A Mare on Fire

Alfred University's Good Heavens Im Hot is the 2018 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's Horse of the Year from the national finals.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

American Quarter Horse Good Heavens Im Hot was the high-point horse at the 2018 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Finals. (photo courtesy of EQ Media)

American Quarter Horse Good Heavens Im Hot was the high-point horse at the 2018 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Finals. (Al Cook photo courtesy of EQ Media)

Good Heavens Im Hot, aka “Sarah,” earned top honors at the 2018 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Finals. The 16-year-old mare earned the high-point horse award with an impressive 29 points for the weekend. She carried one rider to a national championship and two riders to reserve. Throughout the event, she was paired with multiple riders through a random draw. Neither she nor the riders had practice time together, and she performed flawlessly.

“This weekend proved how willing she is to perform for any rider,” said Steve Shank, equestrian program director at Alfred University Equestrian Center. “She is quite the lady. She was shown five times on Sunday alone. She was also used several times for re-rides.”

Good Heavens Im Hot is a 2002 chestnut mare by Blazing Hot and out of Heavenly Good by Zippos Mr Good Bar. She was bred by Tamara L. Bronson of Fairport, New York.

Steve described Sarah as one of the school’s best pattern horses because she lets just about anyone ride her. On the ground, she has a strong personality and lets handlers know if they’ve done something she doesn’t like. She is a favorite among students at the school and Steve said she receives the most treats in the barn.

“The students adore her,” he said. “She gets the most candy in the barn because she is a favorite and students use it as a way to find out what her mood is for that day.”

Sarah was donated to Alfred University by Sofia Lilly of Simsbury, Connecticut, in 2008. Prior to her career as a collegiate lesson and show horse she competed in 4-H events and a handful of AQHA events where she earned points in trail.

Alfred University, located in Alfred, New York, had many reasons to celebrate this year’s trip to nationals. Harry Hurd received the Coach’s Sportsmanship Award, Haley Ruffner finished seventh in the AQHA High Point Rider competition, and the team finished sixth overall. Alumni rider Stephanie Zimicki was national champion in the alumni hunt seat equitation class.

“Our horses and our riders had a great year,” Steve said.