AQHYA World Championship Show 2014
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August 1-9, 2014
Oklahoma City

2012 Youth World

Boxing

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Boxing World Champions Makayla Reed and Mister Black Oak

Makayla Reed and Mister Black Oak win the 2012 youth world championship in AQHA's newest class: working cow horse - boxing. (Journal photo)

Makayla Reed takes the inaugural world championship and reserve world championship home to California.

It was a year of debuts for boxing – women’s boxing entered the Olympics with much fanfare, and the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show saw the first world champions crowned in AQHA’s version of boxing – a precursor to working cow horse, where competitors perform a reining pattern and then hold, or “box,” a cow at the end of the arena.

After completion of the class, placings were announced in reverse order to see who would take home the historic championship. However, when it came to the final two places, only one rider remained. Makayla Reed of Porterville, California, had competed on two horses, Mister Black Oak and ARC Tassa Me Please, and the only question now was which horse would be world champion and which would be reserve.

Waiting for the answer, Makayla said, “I just looked at my mom (in the stands), and I knew she was going to be bawling, and she was. I just started smiling, because I really didn’t think that I got first and second. It was just amazing. I couldn’t ask for better horses.”

She suspected that she’d had a better run on ARC Tassa Me Please, a 10-year-old gelding by Chic Please who is owned and normally shown by her mom, Karen. But judges gave the edge to Mister Black Oak, a 10-year-old son of Mister Dual Pep whom Makayla has owned for just more than a year.

“I was so excited to find out that I won on my own horse,” she said, grinning. After the class, Makayla rubbed adoringly on his head.

“He is a character, I swear. If you say, ‘Hey, I have a cookie,’ he’ll be like right on top of you. He’s just an awesome horse. He has a great personality,” she said. As the Reeds were horse-shopping in 2011, “my mom told me we’re not buying the first horse we see, and we ended up buying the first horse we saw. He was the perfect horse, and we just get along so well.”

Which is not to say that he doesn’t have a few quirks.

“He’s a little bit spooky at times. I don’t know if you saw them trying to put the ribbon on (during the awards ceremony), but he pretty much jumped sideways. He’s a great horse, though, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.”

Around the barn, he answers to “‘Dash’ or ‘Cookie Monster’ or anything, pretty much,” Makayla said. If you say “Come here,” he comes.

Makayla has been doing working cow horse for five years, but said it has only been in the past year that she has been really competitive.

Her previous horse had gotten her discouraged, “so I’m really glad that I have the new one, and he makes me happy all the time.”

She also likes the opportunity to compete in boxing, which does not require the more-difficult fence work included in working cow horse, and she said it helped build her confidence.

“I would like to go down the fence,” she said, “but I figured I’d better just get used to (her new horse) and get used to showing all the time, so I stayed in the boxing, and it was really good for me. Especially going from a horse that you could barely box on to a horse that just gets in the ground and is just so fun.”

At home, 18-year-old Makayla rides with her mom, and they train with Christina Allen. Makayla's grateful for her support crew.

“I’d like to thank Don Murphy, Christina Allen, my grandparents and especially my parents for getting me the two horses that I got to show.”

“This year is my last year in the youth,” Makayla said, “I’m actually going to a junior college in town so I can ride my horse. I want to be able to show him for a whole year.”

Looking beyond that, Makayla plans to transfer to a four-year university en route to becoming a physical therapist, but there will be one constant: “I’m planning on taking the black horse with me wherever I go.”