A Family Championship

Mother and son Julie and Jake Jolstad share Halter Champion of Champions honor at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships

Jake Jolstad and Betta Believe it with Youth Champion of Champions at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.

Jake Jolstad and Betta Believe It win Youth Champion of Champions at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City. Just a few hours later, Jake's mom, Julie Jolstad, was amateur Champion of Champions with "Maurice." (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Thanks to his mom and sister, Jake Jolstad is Youth Champion of Champions at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships.

Jake’s mom, Julie Jolstad of Denver, owns and shows Betta Believe It. Jake’s sister, Brooke, also shows “Maurice,” but Brooke wasn’t eligible any longer for Level 1 classes.

Jake, she said, should show Maurice in youth performance halter geldings.

So he did.

“I was expecting us to do top five,” Jake said. “We’ve been working hard on set ups. (During the class), I was thinking about making sure his feet are square and his ears are up and forward.”

To Jake’s surprise, he and Maurice won performance halter geldings, then they returned for the Champion of Champions drive.

“I was thinking one of the more halter horses would win, because Maurice is more like an English horse,” Jake said. “I personally just do halter with him, but my mom and sister ride him in hunter under saddle and equitation.”

Betta Believe It is a 2012 brown gelding by Too Sleepy To Zip and out of Only Showin Off by Invitation Only. He was bred by Anthony and Christina Curiale of Swedesboro, New Jersey.

“I like him a lot,” Jake said. “I like how he’s sweet and loves people a lot. He’s always happy. I like how tall he is and his ears.”

Just a few hours later, Julie joined Jake as the Amateur Champion of Champions. Julie led Maurice to the gold title in amateur performance halter geldings and then won the Champion of Champions drive.

“We all have our individual horses, but this horse – we’re grooming him to be Brooke’s 14-18 horse,” Julie said. “(AQHA Professional Horseman) Kelly McDowall found him for us. He went to see (Maurice) without us, and once he got to ride him, he called me and said, ‘We have to buy this horse.’ That’s how we ended up with him a year and four months ago.”

Maurice had never been in a show ring before the Jolstads bought him, but they have fixed that situation.

“He had zero points, and Kelly has trained him in everything,” Julie said.

Jake led Maurice in two classes and Julie led him in two, so keeping his attention was a challenge, she said.

“We crinkled treats, and then he gets distracted and then he gets bored, then he leans on you,” she says with a laugh. “I sweat the entire time. But he gets lots of treats.”

Maurice has been known to nosh on bananas, apples, carrots and peppermints, Julie said.

“He’s pretty easygoing,” Julie said, “Calm and easy to take care of. Jamie Lou Devencenty says he’s like a Greek god: dark, tall and handsome with a beautiful face. He’s an overall gorgeous horse.”