By: Brittany Bevis
Now that AQHA has officially released the final standings for 2019, effectively crowning the year-end, All-Around award winners for each division, it’s time to celebrate!
First, we chatted with the Select Amateur Champion- Scott Reinartz with Investin A Goodbar. Then, we spoke with the Amateur Champion- Tony Anderman and Solo Invested. Now, it’s time to touch base with the 14-18 winner- Ellexxah Maxwell and her horse, Zips Bossy Chip.
Ellexxah and “Annie B” have been a mainstay on the AQHA all-around circuit for the past nine years racking up multiple World Championships, Congress Championships, and even AQHA records. In 1987, the AQHA Hall of Fame gelding, Van Decka, cemented his place in the history books by earning more youth points than any other horse in AQHA history- 4,270. For nearly 30 years, no horse and rider team was able to touch it, until September 2017 when Ellexxah and Annie earned 4,280 and took the title. Click here to read more.
In the past, Ellexxah and Annie have won the All-Around title in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. But winning the title in 2019 to cap off her final year in youth wasn’t a particular goal that Ellexxah had in mind.
“To be honest, this title wasn’t something we were working toward,” she says. “Annie and I have been fortunate enough to win this title five times and added this past year to our list. I’m truly honored to have such an amazing partner to show with. This past year, our only goal was to enjoy our last youth year together and really just soak in the entire experience we’ve had as a team.”
To score their final youth all-around title, Ellexxah and Annie competed in classes like Showmanship, Horsemanship, Equitation, Trail, and Performance Halter Mares. During their last year in youth as a team, there were several memorable moments.
“The first took place at the Youth World last year,” Ellexxah says. “Annie came up sore, and I wasn’t sure if she’d ever be able to step in the show pen again. In true Queen B fashion she came back two days later to win a silver globe in Showmanship. The second moment took place at the Congress when Annie and I won our final NYATT class. The best part was that Reserve was one of my close friends, Ryan Flowers, who represented the same team as me. It was truly a unforgettable moment.”
Ellexxah believes that Annie is, and will always be, her one-in-a-million horse; but, the mare is not without her quirks. “She never fails to keep you on your toes. Although, it’s part of her charm. She’s a horse with a lot of heart and never lets you down when you have to step up to the challenge.”
But it wasn’t just her horse that helped Ellexxah reach this milestone. She says the support of her family was essential. “My family played a major role in this title. I would not be where I am today without my support team. They were the constant force that never let me doubt myself and pushed me to trust my partner, no matter what. My friends, my boyfriend, my trainers, and even the team at the Equine Chronicle all played a part in this journey. Having a rock solid support team is the secret to reaching any goal you could dream of.”
“Then, there is Todd Yoder and Beckey Schooler for getting Annie and I together as a team. There is my family for allowing me to pursue my dreams endlessly and always supporting me. There are my friends for always making sure that I had fun at the shows and I wasn’t always working. Also, I have to thank every single trainer who gave pieces of advice, words of encouragement, and supported Annie and I. It certainly takes a village, and I’m certainly grateful for such an amazing year.”
Currently, Ellexxah is busy dreaming up new goals. She recently started showing two, new horses and has her eyes set on the NSBA World and AQHA Amateur World Show. “I recently started showing in Over Fence classes with The Article, aka ‘Ernest.’ I’m excited to see where this new path takes me. I also started showing Best Cowboy Around, aka Jude.’ I started him myself. We’re working on making sure these two are ready for show time when we can all get back to it. Annie is taking a small break before she comes back out to start showing again.”
Stay tuned to EquineChronicle.com to see which All-Around winner will be featured next.