Shining Shoes and James Michael Glenn Phillips slide into a world championship August 8 at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
In Hartshorne, Oklahoma, the right guard for the Miners football team has a new accessory for his bedroom: a world championship trophy.
On August 8 at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, JM Phillips of Hartshorne, Oklahoma, rode to the world championship in reining.
The 14-year-old was a finalist in reining and boxing at the 2012 Ford Youth World.
“(Last year), I was thinking, ‘This is the finals, I can win it!’ and ended up doing the opposite and messed up,” JM said. “But (this year), I didn’t get excited about it so much. I slowed down and thought about it more.”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch Ford Youth World video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.
Concentrating on his spins, stops and slowdowns between circles, JM left the Jim Norick Arena at Oklahoma State Fair Park with a score of 215 for his work on reining pattern No. 10, which includes a run-in.
“My trainer told me to get back in the gate, get comfortable, pick him up into a lope and go,” JM said. “We went down there … and he stopped a mile. And he came back (to the center), and I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be a good ride from the start.’ We waited there for a little bit and I did my spins. They could have been a little bit faster, but I was happy with him.”
After the second set of spins, JM started his circles on Shining Shoes, a 1995 bay gelding by Shining Spark and out of Miss War Doc by Doc’s Prescription.
“He sat there and waited a little bit and then – boom – I picked up my lead and we got that fast circle and it felt great. He was flying,” JM said. “When he came back to that small slow, it was cool.”
After a lead change, and the second set of circles, JM and “Shoes” built up for their stop series. Throughout the run, JM said, Shoes was listening to him.
“He slowed down good,” he said. “He waited for me. He sped up when I wanted him to. He did everything great. On my stops, he turned that corner and he waited on me, and then he took off and slid a mile. He rolled back real great, came back around, slid another mile, and that was real good. He came back around and stopped. It was good.”
Shoes was bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame breeder Carol Rose of Gainesville, Texas, and is owned by Sue and Michael Phillips of Hartshorne. Shoes and JM have been a team for four years, and they were champion youth reiners at the 2012 Redbud Spectacular.
“He’s a great horse,” JM said. “He may have been 908 in the program, but he’s No. 1 in our hearts.”