A Judge's Perspective: Rookie Amateur Ranch Riding

AQHA Judge Jackie Krshka talks through her scoring of the winning Rookie amateur ranch riding go at the 2017 AQHA West Level 1 Championships.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Tracy Brown had dibs on Sexy Sox N Chocolate from the day he was born.

“I have had him for nine years. A good friend of mine, Charlene Green, foaled him out at her house and I was there, and I said to myself that if I ever had the chance to own a horse this nice, I would just be on Cloud 9,” Tracy says. “When he was 4, (Charlene) knew I was in love with him and she said, ‘We’re going to sell him, are you interested?’ ”

Tracy whipped out her checkbook and paid for “Stanley” on the spot.

The now-12-year-old gelding is by Zips Chocolate Chip and out of A Dream Invitation by Invitation Only.

“He is marked a lot like (his sire),” Tracy says.

She even attended the 2017 AQHA Convention where Zips Chocolate Chip was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“Stanley started out as a western pleasure horse and has evolved into kind of an all-around – ranch riding, showmanship, some pleasure,” Tracy says. “He’s a great horse. He has a one-of-a-kind personality. He’s pretty and he has a lot of appeal. He challenges me. He’s kind of a push-button horse when he wants to be, but he does challenge me and he has made me a better rider.”

The Butte, Montana, horsewoman works for the state of Montana and has had horses since she was 3.

“I have done all kinds of events, I started out showing POAs in Colorado, moved to Montana and went to college, and just decided to get back into showing after school, and Quarter Horses were the best fit for me,” she says. “I do all the events – he’s not a strong English horse – but he will go English.”

This was her second trip to the AQHA West Level 1 Championships.

“I like the camaraderie. I really kind of amazed at how nice most people are, and they’ll visit with you, they’re all a little nervous, but they’re all happy to be here,” she says.

Tracy and Stanley won Rookie amateur ranch riding and finished fifth in Select ranch riding.

“So we still have that goal to achieve, now that we have won Rookie ranch riding,” she adds.