PHJ release by: Jessica Hein
Top talent was on display at the 2019 APHA Youth World Championship Show, which took place June 24–July 7 in Fort Worth, Texas. Seven Youth exhibitors captured eight all-around and high-point awards, taking home loads of prizes and bragging rights along with plenty of World Show memories. Check out full results online at apha.com/ywcs/results.
All-Around Novice Youth: Taylor Daniel & Who Sez
It only took a few strides for Taylor Daniel to know she and Who Sez would have a spectacular ride through the Novice Youth Western Riding 18 & Under class.
“I rode in, he jogged off really nicely, got over the pole and right when he loped off he curled his neck a bit, I loosened the reins and just thought, ‘This is going to be great,’ ” the 18-year-old from La Mirada, California, said. “I came out of the pen thinking, ‘That was it.’ ”
The self-professed perfectionist often finds small critiques in each of her rides, but she had little to worry about for her and “Howard’s” first—and last—Youth World Show together. The duo teamed up in late 2018, and spend the year riding toward the goal of clinching the All-Around Novice Youth award at the World Show. Smooth rides in Western riding and more made that dream come true, and the team picked up a world championship in Novice Youth 18 & Under Western Riding and reserve world titles in Novice Youth 18 & Under Hunter Under Saddle and Novice Youth 18 & Under Western Pleasure, along with Top 10 awards in other events.
“We made that plan to come here and chase the All-Around Novice Youth title, and we worked hard all year to get ready,” Taylor said. “To come here and actually achieve it is just so cool.”
Who Sez is a 2003 bay overo gelding by HBF Iron Man and out of Achy Breaky Zippo.
Youth 13 & Under: Kaylynn Heitman & Hunting Blue Skies
With a full slate of classes on her docket, covering both Youth 13 & Under and Novice Youth events, Kaylynn Heitman’s goal of buckling in every class was a tall order. And though she fell just a touch short of that ambitious objective, Kaylynn captured a far bigger accolade: the All-Around Youth 13 & Under award.
Returning to the Youth World Show for the second time aboard Hunting Blue Skies, Kaylynn used her dual-division schedule to be extra prepared for her Youth 13 & Under classes.
“This year, I came in with more confidence and knew what to expect,” she said. “I wanted to do better in the Youth classes because it’s my last year in 13 & Under, so if I had a mistake in my Novice classes, I knew how to fix it for the Youth classes.”
The strategy paid off, and the team walked away with World Championships in Youth Showmanship 13 & Under and Youth Trail 13 & Under, a Reserve World Championship in Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 13 & Under and Top Fives in Youth Hunter Under Saddle 13 & Under, Youth Horsemanship 13 & Under, Youth Western Pleasure 13 & Under and Youth Performance Halter Mares. That’s in addition to three more buckles earned in Novice Youth events, too.
Kaylynn added more than $3,000 to her college fund, thanks to the Youth World Show scholarships she earned with “Skye.” With big goals of riding on the Southern Methodist University varsity equestrian team, those funds will be useful. First, though, she’ll need to tackle high school and a move into the Youth 14–18 division—a prospect to which she’s looking forward.
“I’m really excited to move up to 14-18 after how we’ve done this year,” she said.
Hunting Blue Skies is a 2014 gray overo mare by Impulsified and out of Blue Skies Ahead (QH).
All-Around Youth 14–18: Samantha Stubblefield & Even More Sensational
It was love at first ride for Samantha Stubblefield and Even More Sensational, the 2013 bay overo gelding by Zippos Sensation and out of Good Enchantment (QH) she purchased in April of 2018.
“It was an instant match,” the 17-year-old from Montgomery, Texas, said. “Our personalities work well together and ‘Dillon’ tries so hard for me. He’s just so goofy and that’s what I need to not get so serious; Dillon makes showing more fun.”
The duo wasted little time getting up to speed with one another, and their rigorous preparation through the year launched them into their second Youth World Show with the precision and momentum needed to dominate their classes all week long. Together, Samantha and Dillon walked away with World Championship titles in Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under, Youth Trail 18 & Under and Youth Western Horsemanship 18 & Under; Reserve World Championships in Youth Performance Halter Geldings and Youth Western Riding 18 & Under along with multiple other Top Five placings.
Though each win was derived from hours of sweat equity, Samantha says the pinnacle achievement—the All-Around Youth 14–18 Award—was not something she planned.
“[To win this] is insane. It’s something I never really thought would happen,” Samantha said. “Dillon is a great horse, but it’s really hard to win an all-around award because there are horses that go out there and also do events like jumping and barrels. It’s really special that I get to have the honor of winning with just all my all-around classes and my horse.”
All-Around Youth Solid Paint-Bred: Fallon Owen & Sensational Lilo
Fallon Owen of Scurry, Texas, only started riding Sensational Lilo, a 2004 bay solid gelding, four months ago, but the pair bonded almost immediately—with determination and hard work, Fallon and “Lilo” were able to transform into a talented duo in a short period of time. Despite being a new team, Fallon says she was confident in their abilities and partnership going into the World Show.
“Lilo is super laid back and chill,” Fallon said. “No matter what, he always keeps trying and has such a big heart. He didn’t have much of a personality when I first started riding him; I kind of had to get him to come out of his shell, but once I started riding him, his personality came through. Now it’s my favorite thing about him.”
Fallon and Lilo’s bond helped them win almost every class they entered. They earned World Championship titles in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Hunt-Seat Equitation 18 & Under and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Hunter Under Saddle 18 & Under. In the Western classes, they won the Youth Solid Paint-Bred Showmanship 18 & Under, Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Horsemanship 18 & Under and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure 18 & Under, with a Top Five placing in the Youth Solid Paint-Bred Geldings. Three of their World Championships were unanimous under all five judges.
“I knew James Saubolle, my trainer, had Lilo prepared for the patterns and that we were ready,” Fallon said. “I was really looking forward to showing showmanship, because I won the Novice Youth Showmanship here last year with another horse. But I didn’t think we were going to get a high-point—it was a great surprise.”
As for the $2,500 in scholarships that she won, Fallon will put them to good use when she attends Texas A&M University in the fall.
High-Point Walk-Trot: Delaney Good & Kewl Zippin Strider
In 2017, Delaney Good and Kewl Zippin Strider tied for the High-Point Youth Walk-Trot award, but fell short in a tiebreaker. In 2018, she won the coveted high-point award for the division outright; and in 2019, Delaney and “Dewey” repeated their win at their last show together as a team.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Delaney said. “I’m excited to have a new horse and figure out how to work and ride him. But I’m kind of sad because I’ve had Dewey for seven years. It’s amazing that we were able to get this award again at our last show.”
The 11-year-old equestrienne from Boone, Iowa, and the 18-year-old gelding won World Championship titles in Youth Walk-Trot Hunt-Seat Equitation and Youth Walk-Trot Trail, a Reserve World Championship in Youth Walk-Trot Hunter Under Saddle and Top Five placings in Youth Walk-Trot Showmanship and Youth Walk-Trot Western Pleasure. This earned the team 111 points, putting them at the front of the pack for the Youth Walk-Trot division.
“Dewey is super fun to ride and show,” Delaney said. “To get ready for this year’s World Show, we went to some shows in Cedar Rapids and rode at home a lot. My trainer, Shannon Vroegh, coaches me on things I can do better—she helps me a lot.”
Kewl Zippin Strider is a 2003 chestnut overo gelding by LS Legacy and out of Kewl Zippn Rita May (QH).
High-Point English Youth: Ady Kallay & Gotta Be Sensational
You might not know it from just looking, but the rockstar team of Ady Kallay and Gotta Be Sensational often have butterflies fluttering around their tummies before they compete. Once they’re inside the pen, however, the duo settles in, focusing on the task at hand and their shared trust in one another to push those feelings aside and lay down championship-worthy performances.
“After a while, when we’re doing a pattern or showing on the rail, they just sort of go away,” Ady said about her nerves. “You never know [how you’ll do] until you try. The World Show is just for you to have fun and to have new experiences.”
This year, Ady and “Joey,” who she’s been riding for about a year, added jumping to their repertoire, snagging a world championship in Youth Hunter Hack 13 & Under; that was in addition to a World Championship in Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 13 & Under, a Reserve World Championship in Youth Hunter Under Saddle and Top Fives in several other events.
“I just wanted to have a clean ride [in the hunter hack],” said the 12-year-old equestrienne from Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada. “He’s very fun to jump. I didn’t jump before him; this is new to me. It’s fun and I trust him very much, so that makes it easier.”
Their solid efforts in hunt-seat classes rocketed Ady and Joey to the top of the High-Point English Youth list. Though Ady can’t pinpoint a favorite event, she says the partnership she shares with the towering gelding is the best part of all.
“He is like my best friend and I love him very much. He’s a very hard worker and he’ll do just about anything I ask,” she said.
Gotta Be Sensational is a 2008 chestnut overo gelding by Zippos Sensation and out of Unlaced Opinion.
High-Point Western Youth & High-Point Power Performance Youth: Sydney Shaw & Gay Bars Cat
“Don’t joke about that,” said Sydney Shaw, when she found out she’d captured the show’s Youth Power Performance and High-Point Western Youth awards—and the two saddles that came along with them. The pair of awards weren’t on Sydney’s radar at all, and to say she was surprised to learn she’d won was an understatement.
“These are the first saddles I have ever won—I never thought I would win two at the same time,” Sydney exclaimed. “It was really exciting, and it makes me so proud of her because she was essentially homegrown. We’ve never sent her to a trainer, so it feels good that it was a family effort—we did it!”
Showing in both ranch and speed events, Sydney and her 2007 red roan tobiano mare Gay Bars Cat racked up 93 points toward the titles. They won Youth Barrel Racing 18 & Under, were Reserve in Youth Ranch Rail Pleasure 18 & Under, third in Youth Pole Bending 18 & Under and fourth in Youth Ranch Riding 18 & Under. Not too shabby, considering the rope-bred “Number One”—whose by Delta Bunnys Cat and out of Gay Bars Dixie—started barrel racing out of convenience and has only shown in the ranch events three times.
“I didn’t start riding her until I was asked to be on the county drill team; those girls barrel race, and we hosted small playdays and events,” Sydney explained. “A week before one of those barrel events, I decided to try it—I didn’t ask her to run hard, and we ran a 19-second run, and that was just with seven days of work!
“There aren’t many horses you can ask to go run barrels and then turn around and show. I do a lot of different things on her, even jumping. I don’t want her to just have one job; I like my horses to be versatile and useable.”
The 18-year-old from Winnie, Texas, racked up nearly $1,200 in scholarships as part of the Youth World Show this year, bringing her grand total from three years of competition to almost $2,000. That will come in handy as she heads to Sam Houston State University in the fall to major in criminal justice. Number One is coming along too—they’ll be joining the rodeo team—and Sydney appreciates the opportunities afforded to her by the little roan mare with the great big heart.
“Partnership is the most important component in being successful with your horse,” she said. “A horse doesn’t want to come out here and do this on their own; they do it because they want to make you happy. That’s what she’s shown me the most.”