2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show Preview

While we’re waiting to meet this year’s youth horse-showing champions, let’s take a look back at some of the winners from last year.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

On August 2-10, young equestrians from around the globe will meet in Oklahoma City for the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. For some, it will be the first time showing on the big stage. For others, it will be another shot at glory. For everyone, it will be a week that they will never forget.

When looking ahead, it is often appropriate to look back. Take a walk down memory lane as we look at a few of the winners from the 2012 Ford Youth World.

Samantha Chiodo and Im A Natural Detail, Showmanship

The 15 young men and women coming into the showmanship finals had already attained a huge accomplishment – out of 196 entries, they’d also made it through a tough semi-finals round.

But Samantha Chiodo of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, felt she and her bay mare, Im A Natural Detail, were prepared.

“Coming into the finals I was thinking that I had a pretty good chance because of all the trotting (in the pattern),” she said. “That’s my best thing with my horse because she’s so pretty, and she’s a big hunt-seater so she just floats.”

With no markers but a start cone and two judges to set up for, the pattern called for a trot figure 8, with the center lined up with both judges.

“The challenging part was, when you came around (after the last circle in the figure 8) you had to stop, back and then turn and be straight to the next judge, and if you didn’t make your mark, you wouldn’t be straight,” Samantha said. “I think that was the toughest part.

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“What I do (for that kind of maneuver) is I find a spot on the (arena) wall and stare at it, and I go straight to it, I don’t veer either way.”

Last in the go, Samantha had plenty of time to think. She ended up walking out of the arena last, carrying the gold trophy. It was her first youth world championship in seven years of showing at the Ford Youth World.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “There aren’t any words (to describe the feeling).”

Lacy Watson and HF Tahnee Too, Horsemanship

The last thing Lacy Lynn Watson’s trainer told her before she entered the ring was “I love you.”

That’s because her trainer, Jamie Watson of Goshen, Ohio, is also her mom.

Then Lacy went in and did her mom proud on a difficult horsemanship pattern.

“The pattern worked pretty well,” Lacy said. “In the prelims, it was all about circles and the maneuvers of where to hit your mark on the rail with the circles, then this pattern was all straight lines. The most challenging part was the first spin, (then) coming out of it to the right lead slow (lope) to the fast (lope) back to the slow.”

After all 15 competitors completed their patterns, they came back in for an extended rail session sans stirrups.

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Lacy’s horse for her championship ride through the Jim Norick Coliseum was HF Tahnee Too, the last foal from the legendary mare Tahnee Zippo, who died in 2005.

Before the Ford Youth World, Tahnee Zippo had produced two open and one amateur world champion and one reserve world champion. Her offspring have earned $104,536.13 through the National Snaffle Bit Association and $32,960 through the AQHA World Championship Show.

Lacy calls her pretty bay mare “Tahnee,” and it was love at first sight.

“We’d been looking for almost a year,” Lacy said. “I got on her and fell in love with her. She’s very sweet, yet she’s a big princess.”

Parris Rice and Javah Mon, Hunt Seat Equitation

For the third time, Parris Rice, from Moorpark, California, won the world championship in youth hunt seat equitation.

“It’s my last year (to show as a youth rider),” Parris said. “I would have been happy in the top three, but to win my last year and to bring the gold trophy home one more time was just a great feeling.”

For Parris and her horse, Javah Mon, aka “Willy,” that gold trophy is just one more sparkling milestone in a 13-year partnership.

Parris and Willy were first in the class under all five judges, resulting in a unanimous nod to a great ride.

“I felt good, warming up (for the class),” Parris said. “It was basically for me just a matter of going in and getting it done. At this point, I’ve won this event twice before, and I’ve been fifth twice. Nobody was going to take that away from me, so I figured I might as well just leave it all out there.”

During the first half of the rail work, competitors were asked to ride without stirrups at the sitting trot, posting trot, canter and walk.

In previous years, hunt seat equitation competitors have spent the entire rail-work portion of the class without stirrups, so Parris wasn’t too surprised. In the course of her journey to the 2012 Ford Youth World, she prepared for that kind of work with “strength training (and) a lot of it,” and advised future competitors to “start (your strength training) early.”

AQHA Video

Watch as the 2012 Ford Youth World horsemanship champion, Lacy Watson riding HF Tahnee Too, takes on her winning pattern.