Golden Opportunity at the Zoetis VRH World

Golden Opportunity at the Zoetis VRH World

Challenging yourself requires bravery – but it's also the best way to grow.

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By Ranch Horse Journal editor Andrea Caudill

It takes courage, but sometimes you just have to challenge yourself to grow as a horseman. If you compete in Versatility Ranch Horse, there is no bigger pond for a little fish than the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships at Guthrie, Oklahoma.

That’s why Ginger Matney of Golden, Colorado, is here, aboard her golden palomino mare Justa Genuine Dual for her very first world show experience. 

“I wanted to see how we’d do,” Ginger says. “I wouldn’t trade (the experience) for the world, even though we very much are bottom of the pond. But I’d rather be at the bottom of a big pond (then not try at all).”

Ginger was smiling after her boxing run, and as they have been doing all week, a kind-hearted “Taffy” let Ginger boost her 6-year-old daughter, Dagney Grissom, into the saddle to ride back to the barn. 

Usually Dagney is busy riding her own mare, "Seven," at home, but she is helping this week by cooling out Taffy.

“I grew up with horses, then had a career, had kids, and now I have horses again,” Ginger says. She is sharing her love of horses with her three kids, of whom Dagney is the oldest. 

The family mostly shows at CoWN Stock Horse and Slidin Daze Series shows: “Slidin Daze does short stirrups classes, which I think they have just for us – there’s not a lot of kids there.” 

Ginger wanted to get into reining, but found that Versatility was a better fit, as it had more diversity in stuff to do. She and Dagney drove 10 hours to show at the Zoetis VRH World.

Taffy is a 12-year-old mare bred by Ronald and Adrienne Pietrafeso of Elbert, Colorado; Ginger bought her last year. The mare is by the Dual Rey stallion Just In Time To Dual and out of the Mr Sun O Lena mare Genuine Ms Sunolena. 

“She’s exceeding all my expectations,” she says. “We’ve been having fun.” 

When asked, Dagney agrees that they’re having fun at the show (although maybe the 10-hour drive to get here was not that much fun). But, here, on a sunny, humid, day at the biggest ranch horse show in the world? 

“Day 5, she’s still smiling,” her mom says with a matching smile. 

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit