Oregon Summer Classic: June 26

The Youth Champion of Champions and Trainer Showmanship classes kept spectactors entertained Thursday night.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Charlotte Green and Central Park West hand gallop in the Youth Champion of Champions at the 2015 Oregon Summer Classic. Scroll down to view more photos from the night's festivities. (Credit: Journal)

It was a dream six years in the making, but Charlotte Green finally clinched the Youth Champion of Champions title at the Oregon Quarter Horse Association's Summer Classic.

For the esteemed event, youth exhibitors who place first or second in hunt seat equitation and horsemanship classes earlier in the week were invited back for the Champion of Champions Thursday night. Once they were in the Compton Arena for the electric championship class, it was anything goes. The music was cranked up, the crowd was rambunctious and the exhibitors entered the arena down the center at the trot. From there riders were put through the grueling paces of rail work without stirrups, trotting, loping, galloping, spins, forehand turns and backing. The field was narrowed down several times, and in each round the difficulty was raised, escalating to hand-galloping at a counter-canter without stirrups/irons.

In the final round, only four riders remained, with Charlotte Green and Central Park West triumphing and Taylor Searles and Al Be Sweet On You, the only hunt-seat team left in the final round, capturing second place.

This is Charlotte's final year competing as a youth, making the win especially sweet for the 19-year-old. She's also fresh off her freshman year at Baylor University, where she's a student-athlete on the Baylor women's equestrian team. Central Park West, better known as "Parker," is also just getting back into the AQHA show pen. After an eight-month lay-up, Parker only got back to working in March, and she's really hitting her stride now.

"She was surprisingly calm out there tonight; I thought she might get a little riled up from the crowd and music," Charlotte said of her 16-year-old bay mare, who is by Park A Jet and out of Docs Brandy Rose by Docs Gray Fri Dee. "She's about 14.3 hands, but she loves to gallop and extend the trot."

And in was with in those two gaits – without stirrups, I might add – that Charlotte and Parker really pushed themselves and shined.

"Charlotte is so rock-solid," said mom and trainer Catherine De Costder. "I am so proud of her when I watch her two-track, extend the trot, run, and it's unusual for us to hand-gallop in a western saddle where she had to come up out of the saddle for the two-point. I love watching her ride. She works hard for everything and knows what it takes to get it done."

Parker and Charlotte aren't just horsemanship rockstars, though  – at the Summer Classic they've also picked up first- and second-place finishes in ranch riding and trail.

Trainer Showmanship
The entertainment carried on Thursday night with Trainer Showmanship, presided over by celebrity judges Will Knabenshue and Brad Jewett. Competitors were auctioned off in a calcutta, which raised $1,680 for the Oregon and California teams at the 2015 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

When it came time for the actual class, hilarity ensued, as the competitors included Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Elvis, a pregnant nun, Superwoman, Sharnai the Showmanship Superstar, Julian Harris (played by Chelsea Carlson) and Travis Wigen, innovator of "cowboy showmanship."

Winners were declared for best performance, best pattern and best costume, but the real winners were anyone packed into the Compton Arena to watch the spectacle. If there's anything that horse showing really boils down to, it's enjoying good times with good friends and good horses. 

Here's Chelsea's WINNING pattern from last night's Showmanship Trainer Challenge with Clare's boy "He's For Certain"....

Posted by Red's Show Horses on Friday, June 26, 2015

Journal Coverage From the Oregon Summer Classic

  • June 28 – See who claimed high-point, all-around, shootout and sweepstakes wins at the 2015 Oregon Summer Classic in Central Point.
  • June 27 – Lemonmade continues his winning streak, this time in the Summer Classic 3-year-old open western pleasure futurity for owners Candice Hall and Cory Seebach.
  • June 26 – The Youth Champion of Champions and Trainer Showmanship classes kept spectactors entertained Thursday night.
  • June 25 – From cow horse to western pleasure, ranch riding to horsemanship, roping to trail, the versatility of the American Quarter Horse was on display Thursday in Central Point.
  • June 24 – View results and look through Journal photos from Wednesday's futurities in Central Point.