By: Brittany Bevis
The Roberts family’s five-year-old mare, Only A Breeze, has had a banner year in 2014 scoring multiple titles at the AQHA Select World Show and All American Quarter Horse Congress. This afternoon, she wrapped up the show season on a high note by being named the World Champion in Junior Western Pleasure with trainer Rusty Green in the saddle. Coming in Reserve was Shane Dowdy with Chasing A Dream. Rounding out the top three was Katie Green with Hot Lopin Goodbar.
The newly crowned World Champion commented on the quality of horses in today’s finals describing the high level of competition as “amazing.” An interesting fact about the group of 15 finalists is that six of the horses have bloodlines that can be traced back to Invitation Only, AQHA’s new #1 All-time Leading Sire, in their first two generations. Only A Breeze, aka “Abby,” is by Invitation Only and out of Zippin The Breeze.
Since Abby has been consistently ranking at the top of the leaderboard at multiple major events this year, we asked Green how he goes about preparing a horse to peak at, not one or two, but three elite horse shows throughout the show season.
“You just have to read the horse a little bit,” Green says. “I prepared her a little bit different the last two days here than I did at the Congress. You can’t max them out that much. I kind of changed it up a little bit here, and she popped right back up to where I wanted her.”
“When it’s working good, you have to stay at that level. When you’re at the Congress, and you’re getting 70% or 80%, you have to stay there. [The World Show] is a different place to prepare a horse at, so you can do a little more. She showed really good today; that’s the best she’s shown probably in about a year and a half.”
Next year, the Roberts family hopes to select a few stallions to breed to Abby in the hopes of creating future Western Pleasure winners.
“I would hope that she could work on two or three different horses,” Green says. “She is tight enough and she is built good enough that you could probably do it a few different ways, and we will do something different every time.”
Abby is done competing here at the World Show, but over the next few days, The Green Team will be competing in 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure, Senior Western Riding, and Senior Western Pleasure.
Junior Western Pleasure–
1-Only A Breeze/Rusty Green
2-Chasing A Dream/Shane Dowdy
3-Hot Lopin Goodbar/Katie Green
4-It’s Best To Be Hot/Jay Starnes
5-Suddenly A Cool Lady/Gil Galyean
6-Cee Money/Brad Ost
7-OHK Goodbars Krymsun/Andy Cochran
8-Cool Poco Dot/Cleve Wells
9-Krymsun Truffle/Adam Wainscott
10-Touched Softly/Kyle DeFreece