2011 Youth World
Kristin Shoppa of Decatur, Texas, and Prince Of Perks. (Journal photo)
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
In 2010, Kristin Shoppa went home from the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show empty-handed.
In 2011, her hands were so full that she had to draft helpers.
In the barrel racing finals August 10, Kristin had three horses in the top 10. She was world champion with Prince Of Perks, reserve world champion with Bountiful Bootie and seventh with Cee Bar Tamulena. She went home with two trophies and three big bags of prizes from AQHA corporate partners, too much to carry alone.
Her world championship winner, Prince Of Perks, a 2002 black gelding, can be a bit of a handful, Kristin said, but it’s worth it.
“He’s a cool horse,” she said. “When he’s going, he’s really going. He was flying to the first (barrel). I don’t think I’ve ever felt him run as fast as he did going to that first. He tried to hit it going in, and I just had to fix him, but he was working his hardest. He was a little sore, but he sucked it up and said, ‘I’m going to do this.’”
“Prince’s” time of 16.846 seconds in the finals gave them a cumulative time of 33.951. On “Bootie,” a 17.250-second time in the finals gave Kristin a 34.772 cumulative time.
“I was feeling good about Prince’s (prelims time),” Kristin said. “Bootie’s was a little iffy. I was (thinking), ‘Clean run, I’ll do my best and hopefully not hit a barrel.’
“I didn’t push her as hard as I could, so she was pretty much loping the pattern, but it helped that she had awesome barrel turns – probably the best run I’ve had on her since I’ve owned her.”
Kristin’s family specializes in futurity barrel horses, and for the last year and half, she has had the assistance of barrel trainer Kristin Weaver-Brown. That help was vital as Kristin was trying to run three horses in the finals, one in each drag.
“(It was) very tough – I couldn’t have done it without her,” Kristin said. “I just jumped off one, tried to forget the last run and did my best.”
Kristin’s next stop is Weatherford College, where she plans to ride for the college rodeo team while she also rides futurity horses.
“This is my last year, so I went out with a huge bang,” she said.