2011 Youth World
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
For four years, Charley Thiel of Dublin, Ohio, has been building a partnership with her horse, Tophat And Tails.
On August 11, that steady partnership paid off as the two of them won the world championship in hunter under saddle at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
“He was awesome,” Charley said of 6-year-old brown gelding. “Best ride I’ve ever had. When I went down the middle, I was first to go in, and I was a little bit nervous about that, but he just stuck his ears up and just trotted the biggest I’ve ever felt him trot, and he was amazing the whole time.”
Tophat And Tails responded to the crowd, Charley said.
“I feel like he’s a bit like Secretariat. He was definitely on today.”
“Patrick” was born on St. Patrick’s Day, Charley said, hence his barn name. He’s by Coats N Tails and out of Nancy Baba (TB) by Raja Baba. He was bred by Philip Clark of Shelby, Ohio.
“It’s been an uphill battle ever since we bought him when he was a 2-year-old,” Charley said. “Over the years, we’ve just gotten to have that connection and he’s gotten a lot better. He’s got a really cool trot, very floaty. He’s just got the coolest personality, and he acts just like me.”
As Charley’s name was called out as world champion, the 15-year-old shed a few tears. In the alley, as she carried out her prizes, she was met by friends and acquaintances, offering congratulations, but she saved out one special hug.
“My sister Madison is absolutely my biggest fan,” Charley said. “We won the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress this fall, and she bawled more than I did. She’s my best friend, for sure.”
Charley wanted to offer a few thanks.
“Vic and Libby Clark, my family, my trainer Brent (Tincher), of course,” she said. “I’d also like to thank everyone who was here and supported me, and everyone in the class.”
Charley Thiel of Dublin, Ohio, sends Tophat And Tails trotting along the rail in hunter under saddle August 11. (Journal photo)