Top AQHA Ranching Heritage-Bred Youth

Caleigh Iwanski is proving that AQHA Ranching Heritage-Bred horses can be all-arounders, too.

Caleigh Iwanski and SF Jack Pot were the top youth AQHA Ranching Heritage Bred team at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.

Caleigh Iwanski and SF Jack Pot were the top youth AQHA Ranching Heritage Bred team at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Youth exhibitor Caleigh Iwanski of Stockton, Kansas, bought SF Jack Pot two years ago when she was looking for a good step-up horse for her as she continued competing in ranch riding – her favorite class.

The bonus?

SF Jack Pot is AQHA Ranching Heritage Bred, and on April 10, Caleigh and her gelding were honored as the top-placing Ranching Heritage-Bred youth team at the 2018 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships.

“We found him in a sale,” Caleigh said. “One of my trainer’s friends had him. They thought he might be a potential ranch horse and that he could do pretty good if we got him going. I didn’t know about him being Ranching Heritage-eligible until after we bought him. It was just a bonus when we were getting a great horse.”

SF Jack Pot, 2011 red roan gelding by Boonlight Wilson and out of Colonel Miss Jack by Colonel Boots Bar. He was bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Michael and Kim St. Clair of Kahoka, Missouri.

Caleigh and “Husker” were fourth in Level 1 youth ranch riding. They also entered performance halter geldings and B&W Rookie horsemanship.

“He’s a bit of an all-arounder,” Caleigh said. “He has been such a blessing to us. He has been such a great step-up horse.”

Caleigh has been competing in ranch riding for four years.

“It is definitely my favorite class,” she said. “It’s what I started with and that’s one of my first AQHA classes. I like getting to show a horse and go a little faster and let him express his natural gaits. There are so many different types of ranch horses out there.”

This year was Caleigh’s second time to compete at the AQHA Central, and she made a point of listening to the Ride the Pattern clinic with AQHA Professional Horseman Bud Lyon.

“It always helps me to see a pattern and see it run multiple times,” Caleigh said. “It helps you learn where you need to place the pattern in the pen.”

Last year’s competition helped Caleigh prepare for this year, she said.

“It was fun to get down here,” she said. “I learned how to use this big pen and what it feels like to walk in the alley and feel the pressure of all the lights.”

Caleigh hopes to return in 2018, if she’s still eligible.

“I never imagined this horse could do what he’s done and I’m so excited for his future,” she said. “I definitely need to thank my parents. “They’ve supported me through everything, taken part in the sweat and tears it’s taken to get this horse off the ground and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God that he gave me them. My trainers have strengthened me so much as a rider and a person since I have been with them. Craig, Rosanne, Ryan and Lahrea Cole of Cole Training all deserve huge thanks for everything they do. Lastly, I would like to thank all of my friends and barn family. I don’t know if I could get through any show without them there to share laughs, advice and work!”

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders have been AQHA members for more than 10 years, and they breed Quarter Horses for use on ranches. Horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible for special prizes, such as top horse at selected shows, and AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges. For more, go to www.aqha.com/ranching.