By: Brittany Bevis
The returning champion from 2017 was named victorious once again in L2 Senior Western Riding at the 2018 AQHA World Show. Anthony Montes was in the saddle of Absolute Best Asset to take home the win for Taylor and Elizabeth Brown. Just recently, Elizabeth showed “Axle” to place third in Select Western Riding and Reserve in Novice Amateur Western Riding at the Congress just two weeks ago.
Axle has been with Anthony and Bruce Vickery for the past three years. “He came with an excellent foundation, and we put the finishing touches on his Western Riding Skills,” Anthony says. “I love the way he holds his head and neck. He’s very forward moving and swings through his shoulders for the change.”
When Anthony and Bruce are back home on their Texas ranch, they work to make sure a horse is comfortable going through each Western Riding pattern. They also incorporate plenty of stops and changes in motion to prevent the possibility for anticipation in the show pen.
“It’s a really hard class when you get into the intricacies of it. You have to really study it and know it’s all about timing, feel, and rhythm. The hardest thing is developing timing and making sure your horse is in the correct position for the change.”
Despite other horses having difficulty competing directly after the cattle classes, Anthony says Axle wasn’t phased. “Axle felt good today in the warm up pen. You know, it was a little tough showing some of them today after the Working Cowhorse classes were in here. I’d gone earlier on some of my other horses, and they’d gotten tight walking through the chute and smelling the cows, but I never once felt like he did. He stayed relaxed and did his job. I was super happy with him.”
Anthony has won L2 Senior Western Riding twice here at the World Show, but his ultimate goal is to win Level 3 Senior Western Riding. He will get his chance later this week with Axle once more.
“In the past, when I was learning how to do Western Riding, I never had the best horse. It was usually taking off or bucking, but it’s always been my favorite event and one I want to learn to master.”