by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A year ago, Darcy Reeve of Garden City, Kansas, competed as a youth.
This year, she stepped up to the big leagues of amateur competition at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
And November 12, Darcy claimed her second world championship trophy of Bank of America Amateur Week in western riding with A Certain Vino.
“I can’t even remember (the ride)!” Darcy says excitedly in her exclusive Journal interview. “I know jogging in, he was just so soft. Sometimes we have trouble with the jog-log, but he just put his game-face on and figured it out. He loped off so soft; everything was perfect today. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better.”
Darcy’s run with “Vino” scored a 230.5, just ahead of the 229 scored by Ali Papendick and Harley D Zip, another team stepping up from youth competition.
Ali and “Harley” were the 2010 youth champions in western riding with Darcy and Vino the reserve world champions. Darcy says she focuses on doing well in western riding rather than the outcome and feels no pressure riding the storied Vino, a multiple world champion in the event.
“It’s western riding and things happen,” she says. “If something happens, I just go on and do the next thing. I have two horses in it, and I always feel like one can be good if (the other) isn’t. If one’s good already, there’s no pressure on the second one.”
When Darcy is at a show, she’s working, getting ready for competition.
“We actually prepare quite a bit,” she says. “We do a lot of pleasure work to get him – our legs push on him in the western pleasure, so my pleasure trainer, Karen Hornick, will ride him. Charlie Cole will ride him to get the changes right, and then I’ll ride him and do the log and all the changes. This might happen four-five times a day, and then we’ll go show.”
At shows, Darcy says, she rides two times a day, minimum, and is looking forward to adding more classes to their repertoire.
“I won the pleasure last week on him,” she says. “I want to start adding some horsemanship. I said my goal is to win the western riding, and here I am! I’d just like to come back and try it again. If I have the horsemanship, hopefully we can go for the all-around next year.”
Darcy Reeve and A Certain Vino win the 2011 amateur western riding world championship. (Journal photo)