After nine long years of trying, Tatum Keyes Richey has finally accomplished her long-time goal of winning a golden globe in 14-18 Trail at the AQHA Youth World Show. Tatum was so overcome with emotion that she hopped off her horse, Ode To Zippo, and gave him a big, bear hug before remounting to ride up and accept her prize.
17-year-old Tatum and 15-year-old “Odie” have been a team for ten years. “He’s an old man, but I love him with all my heart. We’ve tried so hard. I got a globe in 2017, and last year I was 8th. I’ve come so close so many times, and this year is so super special, because I’ve worked the hardest I ever have.”
“There are amazing horses in there; so, when they were counting down, I was just happy to be there. I was just shocked. I had to give him a hug, twice! I just couldn’t help it.”
Guiding Tatum and Odie through preparations for today’s pattern were her trainers, Bruce Vickery and Anthony Montes. This is their third year together. “When I started, Nancy Cahill taught me all the basics. I wouldn’t be here without her. Bruce and Anthony have taught me how to roll my horse over the poles and give him the extra oomph we needed. He’s always been a great horse, but they’ve taught me how to finesse everything and give that little extra.”
“I loved my extended trot in today’s pattern, because I really pushed him out there. I think my best maneuver was the walk-overs. I have a lot of trouble with them all the time. But, this time, he picked his feet up, put his ears up, and it was the best.”
Tatum feels the hardest part of today’s pattern was the tight transitions. “It was really tight trotting out of the serpentine and stopping before you got into the box. It was small. You had to say whoa so you didn’t crash into it. That was probably the most difficult part.”
Also here at the show, Tatum competed with her new horse of three months, The Gurl Next Door, and made it back to the semi-finals in Horsemanship. Coming up next, she will take both horses to the NSBA World Show and Quarter Horse Congress.
“This was really special, because I’ve been in that spot before. I was really happy when they got to Reserve, and I just lost it. When they called out the other girl’s number, I just couldn’t believe it.”
“I want to thank God, obviously, because I wouldn’t have Odie without him. I also want to thank my beautiful mom, who has done everything under the sun for me. I wouldn’t be here without her. She is my support system, my best friend, and my number one fan. Also, thank you to Nancy Cahill for teaching me how to ride and Bruce and Anthony for everything.”
The Reserve Champion was Kendalyn Herlocker with Memphis Bound. Third was Alexia Tordoff with Blazing Hot N Gold. Fourth was Emily Maul with Only Temptation. Fifth was Mackenzie Doescher with Figure On Fancy.