Halter Champion of Champions

Sladen Summers returns to the show ring with a big win while Sara Koster forms a new partnership at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Sara Koster and Invious Mister win the youth halter champion of champions title at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Sara Koster and Invious Mister win the youth halter champion of champions title at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

After more than 20 years, Sladen Summers returned to the show ring with a bang.

Sladen led In The Act to the amateur halter champion of champions title April 11 at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.

Sladen, who lives in Boerne, Texas, showed for years, but when his daughters started showing, Sladen became head groom.

“I’ve been the groom for the last 20 years – 25 years,” he said. “I think my daughter did a pretty good job (today). The tables have turned.”

In The Act is a 2010 sorrel gelding by My Intention and out of Kids Lil Sister by Obvious Conclusion. He was bred by Jim and Georgia Snow of Quinlan, Texas, and is owned by Victoria Summers of Boerne, Texas.

Sladen’s daughters have been showing “Teddy” in youth halter for about three years, but now Sladen is getting his turn. When he got his Level 1 invitation in the mail, he said, “I guess we’ll go.

“It’s a great show,” he said. “We’ve really enjoyed being here.”

When Sladen was showing in the past, there was no leveling, he said.

“Being able to share the wealth with everyone has made a big difference,” he said. “That’s the biggest change I’ve seen.”

The reserve amateur halter champion of champions was Lanora Doud of Cedar Creek, Texas, leading Star Six Intel, a 2014 sorrel gelding by Interesting and out of Apretty Dandy Mr by Mr Conclusion. He was bred by Dianne N. Wright of Bullard, Texas.

In August, Sara Koster’s horse died. When she started looking for a new one, she found Invious Mister, a 2008 bay gelding by Green With Invy and out of Lovin Machine by A Good Machine, bred by Janice Clevenger of Farmersville, Texas.

Though searching for a new horse was hard, Sara liked “Linus” and his cute face right away.

“When I first went to see him, he walked straight up to me when I opened up his stall,” she said. “I didn’t even have to ride him. It was just, ‘Put him in the trailer and bring him home.’”

Her partnership with Linus continues to grow, said Sara, who hails from Spring Lake, Michigan.

“He is really sweet,” she said. “I really like his personality. He’s really easy to show. He’s so quiet. You can do anything around him and he won’t flinch.”

Halter is one of Sara’s favorite classes, she said, and Linus shows well in it.

“I really think (the judges) liked his butt and his neck, and he has such a cute face that it stands out from the others,” Sara said. “I’m really happy with this win.”

Erica Noel Mehlhause of Boone, Iowa, led Huntin For Faith to the reserve youth champion of champions title. Huntin For Faith is a 2013 bay mare by Extremely Hot Chips and out of Huntin A Blaze by Huntin For Chocolate. She was bred by Casey and April Devitt of Frankfort, Kentucky, and is owned by Matt and Mary Ann Carr of Harrison, Arkansas.