Earlier today, we had the chance to chat with Alexandrea Albright, who won her first AQHYA World Champion title in Showmanship. This afternoon provided another exciting first for Abbi Lynn Demel as she won her first and last AQHYA World Championship title in Horsemanship aboard There Goes My Zipper.
19-year-old Abbi is competing in her last AQHYA World Show this year aboard her trusty partner “Oops.” “If you knew his personality, that name fits him perfectly,” she says. “He’s always laid back and happy, and he always has his ears up when you go up to his stall.”
Abbi has competed under the guidance of Barbie and Chad Evans since she was just eight years old. Currently, she also competes on the Baylor Equestrian team in Texas. Heading into this evening’s event, Abbi had a plan, and that was to go all out, because she had nothing to lose. “I feel like that’s definitely the type of rider I am,” she says. “For the past few years, I’ve always gone all out. It’s still hard to believe it actually happened!”
Part of Abbi’s preparations for this evening’s finals began months ago, as she worked on perfecting the cadence of her gelding’s extended trot. “His extended trot is really rough. People have always said that if he was a smooth trotter, it would be so much prettier. That’s something we’ve really worked hard on this summer. My coach [at Baylor] Cindy Walquist helped me throughout the year and harped on me all the time. That really helped a lot too. I also focused on finishing his spins in this pattern. Sometimes, he likes to lean through his turns and not stand up straight.”
When it came time to announce the results, it was clear that Oops was very excited to receive his awards. According to Abbi, that’s typical behavior. “When I placed in Western Riding last year, he was the same way. He just cannot stand still. That’s one thing that’s always been hard for us; he’s spooky. I always have to be on my toes. Even stuff you wouldn’t expect a horse to spook at, he will find.”
The Reserve World Champion in the class was Alexandrea Albright with Best Gift Yet. Placing third was Clara Johnson with The Maintenance Man. Fourth was Klay McDowall with Certainly A Blaze. Rounding out the top five was Haley Riddle with Good Miss Sunny. Sixth place Harley Huff with GW Jack Bar. Seventh place was Marley Mainwaring with HF Tahnee Too. Eighth place was Giorgia Grace Meadows with OK Pulse Me. Ninth was Ellexxah Maxwell with Zips Bossy Chip. Tenth place was Kara Vickery with Strawberri Wine.