18-year-old Katelyn Schultz just won her third golden trophy of the AQHA Youth World Show, and she’s not done yet! Katelyn rode her 11-year-old gelding, Dance Somemore, aka “Connor,” to win L2 Hunter Under Saddle. Earlier in the show, this team also won L2 Equitation Over Fences and L2 Hunter Hack. But, that’s not all. She made every L3 finals she entered: Hunter Under Saddle, Equitation, Equitation Over Fences, Hunter Hack, Working Hunter, and Jumping.
She made it back to the finals in so many classes that she might not be able to compete in them all, due to a scheduling conflict. “I have the 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle and 14-18 Equitation Finals this afternoon, back to back, and the L2 Equitation is going on in the other arena, so I may not be able to do the last class.”
That’s quite an accomplishment considering that Katelyn has some unique challenges to overcome where her vision is concerned. “I love Over Fences. I used to only show in all-around classes. He’s only my second Over Fences horse. It’s so much fun and different every time you go in. It’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy it. I have no depth perception, which is a challenge for Over Fence classes. I was born without it. The way I get it done is with a really good horse and really good trainers.”
This is Katelyn and Connor’s last time competing at the Youth World Show, because she’s headed off the college at The University of Tennessee-Martin in the fall, but not before she gets to go to the Congress, which she’s very excited about. “I get to go to the Congress! Because of school, I didn’t think I would get to go and that this would be my last show as a youth.”
Katelyn and Connor compete under the guidance of Linda Crothers and Chuck Briggs, who she says are always ready with helpful tips before she goes in the show pen. “This is my fifth Youth World with Chuck and Linda. They tell me to ride my plan and make sure to ride smart. They are always there giving me little tips before I go in. I live in Wisconsin, so I don’t get to ride much, but I work really hard when I get down to Texas”
With his Hot N Blazing bloodlines, Connor clearly specializes in English classes, but Katelyn is the first to recognize that it’s not very typical, nowadays, to have a horse that can compete successfully in both under saddle and over fence classes. “It’s not super typical to do extremely well in Hunter Under Saddle with an Over Fences horse, so I’m extremely lucky. He started off as a Hunter Under Saddle horse with Leslie Lange, and he did very well as a younger horse. This is my third Youth World with him. He’d been jumping just a couple months before I bought him.”
Thanks to Linda, Katelyn discovered a little trick that she thinks gives Connor an edge. “Before I went in for Equitation Over Fences, Linda gave him an idea cream cone, because I told her that he liked ice cream. So that’s kind of his thing now! I didn’t give him one before this class, but Chuck had one and he was staring it down! Before the next finals, he will for sure get one.”
The Reserve Champion was Isabella D’Onofrio with N A Heartbeat. Third was Madison Scheiner with Cloaked In Honor. Fourth was Caroline Nielson with BMQ The Jig Is Up. Fifth was Maddie Passmore with Mist My Invitation.