by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Lets Shake Em Up and AQHA Professional Horseman Bob Kail
Twenty-seven geldings were entered in the open performance halter geldings on November 18, but only one walked out an AQHA world champion. AQHA Professional Horseman Bob Kail of Scottsdale, Arizona, had him in hand: Lets Shake Em Up, aka “Riley,” a 2008 gelding by Innovation Only and out of JR Fancy Can Zip by He Can Zip.
Owned by Betty Watt of Elbert, Colorado, Riley lives at AQHA Professional Horseman Chad Evans’ barn in Elizabeth, Colorado. Riley was the 2012 open all-around high-point gelding.
“He’s a neat horse, he shows in the trail and western riding also and has been successful in both those events,” Chad told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “He really showed good today – used his ears and was up in his neck. Bob presented him really well today.”
He added, “I think (the reason) he’s so successful at (performance halter) is that he’s a good mix of both (performance and halter). He’s a successful performance horse and he has really good balance and is well-made. I think that’s the key – he’s not one extreme or the other, he fits right in the middle, and he’s really, really pretty.”
Chad said they bought Riley about a year-and-a-half ago for Betty to show in Select amateur classes. The gelding “was started in trail and pleasure” and Chad started adding other events.
“He’s just a really nice horse,” Chad said “He’s fun to be around; he has a great personality.”
Riley and Betty won the 2013 Select world championship in performance halter geldings earlier this year and won the Select reserve last year.
“She couldn’t be here today, she had some family commitments,” Chad said of Betty. “She’ll get here tomorrow to watch the junior trail finals and the western riding. She loves Riley and he takes great care of her – they are a neat match. She’s a lifelong horsewoman – had horses since she was a little girl.
“She’s real proud of him – I just talked to her on the phone and she’s thrilled. She had to take two blood pressure pills today! She couldn’t keep up; she was excited.”
Riley still has a busy open week ahead at the AQHA World Championship Show. He and Chad made the junior trail finals showing November 19 and will have the junior western riding prelims later in the week.
“He’ll get a little down time after the World Show and then in January we’ll go to the Pre-Denver and the Arizona Sun Circuit and start showing again,” Chad said.
Chad says that winning and competing for an AQHA world championship never gets old.
“It’s a lot of fun – you get nervous,” he said. “When they start doing the placings, you start saying the little mini-prayers, or do your superstitions, stand on one foot, cross your fingers, all that kind of stuff.
“I’m super-thrilled. I’m honored to be involved with Riley – he’s a great horse and I feel lucky to ride and show him. I really thank the Watts for the opportunity to show him.”
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