By: Brittany Bevis
Kelsey Jung achieved a longtime dream this morning at the 2019 AQHA World Show when she piloted her 9-year-old gelding, Moonlite Cruiser, to win Amateur Trail and her first World Championship title. Even more amazing is the fact that Kelsey and “Cruiser” haven’t been a team for six months yet. “One of my mom and dad’s clients gave him to me, so it’s something really special,” she says.
While sitting on the rail waiting for the results to be announced, Kelsey knew she had a good run, but since she has a habit of falling in the fourth place spot, she didn’t think she could be with winner. “I just know how tough those horses are. I’ve gotten fourth in Horsemanship in the past, but I always seem to hit fourth. It’s kind of my number. I was sitting there thinking that I was going to get fourth again, but when they kept going, it was unreal. It doesn’t feel like real life.”
“I knew I had a good go, but you really never know at this horse show. He’s an amazing Trail horse, one of those horses that knows how to do everything, so I was super nervous, because I know how good he is and how good he could be. I just needed to get out of his way so he could do his thing.”
The night before, Kelsey and her father took to the practice pen and made a plan for today’s class. It involved working on a skill Kesley admits she has trouble with- patience. “My dad and I went out there and made sure I was slow, easy, and patient. There was a lot of room to mess up, especially in the back up, which was super tight. I had to take a deep breath and let everything come to me. I’m super bad at that, because I’m impatient, but it was one of those things I forced myself to do.”
“I think I really plussed the beginning. I think I plussed my left lead to my rollback. It was very flowy and pretty, definitely some of his best lope overs. But that serpentine trot really scared me in the practice, but he took it well.”
Because Kelsey comes from a horse training family, she has grown up with the good fortune of having a professional eye helping to keep her to the right track. She credits her family with helping to keep her grounded.
“I know I get super serious and a bit intense. They’re good about keeping me off that. However, this was a different morning. It was one of those things where I was going to go after my personal best. My mom and dad have always taught me to try to be better than I was the time before. My dad has always told me to be ten points better than everyone else and that’s all you can do. You can’t make them question if you’re the winner or not. I went out there with that mentality. My brother, Holden, has been working with Cruiser since he was a young horse, so his being so good in Trail has a lot to do with him.”
Reserve was Emma Brown with Some Hot Potential. Third was Angela Wade with A Soxy Dream. Fourth was Scott Reinartz with Investin A Goodbar. Fifth was Taylor Brown with Absolute Best Asset.