By: Brittany Bevis
Ryan Cottingim of New Albany, Indiana, achieved a milestone this evening at the 2013 AQHA World Show when he scored a 234.5 aboard MWS Sevens Are Hot to win his first AQHA World Championship title in Senior Trail for owner Sue Sancken. 11-year-old “Gilda” and Cottingim have been a team for eight years now.
“I’ve been at Tommy Sheets Show Horses for eight years, and she was there as a junior horse when I arrived,” Cottingim says. “She’s one that was handed over to me to continue her trail career with. This has been a special horse and a special set of customers to have, so this particular win means a lot to me.”
“It’s so surreal. It means a lot for me to have quite a few mentors [watching]. They have always been supportive and, for them to be here, that meant as much to me as anything.”
Cottingim was one of 23 finalists who qualified to return for the Senior Trail finals this evening. Tim “The Trail Man” Kimura certainly didn’t let this older equine age division off the hook with an easy pattern. However, Cottingim enjoyed the challenge that the complex obstacles and the pattern’s continuous flow provided.
“I think it really was high energy level until the very end,” he says. “Then, you had to quiet your nerves for the sidepass and back through, which is very difficult. You kind of get ramped up on your energy level, and then you have to almost recompose. It was a very challenging course with a lot of tricks, but it was a typical Tim Kimura course that we all enjoy.”
A few of the obstacles that suited Gilda’s style to a tee were the lope-over pinwheels and trot serpentines.
“She can handle challenging lope-overs,” he says. “And I felt very comfortable in our trot serpentines. She’s a fabulous mover, so I think that adds a lot of eye appeal as far as her lope-overs. Pinwheels suit her style, and we had a pinwheel in both directions. They were big and large, so I think that helped us.”
1-Mws Sevens Are Hot/Ryan Cottingim (234 1/2)
2-She Made It Happen/Bruce Vickery
3-Hot Rod Number Eight/Garry McAllister
4-Mystical Machine/Terry Cross
5-Dressed In Gold/Leslie Lange
6-Ima Petite Classic/Charlie Cole
7-Design By Leaguer/Bruce Vickery
8-Ima Tuff Barpasser/Tommy Sheets
9-Heavenly Mac/Charlie Cole,
10-Tamu Zippin Asset/Jeff Mellott
1-Mystical Machine Terry Cross
2-Eyed Be A Pine Bar/Brett Clark
3-Invest In A Machine/Christina Szabados