Borrowed Rides

Generous Australian horse owners loan their horses for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Emma Mullan, Ellexxah Maxwell and QXH Ima Lil Tiger

Emma Mullan has loaned QXH Ima Lil Tiger to Team USA, represented by Ellexxah Maxwell, for the duration of the 2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup. (Journal photo)

Some American Quarter Horse owners in Australia have conflicted loyalties this week.

Sure, they want to root for Team Australia in the 2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup. But they also want to root for Team Norway or Team Germany – because that’s the team riding their beloved “Buffy” or “Harvey” or “Bridie.”

“I’m kind of torn,” said Trace Paterson, whose homebred horse Professa Sumnamiller “belongs” to Team Israel for the duration of the Youth World Cup. “I’ll have to have two flags. Maybe I’m rooting more for Israel because they have my horse.”

In the Youth World Cup, each of the 13 teams gets a set of five horses to use for the clinics and competition, all borrowed from generous Australian Quarter Horse owners.

Horse trainer, judge and farrier Glenn Wyse of Victoria, Australia, was one of the graders who helped divide the loaned horses into sets.

“The grading process was amazing to be part of,” Glenn said. “Every team seems to have an even range of horses.”

Trace Paterson and Professa Sumnamiller

Glenn and the three other graders rode 69 horses, rating each horse between 1 and 5 to make sure each team got a balanced set. Some horses were ridden more than once by more than one grader to make sure the ratings were fair.

“We were really conscious of the horses we had,” Glenn said, adding that the assessment took a full two days. “We wanted to be sure every team has a chance of getting a medal at this event.”

Trace hopes Team Israel falls in love with “Julius.”

“He’s easy to get along with and doesn’t have too many complicated buttons,” Trace said. “We have Cadbury chocolate here, and the ads used to use this weird old scientist called Professor Sumnamiller. My horse is by Hot Zippin Chocolate out of a mare called Dixie T Miller, so that’s how he got his name. He’s rising 14. He had 12 months of professional training, and I’ve done everything with him since.”

Trace plans to follow Julius’ adventures on the webcast when she can’t attend be at the Australian Equine & Livestock Events Center in Tamworth.

“I wanted to help the youth,” she said. “The youth are the backbone of our industry, so if we can donate horses and help them succeed and get their goals going, I’m happy to do that.”

Emma Mullan of Victoria, Australia, drove 12 hours to loan a horse she bred, QXH Ima Lil Tiger, aka “Harvey,” who went to Team USA.

“I own the stallion and I used to own the mare,” she said. “(Harvey) was trained for me, and he’s a lovely, quiet horse. I’m quite excited to be part of this. I’ve never been involved in a Youth World Cup before. I want the kids to get the best out of the horses they’ve got on the team.”

Rebecca Salt and YLS Guilty Pleasure
Rebecca Salt of Teesdale, Australia, brought her son, Adam, to Tamworth to compete on Team Australia, but she also brought Adam’s mare, YLS Guilty Pleasure.

“They were asking for volunteers, so we felt that we needed to help out,” Rebecca said. “Adam’s been doing a lot of the events on her. He brought her up to the Youth Selection Camp and she was great, and we thought she’d be a good horse for the event.”

Team Norway gets to ride “Gigi” for Youth World Cup – presenting Rebecca with a dilemma. Most likely, she’ll root for Adam in the events he’s riding in.

Emma, though, knows how she’s rooting until the end of the competition July 3.

“I’ll be excited to cheer for Aussies as well, but Team USA – I’ve got to get my flag,” she said.