by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Show Biz Sug and Mozaun McKibben stretch out in the trot serpentines November 21 on their way to winning ranch horse pleasure at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Parts of the ranch horse pleasure finals seemed the same November 21. Mozaun McKibben of Whitesboro, Texas, won. A member of the Lund family from LaCygne, Kansas, placed second. Charlene Morgan of Elbert, Colorado, placed in the top 10.
But other parts were different. Charlene moved up to ninth from 10th. The reserve world champion Lund was Amy, not Brad. And Mozaun was on Show Biz Sug instead of his 2012 world champion, Lil Ruf Catalyst.
“I was hoping I could get it done again on my other horse, but had a little trouble,” said Mozaun, who qualified three horses for the finals at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. “We were just lucky to get it done on this one.”
Mozaun accepted his prizes – all three of them – from AQHA Second Vice President George Phillips and AQHA Director Emeritus Don Clark of Iowa, who came up with the idea for ranch pleasure and helped present awards in the arena. The entire crowd applauded as Don waved.
Show Biz Sug is a 2005 sorrel stallion by Show Biz Billy and out of Sugs Glitter by Doc’s Sug. He was bred by George E. Tidwell of Austin, Arkansas.
“I didn’t try to show him super hard,” Mozaun said in his exclusive Journal interview. “I just wanted to be really correct. He’s really good in his extended trots and his walk and his transitions. I’ve had a little trouble since we came up here with him changing leads, so I just simple lead-changed him. He was good at it and the judges scored me well for it, apparently, so I got by that. That was my only real worry. Everywhere else, he was really good.”
Mozaun’s ride scored a 234.5 from the judges, even though “Sug” is still relatively green to ranch horse pleasure.
“From the beginning, I wasn’t that crazy about him,” said Hillary Zimmerman, who co-owns the horse. “When we first got him, he was a pinning-his-ears angry, unhappy horse. He’s just gotten better and better every month we’ve had him. When we started trying to get him qualified, we weren’t even sure it was going to be worth the effort, but he’s just gotten better and better every month. We’re lucky that he was ready at the right time.”
In addition to Show Biz Sug and Lil Ruf Catalyst, Mozaun had Rey Jay Boonsmal qualified for the finals. He said the secret to ranch horse pleasure is consistency.
“My secret is finding definite cues for each transition,” he said. “A definite cue for a walk. A definite cue for a trot. A definite cue for the extended trot, so there’s no doubt in the horse’s mind what I’m asking him to do.”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the AQHA World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch AQHA World Show video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.