August 7, 2012
By Holly ClanahanThe American Quarter Horse Journal
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Shelby Weaver won her first AQHA reserve world championship at her very first Ford Youth World Show.
When Shelby Weaver and her family pulled out of their Sand Springs, Oklahoma, driveway at 4 a.m. August 7, headed for her first-ever Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, she wasn’t sure what to expect. A big venue? Tough competition? But probably not a reserve world championship trophy. Plus a second-place Intermediate finish (for exhibitors who have never been in the top 10 at an AQHA world show).
In fact, Shelby's so new to AQHA competition, she didn't realize that even second place – or reserve world champion, in Shelby's case – got "hardware," as the pros call it. After the finals in pole bending, Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Association Adviser Kelley Rampey caught Shelby headed back to the stalls to gather her things to go home.
"I said, 'Where are you going?!' " Kelley said. "She said she didn't win and was going back to the stalls to get her things to go home. I said, 'No, you're not! You just won a huge trophy and a buckle. You need to go back into the arena!' "
Shelby, 16, and her homebred mare, Golden Creek Remedy, are old pros at high school rodeo, having qualified for the High School National Finals Rodeo last summer and working toward another qualification next year. But her first AQHA show didn’t come until last December, at the Holiday Circuit in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“That’s how I made it up here,” she said, referring to the Youth World Show.
So with that little experience – and that much success – is Shelby liking the AQHA show scene? “Yes, very much!” she said.
Shelby and “Remedy” hauled to Oklahoma City – about two hours each way – for both the pole bending preliminaries and the finals on August 7.
“She gets hauled around a lot,” Shelby said of the 6-year-old mare. “She does really good with that.”
Remedy, bred by Shelby, is by Scotch Remedy out of Cabin Creek Carly (TB) by Midnight Prospect.
“I had her mom,” Shelby explained, and her uncle owned the stallion, whom Shelby’s aunt had barrel raced on. “I’ve just kind of raised her and trained her myself.”
Shelby’s dad, Tim, helped with the training, and mom Melissa is a staunch supporter, as are grandparents Grady and Juanita Vandiver.
When it came to training, that old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race,” held true for Remedy.
“It was like she’d take a step, and then she’d go back,” Shelby explained. “She would run a really good time, and then she’d drop back down. … It kind of took a little while, and she progressed pretty slowly. It took a lot of patience and a lot of time.’
But the patience paid off. Shelby qualified for the high school rodeo finals as a freshman, her first year of eligibility. And her AQHA career is off to a similarly good start.
This fall, Shelby, who will be a junior at Sand Springs, plans to hit more high school rodeos on the mare she also uses for barrel racing and goat tying.