By: Brittany Bevis
The Congress judges certainly put riders through their paces with a tough pattern and even more challenging rail work in the Youth Hunt Seat Equitation 15-18. Once the pattern work had been completed, competitors were asked to two-point at a trot, sit the trot, and post at a trot without stirrups, in addition to other gaits.
In the end, Rachel Tearney and Midnite Invitation came out on top with two firsts, one third, and one fifth under judges Buddy Fisher, Bruce Brown, Mike Hay, and Jennifer Leckey, respectively. Tearney is the first to admit that it’s been a challenging prospect trying to teach “Goober” how to do all-around events. However, she couldn’t be more thrilled that all of their hard work has finally paid off in the form of a Congress Championship title.
“I got him three years ago from a kid who just showed him in pleasure,” Tearney says. “We started doing all-around stuff on him, and, last December, I just started showing him in equitation. It’s been an uphill battle, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m really happy with him. At first, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s tough. It’s not worth it.’ But now all of this hard work has been totally worth it.”
Tearney says Goober definitely lives up to his nickname by partaking in all sorts of crazy antics. He’s something of a class clown.
“He lives up to his name better than any horse ever,” she says. “You will catch him messing with the trash can lid. Today, he tried to take out my hair when I was taking off his leg wrap. He grabbed a wad of it! He is like the funniest horse ever. Even though I get so mad at him sometimes, he makes me happy two seconds later, because he is so funny.”
At the recent AQHA World Show, Tearney and Goober placed fifth in Youth Equitation. Coming into the Congress this year, her plan was to stay focused and try to block out any concerns about living up to expectations.
“I came to the Congress, and I was like, ‘I don’t have to prove myself to anybody,’ ” she says. “I proved to myself that I am good. Now, I just had to show everyone else that I deserved this. I’ve worked so hard, as hard as I can, and I’m so glad that it’s finally paid off.”
Tearney currently competes under the guidance of Chris and Melissa Jones. She has a few additional individuals she’d like to thank as well.
“I’ve been with Chris and Melissa Jones for a year now, and Paula Pray is my hunter trainer,” she says. “My past trainers, Blake and Kendra Weis, taught me everything I know today, and I can’t thank them enough. It’s so much fun. I’m so happy.”
Youth Hunt Seat Equitation 15-18:
1- Midnite Invitation/Rachel Tearney
2-Only In Showbiz/Kaylee Mellott
3- Cowboys R Hot/Paige Stopperich
4-Royality In Blue/Maria George
5-My Chip Of Chocolua/Caitlin Johnson
6-Invitation To Show/Megan Overberg
7-You Bet I’m Sumthin/Elizabeth Bohn
8-Phat Assset/Graysen Stroud
9-My Emmy Award/Danica Weber
10-Rockin Raisinette/Cydney Benes