Region Two Championship: September 20
The Journal sits down for a conversation in Rapid City, South Dakota, with a 6-year-old exhibitor (and her dad).
By Becky Newell | September 19, 2014
You can't miss 6-year-old Lindsey Thomas at the 2014 Merial AQHA Region Two Regional Championship Show. The tiny, blonde, ball of energy is everywhere, in nearly every youth 13-and-under class, showing a dun gelding with tiger stripes on his legs.
I got her to stop long enough on Saturday to ask her a few questions.
Q: Lindsey, how old is your horse?
Lindsey (swiveling around on one foot): Ummmm, 16, no 15, um, 15!
Q: So how long have you been riding horses?
Lindsey (still swiveling around on one foot): Since I was 3. I used to go in small-fry; now I go in youth.
Q: So, what classes do you like the most?
Lindsey (now balancing on one foot): Reining, but I get to go in showmanship today.
Q: I saw you in Ryan Cottingim's showmanship clinic yesterday. He really liked your horse. Did you like the clinic?
Lindsey (swiveling again): Yep!
And then she was off again to get ready for showmanship. So, I caught her dad, Keith, and got him to fill in a few holes of information for me.
Lindsey rides Friendly Blackburn, a 1998 dun gelding by A Major Performer and out of Missys Super Gal by King Bicentennial. He is nicknamed "Danny" after the horse in "The Man From Snowy River."
"We bought him as a yearling at a sale in South Dakota, thinking we could resell him," Keith says shaking his head.
That, of course, was 14 years ago, and Danny is still on their place near Mitchell, Nebraska, and not likely to leave any time soon.
"I had several PRCA cowboys offer me some good money for that horse in his younger days ... and that was before that little spitfire (pointing to Lindsey) came along," Keith says. "But we still kept him."
Lindsey keeps Keith and wife Stacy on their toes.
"The little fireball gets home from school and starts barking instructions to me about which horses she wants to ride before she has to go in for the evening to get ready for school the next day," Keith says. "And come Saturday morning, she'll pick five to six stalls. You don't even have to tell her or make her go back and redo any. Now, she also isn't afraid to tell someone else that they need to redo their stall."
Well, Lindsey and Danny may not place very high in their classes this week at the Region Two Championship, but "she doesn't care, she just has a good time showing," Keith says.
And having a good time with your horse is what showing is all about.