went to Only In Showbiz, a brown gelding owned by Kaylee Mellott of Andover, Kansas, and piloted by AQHA Professional Horseman Charlie Cole, who also rode the third-place horse, VS Code Red, owned by the Glover Galyean Partnership of Bixby, Oklahoma. VS Code Red was one of two horses in the junior western riding finals out of the mare Vital Signs Are Good. The second horse, VS Code Blue, placed eighth.
“(The class) was deep,” Bruce said. “The horses were of great quality this year, (and I was) very blessed to come out first.”
As the announcer called out the reserve world championship and Bruce realized his horse had won, he pointed to the sky. On his victory lap, he and Stevie switched leads every other stride. The 2012 World Show has been good for Bruce and his daughter, Whitney Walquist-Vicars.
“She won the horsemanship here, yes, and was reserve all-around amateur, so we’ve had a very blessed year, we sure have,” he said.
After an extended show season, though, Bruce is ready to go home.
“You know, if I was a football player, I’d go to Disney World, but I’m just gonna go home and have Thanksgiving at home,” he said, chuckling. “I’m gonna go home and relax and enjoy it with my wife. She couldn’t be here, so she’ll be happy when I get home.”
Junior western riding was the last class of the 2012 World Show, and Bruce was the last world champion crowned. As exhibitors, trainers and spectators were packing up, Bruce still had time to offer a few thanks.
“The Huvers for buying the horse and allowing me the opportunity to train him and show him and everything, Steve Martin for breeding him and Julie Voge for what she did with him last year and just the good Lord.”