by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Mr Fritz Wood and Jay Lyn Wadhams take a victory lap November 23 after their win in junior heeling at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Consistency and charm are the characteristics of Mr Fritz Wood, crowned world champion in junior heeling November 23 at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show.
With Jay Wadhams of Pueblo, Colorado, aboard, “Fritz” claimed gold for brand-new owner Lincoln Figueiredo of Brazil.
“There’s a lot of horses, and he’s one of the good ones,” Jay said. “He’s trained by (AQHA Professional Horseman) Luke Jones and was owned by Sam Shoultz and Ken Matzner.”
Sam and Ken, 20-year AQHA breeders, sold the horse to Lincoln on November 18, right before the open roping preliminaries began at the World Show.
Mr Fritz Wood is a 2008 buckskin stallion by Mr Junewood and out of Fritz Lovelady by China Fritz.
“I can’t give enough credit to the (Ken and Sam) and their breeding program,” Luke said. “(This horse) came from their breeding. They bred this horse. They bred his daddy. They bred his mother.”
In the junior heeling finals at the 2013 World Show, just a half-point separated the world champion and the reserve world champion. Fritz and Jay scored a 227.5 to squeak ahead of MJ Razor Wire and AQHA Professional Horseman Clay Logan.
“You’ve just got to have a lot of luck with everything that’s involved in this,” Jay said. “When you have two guys, two horses and one steer involved, you have to have a lot of luck and luckily, this week, it’s just been phenomenal for me.”
AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado, headed for the winning run, which came just one class after Fritz had won the reserve world championship in junior heading. His wins put him in third place in the Farnam Superhorse standings.
“I’ve had (Fritz) since he was 2 years old,” Luke said. “He’s 5 now. I’ve done all the training on him. Jay Wadhams, J.D. Yates and I have all shown the horse. He’s won with whoever gets on him. Anybody can ride him and get along. He’s just been a wonderful, wonderful horse.”
Fritz has been consistent all year, Luke said.
“So he’s had an incredible year, and right now he’s leading the junior all-around (race) and he’s winning high-point junior tie-down roping, he’s second in high-point junior heading and he’s winning junior heeling,” Luke said.
Fritz had earned $10,011.07 at AQHA world shows before the 2013 World Show. His win in junior heeling increased his earnings by $10,666. In 2012, he was third in junior heading and fourth in junior heeling.
Fritz has earned Superiors in tie-down roping , heading and heeling, but he remains sweet-tempered, Jay pointed out.
“Luke’s kids, you’ll see them just loving all over him,” Jay said. “He’s just a good horse, one you don’t mind being around.”
New owner Lincoln plans to compete on Fritz in amateur roping for the next year, Luke said, and later he will take his Shoultz-Matzner genetics to Brazil. It will be hard to find a show horse that can live up to Fritz’s legacy, but he has high hopes.
“(Ken and Sam) have a lot of horses coming on,” Luke said. “I have a three-quarter brother to him that’s 2 about to turn 3 coming on that reminds me a lot of this horse, so I am super excited.”
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