Joy Stehney shows My Secret Jewell to the world championship in 2-year-old mares at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
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by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A secret find became a secret jewel for Joy Stehney.
On November 8, the horse owner from De Soto, Kansas, led My Secret Jewell to claim a gold trophy in amateur 2-year-old mares at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.
“I love this mare,” Joy said. “My trainer (AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Smith) went out and found her. I didn’t want a 2-year-old mare, but he said this is the best one ever and he was right. I’m in love with her.”
My Secret Jewell is a 2010 bay mare by I Gotta Cool Secret-Simply Jewell by Kids Classic Style. She was bred by Mark Voegele of Pilot Point, Texas.
“She’s beautiful,” Joy said. “She’s bay, she’s big, she has a sweet, sweet heart and (I love) just everything about her.”
The mare was first on three judges’ cards, second on a fourth card and fourth on the fifth card.
Throughout the lengthy judging period, she maintained her focus and showed for Joy.
“She lives in Texas and I live in Kansas, so I get practice (with her) when I go to a horse show.,” Joy said. “I’ve practiced with her two or three times since I got (to Oklahoma City on November 6). But Jason has her really prepared, so it makes it easy to do.”
Joy’s husband, Jeff, co-owns the mare, but that’s the extent of his involvement.
“He does not do horse shows, and I don’t play golf,” she said with a laugh. “He just comes here to support me.”
Joy wanted to thank Jason for find the mare, “and my husband who tolerates my silliness with my horse show stuff.”
The world championship is her second. Her first was in 2008 when she was world champion in amateur 2-year-old geldings with Cabernet Kid. She said she plans to continue her relationship with My Secret Jewell.
“Next week, hopefully the same (outcome in 2-year-old mares),” Joy said of her short-term goals. “I think I might love her, so I don’t think I’m going to get rid of her. I think I might keep her. So next year!”