Region Nine Championship: June 6

An exhibitor gets back into showing at the 2015 Merial Region Nine Championship Show.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Deborah Hanks and Macs Diva try out showmanship June 6 at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship Show in Jackson, Mississippi.

Deborah Hanks stood near the wall, holding onto her mare’s lead shank June 6, letting her soak in the experience as they waited for their turn in Select showmanship.

The amateur from Ragley, Louisiana, was at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship Show in Jackson, Mississippi, to season her new horse.

“She’s brand-new to me,” Deborah said. “My other horse we had to put down two years ago. She had some EPM problems.”

After more than a year of searching, Deborah found Macs Diva, a western pleasure horse who had never been exposed to showmanship, trail or any of Deborah’s other favorite all-around classes.

“She hasn’t quite grasped the importance of showmanship but we hope she will soon,” Deborah said with a laugh. “I enjoy showmanship and trail best. She did really good in trail (June 5), got half a point in green, so that’s looking up.”

“Paris” is a 2006 sorrel mare by Macs Good N Plenty and out of Bar Choice Legacy by TNT Fluid Fred. She was bred by Lowell Osterbur of Champaign, Illinois, and has Registers of Merit in open and amateur western pleasure as well as earnings in the National Snaffle Bit Association.

Showmanship, however, remains challenging.

“This is about our fourth show (together) and only her third time in showmanship and she still doesn’t quite see the importance,” Deborah said. “She hasn’t quite decided if she likes it or not. I’m just happy that she’s calm and quiet. She was looking at all the judges like, ‘Hello, I’m here. What are you doing sitting there?’ But when she finally gets it, she’s very smart and very flashy when she gets out there.”

Deborah picked the Region Nine Championship as one of Paris’ initial outings because she enjoys the atmosphere of the show.

“I’ve been here before with my other horse, and I love it,” she said. “It’s a different feel, they give great prizes, and there are lots of AQHA officials here.”

This year, AQHA Second Vice President Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks, Alaska, was presenting prizes from AQHA corporate partners at the first regional championship of the season.

At the same time exhibitors were working toward the regional championship prizes or attempting to qualify for the 2015 AQHA East and West Level 1 shows,  they were earning points under four judges in the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association Summer Show.

The show began June 5 with trail and western riding, and continues through June 7.

Journal Coverage From the Merial Region Nine Championship

  • Region Nine Through Ralph's Camera – AQHA Second Vice President Ralph Seekins takes a look at the 2015 Merial Region Nine Championship Show through his camera lens.
  • June 7 – Ranch riding, reining and roping finish out the competition as all-around winners are named at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Nine Championship Show.
  • June 6 – An exhibitor gets back into showing at the 2015 Merial Region Nine Championship Show.
  • June 5 – Buckles and other prizes are up for grabs at the first Merial AQHA Regional Championship Show of the year.