By: Brittany Bevis
Day 1 of the NSBA World Championship Show classes is proving to be very busy indeed with four different arenas running simultaneously and crowning champions in disciplines ranging from Western Pleasure and Trail to Equitation over Fences and Horsemanship.
Jerry Erickson was the winner of the Working Hunter Derby with AE Hot N Sonny. This 13-year-old gelding is by Sonnys Hot Jazz and has been a part of Jerry’s life for quite some time now. “When he was four, a pretty sharp trainer from Oklahoma City had bought this horse. I had to go back to the stud report to see who the mare was. The first time I saw him, I loved him. I probably sold him three times at least, but I have managed to keep him in the barn each time.”
Jazz’s current owner is Peter Sloane, who has owned him for almost one year to the day. “The owner probably doesn’t want to hear this, but he’s one of those that I hope someday will retire in my pasture. I just love him!” Jerry says.
Peter concurs. “I love the fact that he’s so fluid and loves his job. He’s happy doing it, and he never changes. He’s consistent from when he comes in the pen and goes out. His ears are always up. He’s solid, honest, and happy.”
In the Working Hunter Derby, there was a first round and then a handy round, which provided riders with the opportunity to take jump options for extra bonus points. “He’s got a very long slow-legged canter, and we love that in this division. They cover the ground without their legs getting quick. It’s easy to find where you want to go when every step is the same underneath you.”
The Reserve Champion was Jessica Johnson with Cloaked In Honor. Third was April Speyer with Chosen Honor. Fourth was Jesilyn McCarroll with Get Me To Hollywood. Fifth was Jessica Johnson with DGS Vintage.
Lane Kail won, not only the first, but also the second class of the day- Novice Youth Western Pleasure AND 13 and Under Western Pleasure with A Good N Hot Machine. Lane is just coming off a L2 Championship win and 13 and Under win at the AQHA Youth World. The Reserve Champion was Logan Starnes with Certainly Flatlined. Third was Aiden Cochran with Only A Breeze.
Another fellow AQHA Youth World Champion who is having repeat success at the NSBA World is Sydnie Ochs with No Doubting Me, who won 14-18 Western Pleasure today. Sydnie has won previous NSBA World Champion titles with her former show mare, Invite Only The Best. Although Sydnie was sad to see sell, “No No” is making up for it as an excellent new partner. He was a purchase at the NSBA World two years ago in the Yearling Sale. “Grandma entered me in about every single class we could possibly go in this year, because he’s eligible for all the futurity and maturity money!” she laughs.
Although No No is a bit tired from his week spent in Oklahoma City, he was a trooper in today’s class. “I decided to show off the rail, just because everyone else was on the rail, and I wanted to be different. I pushed him forward a little bit, because I had the room for it. You kind of stick out a little bit when you show off the rail.”
“He’s very tired from the Youth World. It was much different showing him here. In Oklahoma City, I had a little more horse. I was talking to my friend, Erin, the other day and some people win at the Youth World and then come here and don’t win so something goes wrong, so I went in there worried that something was going to happen. Even though he just won at the World, he’s just a horse. That’s what Brian [Baker] always says, that he’s a horse and not a robot.”
The Reserve Champion was Kaitlyn Smith with Southerncomfortzone. Third was Taylor Leone with Sleepin In On Sunday.
Jesilyn McCarroll rode Get Me To Hollywood, aka “JJ,” to win Amateur Equitation Over Fences, her favorite class.
“I think it’s kind of a challenge, and you get to do a lot more technical things. With this horse in particular, I really like Eq Over Fences, because he loves to turn and jump, so it’s a fun class. There are different options, and it tests your skills a little bit.”
Just last night, Jesilyn and JJ placed fourth in the Working Hunter Derby. Up next, they will compete at the AQHA World Show.
Brent Maxwell rode 5-year-old Hil Have a Taco to win 4 & 5-Year-Old Trail offering a bit of redemption from their performance last year.
“Last year, I didn’t have much luck in this arena. I was standing at the gate to go, and it started raining and it was dripping on the judges. They made me wait while they moved the judges, and the water went into the area. I didn’t get past the second obstacle, and he wouldn’t show in here the rest of the horse show.”
However, in today’s class, Taco used his superior maneuvering skills and sharp expression to catch the eyes of the judges. “Probably the most challenging part was the criss cross line, and he was phenomenal there. He’s so handy and has expression. He has a little bit of spook to him, and that edge that really helps him.”
Although it isn’t Taco Tuesday, the Mil Max crew has plans to institute Salsa Sunday in honor of Taco’s win. “I wore my t-shirt today that says, ‘Do It For The Tacos!'”