Happy Birthday, Sheila

South Dakota horsewoman Sheila Mundahl-Prins celebrates her 50th birthday in style at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.

Sheila Prins of Sisseton, South Dakota, celebrated her 50th birthday at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City with Mosly Invited. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Sheila Prins of Sisseton, South Dakota, celebrated her 50th birthday at the 2017 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City with Mosly Invited. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Sheila Mundahl-Prins arrived in Oklahoma City ready to celebrate.

She arrived with a new horse and the lessons learned during the 2016 Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships.

“It was learning how the bigger shows (go),” she says. “And how to handle yourself in a crowded show ring and how to stay in your position.”

And at the end of the day April 13 – Sheila’s 50th birthday – she proudly clutched a finalist medallion.

“I’m so proud of you,” said her trainer, AQHA Professional Horsewoman Danielle Burns of Omaha, Nebraska, after the ride. “You did so well.”

Sheila competed in B&W Rookie amateur hunter under saddle with Mosly Invited, a 2012 buckskin gelding by Hot By Invitation and out of Mos Divine by Invested Dimension. “Harry” was bred by Nicole Walden of Princeton, Texas.

“Mostly he’s Harry,” Sheila says. “Sometimes he’s Harold.”

The 2017 Farnam Central was Sheila’s second show with Harry, but from the first ride, they had a connection.

“It was so nice – he was trying so hard when we were trying to figure each other out,” she says.

Sheila’s 2016 experience and her connection with Harry came into play during the finals of Rookie amateur hunter under saddle. During the canter, an exhibitor came off, and her horse took the opportunity to tour the arena solo. All the other Rookies and their horses stopped in place and waited until the stewards caught the loose horse.

“We actually had a good canter going, and I said, ‘No, we’ll be OK, because we’ll just stay where we are, and if I remain calm, he’ll remain calm,’” Sheila says.

Sheila, who hails from Sisseton, South Dakota, is from a rodeo background, but she says Harry hasn’t turned a barrel or pushed a cow for her. She’s concentrating on hunter under saddle.

“I started riding in fifth grade with my first pony and progressed from there and did some showing a little bit with my one mare, Shy Detail,” Sheila says. “I took a hiatus and then we came back pretty strong last year and retired her and lucky for me, we found Harry. I like the challenge of hunter under saddle and how you have to stay underneath yourself and keep the horse consistent and together.”

Sheila and Harry are pointing toward the Select division now.

“50. I’m so excited,” Sheila says. “I told my husband I am going to rock 50.”