Stars and Stripes and Big A: July 8

Longtime horse show mom Marsha Stigge finds a way to keep on going to horse shows.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Longtime horse show mom Marsha Stigge turns World Show award jackets into home decor. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos, scroll to the slideshow below.

Marsha Stigge’s work samples look like a tour through the recent history of the AQHA World Championship Show.

She turns leather World Show awards jackets into pillows – each one unique.

“I tell people that the last thing they should do is turn their jackets into pillows,” Marsha says. “If people are still wearing their jackets, they should do that.”

But if, like Marsha’s daughter Dionne Stigge Rucker, exhibitors have too many jackets to wear, Marsha can turn those jackets into one-of-a-kind home décor.

“I’ve been sewing for interior designers for the last 26 years,” she says. “My specialties are pillows, cushions and bedding.”

When she’s turning a World Show jacket into a pillow, Marsha starts by unpicking every seam on the jacket and laying all the pieces on her industrial work table to get an idea of what she has to work with.

“I lay them out flat and put them back together like a Tetris puzzle,” she says. “I include all the meaningful information on the pillow, so if AQHA puts the logo on the sleeve, I’m going to put that in there. If you have your name embroidered on it or the placing, it’s going to be there somewhere.”

The longtime horse show mom knows the emotional attachment exhibitors have to their jackets.

“All my samples say ‘Dionne Stigge’ on them,” she says with a laugh.

For Marsha, making pillows is an opportunity to go to the horse show and see her friends.

"I’m having real good time whether we have a horse that’s coming to a show or not," she says.

Elsewhere on the grounds of the Georgia International Horse Park, July 8 was a fun day at the Georgia Quarter Horse Association’s summer circuits, starting with fun activities for children, including a chance to paint wooden horses and show off their dogs’ skills.

Journal Coverage of the Stars & Stripes and Big A Circuit

  • Huntfield Derby – Hunters compete in the Grand Prix Arena of the Georgia International Horse Park.
  • June 8 – Longtime horse show mom Marsha Stigge finds a way to keep on going to horse shows; plus view more photos from the show.
  • July 7 – Hunters and trail dominate the day.