By: Brittany Bevis
APHA horse trainers, Chad and Shane Christensen, are faced with an interesting predicament this holiday season. How do you fit a horse under the Christmas tree?
Two new additions to the Christensen Show Horses Team have joined the group just in time for the holidays. Although these brightly “colored” gifts might have come a week before Santa is set to make his official arrival, that doesn’t damper the excitement a bit.
Receiving a horse or a pony for Christmas is a wish that can be found at the top of many a child’s Christmas list. Although they’re a little past the point of writing letters to Santa, Masters Amateur competitors, Robin Chouteau and Bonnie Painter, were rewarded for their good behavior with two outstanding mounts for the 2014 show season: Sexy and Sensational and Friends With Benefits.
The first lucky lady to receive her early Christmas present is Robin Chouteau, who will be piloting Sexy and Sensational in Masters Amateur All-Around events in the New Year.
“Robin is a new client to the barn, but we’ve known her for a while,” Chad Christensen says. “She did Appaloosas before and competed in halter and all-around classes. She has placed at the Appaloosa World Show in halter and all-around events.”
“This is her first Paint horse. She’s always shown Appaloosas, and she wanted to do something different.”
Sexy and Sensational, aka “Maddie,” is the multiple World and Reserve World Champion mare that was formerly exhibited in Classic Amateur events by Jennifer Schexnayder.
“We bought her just last week,” Christensen says. “We brought her home from the World Show as soon as Jennifer was done showing her, and we tried her out. Robin is really excited. She will show in Masters All-Around and Novice Amateur, so she will do everything from showmanship to trail.”
The next lucky lady to receive a horse for Christmas is Bonnie Painter, who will pair up with Friends With Benefits to compete in Masters Amateur All-Around events as well.
Friends With Benefits, aka “Morris,” was recently crowned the World Champion in Junior Western Riding and the Reserve World Champion in Green Trail with Sara Simons in the saddle at the 2013 APHA World Show.
“I sold Bonnie another horse a couple of years ago, and she called and asked if I could find her another horse to do the all-around with,” he says. “She came up right after the World Show and bought him too.”
“She was looking for one that could do all of the classes. She wanted a horse that was world caliber, and Morris won the Western Riding and was Reserve in the Trail this year.”
Morris will be making the trip to the Oklahoma Holiday Classic with the Christensen clan. However, both Painter and Chouteau will save their debuts with their new horses for later in the 2014 show season.
“The Houston Livestock Show and the Waco, TX show will probably be their first ones,” he says. “That way, they have a few months to get with the horses.”
Although Christensen is happy to play Santa, assisting with the delivery of Morris and Maddie to their new homes, he is the first to admit that he was never lucky enough to receive a horse for Christmas. However, that is something he has certainly made up for with his own daughter, Cara.
“I never got a horse for Christmas! My dad almost had a heart attack when I gave Cara a horse for Christmas,” he jokes. “She got a horse for Christmas and a horse for Easter!”
Congratulations to both of these lucky ladies on their new mounts. We look forward to seeing them in the show pen in 2014.