angle-left Trail Legend: Confirmed Legacy

Trail Legend: Confirmed Legacy

For countless riders, Confirmed Legacy was the definition of a well-broke show horse as he earned 537 amateur points in AQHA competition.

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By Larri Jo Starkey for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Title after title and award after award, Confirmed Legacy collected them for rider after rider.

He earned 537 amateur trail points with three different amateurs: Daniel Carlson of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Sandra Jean Fitzgerald of Huntsville, Texas, and Dr. M.A. “Tommy” Thomas of College Station, Texas.

The 1990 sorrel gelding by Mr Conclusion and out of Miss Jessie Jo by Jessie James Leo was bred by Dwayne Lewis of Kearney, Nebraska.      

“Bubba” began life as a western pleasure horse.

“We got him when he was 9 and he’d only done pleasure so we started teaching him trail,” says AQHA Professional Horsewoman Tami McAllister, who with her husband, Garry, trained Bubba while he belonged to Daniel. “He was just a great horse. He was tough at the start – spooked at trail obstacles – but he had a big heart and kept getting better and better.”

By 2001, he had Superiors in open and youth trail. In all, Bubba earned five Superiors in trail plus two more in open western pleasure and amateur horsemanship. Daniel and the McAllisters kept riding him and racking up accomplishments. 

In 2002, Bubba was sixth in trail at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show with Daniel – then a youth – and he finished that year third in the year-end youth trail standings. In 2003, he was seventh in amateur trail at the AQHA World Championship Show before finishing the year as the high-point amateur trail horse. In 2004, he was the reserve world champion and the year-end high-point horse in amateur trail.

“He was so smart,” Tami remembers. “He could take his halter off before you walked out of the stall. If he didn’t want to be tied, he would take it off – and fast. It’s amazing because he started his trail career later in life, but he was a great one.”

In all, Bubba had three official youth riders and five official amateur riders but there’s no way to count the number of riders Bubba shared his skills with.

In 2008, “Dr. Tommy” acquired an 18-year-old Bubba and began competing in Select classes.

“I think what made him a great trail horse was his size and fluid movement and his super-smooth ride, which carried over into western riding and horsemanship,” Dr. Tommy says. “He had that way of going.”

Dr. Tommy had close ties to the Texas A&M University equestrian team and had been in the habit of lending his horses to the team a couple of times a week. When he acquired Bubba, the gelding also started spending time with the team.

“He epitomized the super-broke show horse,” Dr. Tommy says. “I don’t know how many girls got on him in the team and the visiting teams – more than 100 over six years, going to nationals every year.”

The team riders doted on the horse, and in 2010, at the Varsity Equestrian National Finals – now known as the National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Finals – Bubba was named the Most Valuable Horse in horsemanship.

In 2014, Dr. Tommy loaned Bubba to the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup, taking place that year in College Station Texas. Team Luxembourg drew Bubba.

It gave me great satisfaction to be able to share a great horse with talented collegiate and international riders,” “He was first and fifth in trail and first and third in western riding,” Dr. Tommy says. “He won his best events.”

His soundness contributed to his longevity, Dr. Tommy says, who adds that the stimulation of being ridden by many riders kept him going longer.

“He stayed healthy and had a good attitude,” he says. “I kept riding him until the end.”

In 2012, Bubba and Dr. Tommy were finalists at the Adequan® Select World Championship Show in trail and western riding. In 2014, at the Adequan® Select World, Bubba was retired. He completed his show career with 2,744.5 points in all divisions. He was euthanized in October 2016.

“As I told Garry and Tami, it was the thousands of miles that you and Dan put on him that made him what he was,” Dr. Tommy says. “I just inherited a great one. He was more than a casual horse for me. He was a lifetime horse and I’m sure he was for a lot of people.”