KM Flat Out The Best Wins First Pleasure Versatility Challenge
First Pleasure Versatility Challenge draws 15 entries.
November 10, 2018
The American Quarter Horse Journal
A 2015 red roan mare by VS Flatline and out of KM Best To Be Slow by RL Best Of Sudden, “Lily” placed first in the conformation and third in the pattern and western pleasure sections of the event. She is owned by Susan Johns of Scottsdale, Arizona
“Everyone worked as a team – that was my favorite part about it,” said AQHA Professional Horsewoman Deanna Searles, who showed the mare. “You know, it was fun. All of us went out there and tried on the young ones that weren’t broke at it. It was fun. The camaraderie of all of the trainers getting together was the best part.”
Lily was started by AQHA Professional Horseman Rusty Green, and Katie Green started KM Flat Out The Best.
“She is just a cutie,” Deanna said of the mare. “She tried – she was learning all of this stuff. Rusty and Katie Green started her, (and) they did the pleasure. We did the lead changes on her; Rusty and Katie were doing the lead changes on her. She has trail started already. It’s a lot, but it was slow, and she’s pretty easygoing.”
The inaugural Pleasure Versatility Challenge, brought to you by Terry Bradshaw Quarter Horses and hosted by the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show, featured 15 3-year-old American Quarter Horses in a head-to-head versatility competition. The total purse for the event was $40,950, with first place paying $8,190 and 10th place paying $1,638.
The horses were shown sequentially in three classes: versatility pattern, sponsored by Cimarron Trailers, which counted 40 percent toward the overall score; western pleasure, sponsored by The Equine Chronicle, which counted 40 percent; and conformation, also sponsored by The Equine Chronicle, which counted 20 percent.
In addition to the cash awards, the winners of the pattern and western pleasure classes received show headstalls, and the winner of the conformation class received a show halter, all provided by the official tack sponsor of the Pleasure Versatility Challenge, Blue Ribbon Custom Tack. In addition to these class awards, the reserve winner in the western pleasure received a Chuck Letchworth Bits & Spurs show bit. The overall Pleasure Versatility Challenge champion received a custom-made champion belt buckle, provided by Holly Spagnola Design.
In a last-minute surprise, Blue Ribbon Custom Tack and Tate and Jamie Oakley donated a Blue Ribbon work saddle with a Shane Dowdy tree to the 11th-place horse and rider, which was Legacy Made and Jason Gilliam of Greensburg, Indiana.
The American Quarter Horse receives wide acclamation as the most versatile breed in the world. Undeniably, two of the most important disciplines of the American Quarter Horse are conformation and western pleasure. Two highly sought after talents of an all-around horse are the ability to change leads and navigate trail poles. Blend these four components into an event, and you have the Pleasure Versatility Challenge. The event highlighted a well-conformed, athletic horse that is a pleasure to ride. With a solid base of proper training, that horse can go on to become world-caliber in a number of classes – eventually reaching the level of the highest performing AQHA all-around horses.
The objectives of the event were to:
1) Promote superior American Quarter Horses that demonstrate form to function, quality forward movement and trainability.
2) Promote two fundamental AQHA classes, conformation and western pleasure, that serve as the foundation of the American Quarter Horse breed, as well as a pattern class that demonstrates some of the most basic desirable aspects of the AQHA all-around horse.
3) Promote a Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show entertainment value event for spectators.
4) Promote a showcase for potential private-treaty sale opportunities as an AQHA all-around horse.
5) Promote an event that is beneficial to the horse industry.