angle-left Trail Legend: KCs Connection

Trail Legend: KCs Connection

'Luke' helped AQHA Professional Horsewoman Lori Augsburger on her journey from amateur to pro.

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By Larri Jo Starkey for The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the late 1990s, Lori Augsburger of Loxahatchee, Florida, was an accomplished amateur looking for a connection with her next all-arounder.

She found a bay gelding with just a little bit of white on him, a 3-year-old coming 4, named KCs Connection.

“He was gorgeous,” says Lori, now an AQHA Professional Horsewoman. “He would go show, and he was definitely a great one.”

She didn’t know that “Luke” would become one of the top 10 amateur trail horses of all time.

“It was more the western riding that was our passion,” Lori says. “The older he got, he thought he knew more than I did on trail.”

KCs Connection was a 1992 bay gelding by Kay Cee Leaguer and out of Candlelite by Hundred Grand. He was bred by Stanley and Susan Scott of Ocala, Florida, and was owned by James P. Collier Jr., Lori’s dad.

“When he changed leads, he was so pretty at it,” Lori says. “That was kind of cool.”

From 1995 until 2006, Luke and Lori were together. They earned Superiors in trail, horsemanship and western riding.

The 614 points that Luke and Lori earned placed Luke seventh on the all-time amateur trail point-earner list. They also earned 946.5 points in classes from hunt seat equitation to barrel racing.

In 1999, they were the year-end high-point team in western riding and trail. In 2001 and 2004, they were the year-end high-point winners in horsemanship. Throughout their time together, they consistently qualified for the AQHA World Championship Show and finished in the year-end top 10 in their classes.

“He was my buddy,” Lori says simply. “We never sold him. From his 3-year-old year until he died, he was with us.”

Lori had hoped that one day her daughter, Cheyenne, might get to show Luke, but he foundered and was euthanized in 2006. Cheyenne was born in 2005, about the time Luke’s health began failing.

“I have a picture,” Lori says. “The day I came home from the hospital with her, I took her down to his stall to meet him. He was my special horse.”