I Am Qualified
I Am Qualified
By Barbara Aitken Jenkins
EDITOR'S NOTE: The American Quarter Horse Journal featured an essay, "Making It," by Barbara Aiken Jenkins in October. We now bring you along on her journey to the 2019 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show with her American Quarter Horse, Wimpys Little Shiner.
I am qualified.
Those are the words I’ve dreamed about saying out loud since I smelled the mix of dirt, tractor fumes, and dreams in Oklahoma City’s fairground coliseum for the first time. Even when I was too young to honestly know what it meant, I knew I wanted to say those words for myself.
As I near departure to what can only be the most significant show of my amateur career thus far, I am met with an overwhelming amount of emotions.
I’ve been balancing between feeling confident enough to imagine the announcer channeling his inner Keith Bradley with a, “THHHHEEEEE SCOOORRREE” as I walk out of the arena, while simultaneously being convinced that I’ll appear out of my league immediately upon arrival.
I never anticipated qualifying. A year ago, I knew I had a mare who was showing signs of talent and potential consistency, so I thought it might be fun to earn a point or a few.
Miss Shiney, as we fondly call her, or rather, “the fabulous Miss Shiney,” is an own daughter out of Wimpys Little Step and a granddaughter of famed Shining Spark on the bottom side of her papers. After participating in the NRHA Futurity when she was 3 years old, the 14-year-old beauty lived most of her life as Ralph’s Select Amateur Dream Horse, ridden 30 minutes a day, always clean and occasionally shown. After Ralph’s untimely death, his wife, Sandra, entrusted my family to sell the mare to trustworthy new owners. During the process of showing her to potential buyers, my family fell in love. Needless to say, Miss Shiney officially became a member of Aitken Quarter Horses shortly after her arrival.