By: Brittany Bevis
It was a nice and Quiet Ride, or longe rather, that helped Kenny Lakins win the Congress Championship title this evening in the Open Western Yearling Longe Line Stakes. The filly, by Batt Man, was also the Congress Champion in the Non-Pro Western Yearling Longe Line over the weekend with owner, Pete Mead.
“We’ve won about everything this year with her,” Lakins says. “I don’t think we’ve been beaten with her. She won the Non-Pro at the Tom Powers and lost the tie-breaker in the Open. She won the Non-Pro and Open at the NSBA World Show. Pete showed her at a couple of little futurities, and she won all of them. Then, she won the Non-Pro here on Saturday.”
“Today was probably the best go she’s ever given me. It was perfect. Kathie Kennedy had one for Stanley and Susan Scott, and she was first to go. She was wonderful, so I knew that I had to be perfect to beat her. [The mare] was great. I couldn’t of asked her to be any better.”
After her successful longe line career has concluded, Lakins plans to start “Hannah” under saddle with the hopes of turning her into a World Show or Congress western pleasure prospect for next year.
“Quiet Ride is her name, and hopefully that’s what she’ll be next year!” Lakins says. “We ran her through the Tom Powers sale, so she is eligible for the slot deal there. That’s our plan; get her ready and show her at some of the other futurities, maybe the Congress and World Show.”
Although the original intention behind the creation of longe line classes was to provide a safe way to introduce a young prospect to the horse show scene, many trainers frown on taking a longe-liner and turning it into a western pleasure horse, simply because of the potential for early burnout and bad habits. We asked Lakins his opinion on this subject, and he gave some helpful advice for helping to prevent burnout with young show horses.
“I’ve had a lot [of longe-liners] that I’ve ended up riding and showing,” Lakins says. “For instance, Krymsun N Gold [was one]. I didn’t train him for the longe line, but they showed that horse everywhere in the US. I trained him up [under saddle], and he ended up being a great show horse.”
“Hot Rockin Potential won the Trail at the World Show, and all of the pleasure stuff, and he won the Congress in the longe line five or six years ago. Some horse trainers won’t buy one for that reason, but I think it just depends on what hands they are in.”
Lakins explains that Pete Mead relies on his tried and true method of breaking out the longe line prospect, teaching it the basics, and then letting it lead a normal life as a yearling.
“He gets them broke,” Lakins says. “Then, he doesn’t work them but twice a week, or he ponies them. They aren’t in that circle the whole time. I think the ones that don’t make it are because they’ve been run into the ground. So many people in the longe line go overboard. They work them and work them until it makes them crippled. I think you have to use a little common sense. Once you get one broke in the longe line, you don’t need to work it no more. Just turn it out and let it be a horse. You can pony it a little bit, but don’t make it go in that circle all the time.”
“When they are broke for the longe line, they are like pleasure horses. They know their jobs. You just have to get them tired and go show.”
Coming in Reserve in the Open Western Yearling Longe Line Stakes was Kathie Kennedy with Best Game In Town. The winner of the Open English Yearling Longe Line was Wallace Battles with Bouffant. The Reserve Champion in that class was Steve Stephens with Blue I Will Be.
Open Western Yearling Longe Line Stakes-
1-Quiet Ride/Kenny Lakins
2-Best Game In Town/Kathie Kennedy
3-All About You and Me/Jon Berry
4-A Cowgirl Margarita/Dominique Powers
5-Sheza Trophy Wife/Carl Yamber
Open English Longe Line Stakes–
2-Blue I Will Be/Steve Stephens
3-Desert Party/Susan Stocker
4-Hot And Curious/Kathie Kennedy
5-Not Just Anyhoo/Sandra Butler