November 17, 2012
By Holly ClanahanThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Kevin and Shirley McCary, center, accept the Oklahoma City Leading Owner Award. With them at left are trainers Luke and Abbi Castle, with their children, Coralee and Cash.
“We’ve had a very good World Show,” said Kevin McCary of Mansfield, Texas.
He just didn’t know quite how good until he learned that he had been named the 2012 Oklahoma City Leading Owner, an award given to the owner who earns the most points at the AQHA World Championship Show. To be eligible for the award, at least three horses must be entered and shown under the same ownership.
Kevin had six horses qualified and earned a total of 75 points competing in six classes during the Bank of America Amateur Week and six classes during the FedEx Open Week. His horses earned world championship titles in weanling mares, 3-year-old mares and aged mares; and reserve world championship titles in amateur weanling mares, amateur 3-year-old mares and amateur aged mares. Other McCary horses placed third in yearling stallions, third in amateur yearling stallions and ninth in amateur 3-year-old geldings.
“We were very surprised that we earned this award. We didn’t even know that we were in the hunt for this award,” Kevin said. “It was just a little extra something there at the end of the show.”
Kevin and his wife, Shirley, who is the amateur exhibitor in the family, were first introduced to the halter industry just four years ago by Kevin’s business partner, David Williams, and his wife, Kathy.
Three years ago, the McCarys bought their first halter horse, a weanling gelding that netted them a world championship.
“So we’ve been coming here three years, and it has been exciting,” Kevin said. “It’s a new passion.”
He credits their trainer, AQHA Professional Horseman Luke Castle of Wayne, Oklahoma, as well as the Williamses for introducing them to this world.
Still smiling after receiving a Leading Owner prize package that included a specially commissioned bronze and a rose bouquet, Kevin said, “This keeps us encouraged, and again, we’ve met a lot of nice people, a lot of other trainers. It’s an extended family is what it is, and we really enjoy this.”
So, as a relative newcomer to the industry, what advice might Kevin give others looking for an entrance?
“If you’re passionate about it, find you a good trainer, get you some horses and keep coming at 'em,” he said. “If you keep coming, there’s an opportunity for people to win.”
Dan E. Fox of Chino, California, was named the 2012 Reserve Leading Owner. Dan qualified eight horses, earning a total of 71 points competing in six classes during Bank of America Amateur Week and eight classes during FedEx Open Week.
Dan won world championships in amateur performance halter stallions and performance halter stallions, in addition to the reserve world champion title in amateur performance halter mares. His horses also placed third in weanling mares, third in performance halter mares, fifth in amateur 3-year-old mares, fifth in amateur weanling mares, sixth in amateur aged mares, seventh in aged mares, ninth in weanling geldings, ninth in amateur weanling geldings and 10th in amateur weanling stallions, as well as two finalists in 3-year-old mares.
The Reserve Leading Owner received a silver cup, presented by The American Quarter Horse Journal.