By: Brittany Bevis
This evening’s Hunter Under Saddle finals crowned two new World Champions at the AQHA Youth World Show. First, Claira Bingaman rode A Blazen Asset to win 13 and Under Hunter Under Saddle. The Reserve Champion was Violet Shetler with Be Al Righteous. Third was Emma Gore with Assets Agenda. Fourth was Kaylynn Heitman with Hunting Blue Skies. Fifth was Sydney Sargent with Lazy Lopin Guy.
In 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle, Alessandra Ehrle rode Talk Southern To Me, aka “Puddin,” to win their first World Championship title. 18-year-old Alessandra and her 4-year-old gelding came to the Youth World Show last year and made it back to the Level 3 finals and placed in the top ten of the Level 2. “He was still really young then, and we were just starting to figure things out. I knew we had a good run today, but it was definitely a shock.”
“When they hit fourth, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is happening.’ Then, they got to third and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I got a trophy.’ I’ve always wanted one. When they said number 172, it didn’t register to me that was second place!”
Assisting Alessandra and Puddin with preparations for today’s finals were their trainers, Sara Simons and RJ King. “At the L1 Championships, for every class I won, RJ said I could have ice cream. I wonder how much ice cream this will get me!”
Alessandra will have a few more opportunities to rack up ice cream points, because she plans to compete in Level 2 Hunter Under Saddle and Level 2 and 3 Equitation. Although she enjoys competing in Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle is Alessandra’s favorite class. “He’s incredible. He has such a good feel. Just his way of going is so soft. Compared to my last horse, he’s a dream to ride.”
The Reserve Champion was Olivia Tordoff with Too Blazin Cool. Third was Lauren Raad with Hotforyourhonor. Fourth was Olivia Koontz with Zippin Hot Harley. Fifth was Nya Kearns with BMQ Stop For Traffic.