Returning champ, Olivia Tordoff, and her 7-year-old gelding, Too Blazin Cool, proved they had the stuff to take the golden globe once again this year at the AQHA Youth World Show in Hunter Under Saddle. Despite “Willy’s” consistency, Olivia admits to feeling some nerves.
“When I was trotting down the chute, my stomach was so upset. I was so nervous. I felt like I had something to prove. Also, I felt a little nervous, because I hadn’t shown to some of these judges before, which was really exciting, especially to have a speciality judge out there. To be able to do well means the world to me.”
Olivia and Willy have a history of doing well in their home state of Ohio as well, having won numerous Congress Championships last year. “The biggest one that means the most to me was the Maturity Non Pro Hunter Under Saddle, because I’ve done well in the Limited, but it’s hard competing against the big amateurs, as a youth.”
Today, Olivia competed against her peers and fellow AQHA youth members. She is the AQHA Youth President this year, which was another big goal. “It was definitely a little bit overwhelming at first, but the youth advisors do such a great job of keeping everything organized. We have a strict schedule that everyone follows, which is so helpful. It was always something I wanted to do. When I attend my first YES convention, it was my biggest dream, but I was a little unsure that it was possible.”
Olivia says this will likely be Willy’s final AQHA Youth World appearance in Hunter Under Saddle. Beginning next year, they plan to start focusing on more events like Equitation and Western Riding. “Although he’s really good at Hunter Under Saddle, he is an American Quarter Horse and is very versatile. I think there is a lot more horse in there that we haven’t tapped into yet. He really loves changing leads.”
Olivia also has a new horse, Lookin Lazy, aka “Mariah,” that she returned to the Horsemanship semifinals with this year, alongside her little sister, Alexia, with her horse, Blazing Hot and Gold. Both young ladies compete under the guidance of Brent Tincher and Dale Hamilton.
The Reserve Champion in Hunter Under Saddle was Taylor Searles with She Says Aloha. Third was Natalie Vargo with Dancing N The Dirt.