Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship: June 7

Exhibitors at the regional championship have qualifying for the Level 1 (Novice) Championships on their minds.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Barb Bugos of Carriere, Mississippi, is among the exhibitors at the Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) To see more photos, scroll to the slideshow below.

Like a lot of Level 1 exhibitors, Barb Bugos of Carriere, Mississippi, arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, with the goal of qualifying for the 2014  AQHA Level 1 (Novice) Championships.

On June 7, Barb competed in her single class with her best dancing partner, Wish An Image, at the Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship.

“I’ve been showing for about 15 years,” Barb said. “Right now, showmanship is all I do. I used to do trail and pleasure but right now just showmanship. It’s my favorite class in the entire world. It’s competition and dancing with my horse.”

“Wishy” is a 1996 bay mare by Caans Ebony Image and out of Wish A Gal by Wish For Rain. She was bred by Betsy Burk of Carriere, Mississippi, and this is the second time Barb has owned the mare.

“I had her and I sold her and I couldn’t live without her so I nagged the (buyers) until I got her back,” Barb said. “They didn’t think she’d ever be able to show again, and here she is.”

Barb had the 18-year-old bay mare for four years the first time.

“Then she was away for two years,” Barb said.

Now that Wishy is back in Barb’s life, the mare won’t be leaving, Barb said. Besides showmanship, she and Wishy enjoy trail rides and team penning.

“She’s my forever horse,” Barb said. “We’re going to ride into the sunset together.”

But before the sunset, Barb and Wishy want to make one more trip together.

“Right now, my goal is to make it to the (Level 1 Championship in Tennessee) – and win it,” Barb said.

First though, Barb had to place in the top 10 at the Region Nine Championship against all those other Level 1 exhibitors who have the same goal.

This year’s Region Nine Championship is in conjunction with the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association Spring Show, which gives four sets of points. Judges for the event are Carla Wennberg, Ryan Kail, Tom Robertson and John Pipkin. The composite placings determine the regional placings.

And when the Level 1 (Novice) showmanship results were compiled, it was official: Barb is going to Tennessee.