Every Last One
Every Last One
By Abigail Boatwright for The American Quarter Horse Journal
The first Adequan® Select World Championship Show was held in 2003. As the only horse show dedicated to amateur exhibitors ages 50 and up, this event draws a unique camaraderie amongst its competitors. As time has progressed, in 2019, a handful of Select competitors have been able to attend all of the world shows, and they count themselves blessed to be able to still compete.
Diane Pilant of Loveland, Colorado, brought her 2-year-old sorrel gelding, Mr Cool Intention, “Rudy,” to the 2019 Adequan® Select World. She used to compete in riding classes; these days, she sticks to halter.
At 74, she’s been competing in Select competition before there was “Select” division. And she has no intention of stopping.
“My goal is to hit 20 years (of competing at Adequan® Select Worlds),” Diane says. “I’m not saying I would stop there, but I’d like to hit all 20.”
Last year’s world championship in yearling geldings with Rudy has been her favorite Adequan® Select World memory. Her favorite part of this show is fellowship with other riders of a certain maturity.
“I love the companionship, meeting people and seeing some of the people that you only see once a year,” Diane says. “And it's just fun to show with people who are your age, with your own physical ailments. I guess that's the best part of it.”
Most of all, Diane is thankful she’s still able to compete at Adequan® Select World.
• Bruce Hasbrouck
“I’m just glad I’m healthy enough and have the finances to do it,” Diane says.
Roper Butch Morgan, of Weatherford, Texas, is a horseman through and through. Having spent a lifetime in equine media, he’s currently ambassador-at-large for Western Horseman. Butch and his wife, Charlene, along with their children and grandchildren all enjoy competing with their American Quarter Horses. But he and Charlene particularly look forward to going to the Adequan® Select World.
“They're real friendly,” Butch says of his fellow Select competitors. “It's not like the dog-eat-dog deal here. We've passed that point in our lives. We're just here to have a little fun. It's pretty cool. And I think (AQHA) has some parties that get people together and make it a fun event.”
Seeing other Select riders is something Butch most looks forward to at this show.
“I enjoy the people. At our age – I’m 79 years old. A lot of people are over 70, and we come back, hoping to see everyone again. A lot of our buddies come, and it’s fun. If anybody needs anything, everybody is here to help everybody.”
Butch insists there’s still a competitive spirit amongst exhibitors, but not so that anybody would “kick you on the head and step on you to win.”
When asked about his favorite Adequan® Select World memory, Butch says they haven’t happened yet.
“I got the chance to win the world in the heading, I made the finals,” Butch says.
Other memories he treasures includes the 2002 world championship he won and had his grandson Braxton watching; and last year’s world championship when his grandson Cooper was with him.
“They were both around 2 years old at the time – 16 years apart,” Butch says.
Although he enjoyed having the Adequan® Select World in Amarillo, Texas, he loves having it so close to home, in Fort Worth, Texas.
“It’s going to be great here – I love the facility here,” Butch says. “It’s a little hard to get in and out, but that’s just part of it. You’ve just got to keep an open mind and enjoy the ride.”
He placed third in heading at this year’s Adequan® Select World aboard 2002 black gelding Peppy Dunny Dee, but he plans to come back next year.
“I just think it's pretty special,” Butch says of the show. “What's amazing to me is how many people are here who are 70 or so. I think that's the one of the reasons it’s great – we’re getting older and we can just keep going. We'll stay alive a lot longer. I guess I'd like to come back at least one more year before I’m 80.”