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Top 10 Stories of 2018

Filed under: Featured,The Buzz |     

By: Brittany Bevis

The conclusion of a calendar year brings with it a time of reflection. Here at, we like to take this opportunity to look back at some of our most popular stories of the year.

2018’s top 10 stories include the heartwarming tale of a golden oldie making a return to the show pen with a small fry, some big rule changes being passed down from the AQHA and APHA Executive Committees, and the sad news of several losses in our equestrian family.

#10- After Death of Father and Horse in Same Week, There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel For APHA Youth

Starting off the countdown at number 10 is the dually heart wrenching and heart warming story of APHA youth competitor, Olivia Eagles, who not only lost her father, but also her horse during the same week in June of 2018. The double tragedy happened just weeks before Olivia was planning to compete at the APHA Youth World Championship Show. Her fellow barn mates at Simons Show Horses banded together to help, and Jennifer Merchant lent Olivia her horse, Skyfall Sensation, to compete with at the show. Both, Olivia, Jennifer, and trainer, Sara Simons, have all lost their fathers, so it was a very special moment to watch Olivia compete in memory of her Dad aboard “Bond.” Read more about Olivia and her story.

#9- From Skeletons in a Pasture to Being World Show Bound

Our number 9 story is the triumphant tale of a horse named Athena, who was discovered in a pasture among barbed wire, vehicle parts, and discarded horse skeletons. Her journey from a scared and aggressive cast-off to being a World Show contender moved our readers. Read more about Amanda Delgado and her horse, Athenian Lady.

#8- Industry Mourns Passing of Legendary Horseman, Gary Gordon

Continuing the countdown at number 8 is the sad story of the passing of a prominent figure in the equine community in Gary Gordon. The legendary Halter horse breeder and horseman passed away March 27th, 2018, after an extended hospital stay. Known to many as one half of the dynamic duo of “Gary and Linda,” Gary was the owner of Fossil Gate Farms, a family operation that has produced numerous World Champions during a 30-year time period in Argyle, Texas. Read more about Gary. 

#7- Youth World Cut Short Due to CA. Truck and Trailer Accident; Thankfully, No Injuries Sustained

Our number 7 story of 2018 is the frightening tale of a dramatic truck and trailer accident that was caused by a tire blowout on the way to the AQHA Youth World Show in July. One of the horses involved in the accident was Cori Cansdale’s Promotional Asset. He was thankfully unharmed and has since returned to the show pen. Read more about the accident. 

#6- 30-Year-Old Motion By Pro Makes Triumphant Return to Show Pen With Tiny, New Partner, Shayne Gilliam

Our number 6 story is the sweet account of a tiny competitor making the move up from Leadline to Small Fry with a seasoned veteran at the Florida Gold and Gulf Coast circuits last year. Then 7-year-old Shayne Gilliam partnered with 30-year-old AQHA gelding, Motion By Pro, to take on her first year in the big girl division. Read more about Shayne and her golden oldie. 

#5- Ever Wondered How Many Calories You Burn While Riding Your Horse? 

The fact that this story landed in our top 5 is proof that equestrians are not only concerned with the physical health and well-being of their equine counterparts but also their own. Did you know that riding a horse for 45 minutes at a walk, trot, and canter can burn up to 200 calories? A more strenuous activity, like Reining or Cutting, can come out to seven calories per minute. Read more in this study from Texas A&M.

#4- APHA and AQHA Make Changes to Pattern Scoring Systems 

This article appeared in our July/August edition of The Equine Chronicle and quickly skyrocketed to the number 4 spot in our countdown because of the far-reaching effects the rule changes would have on both AQHA and APHA breed competition. The switch to a more numerical based system received much positive response from judges and competitors alike. Read more about the changes. 

#3- 2018 Pinto World Show Schedule Online

The fact that the notice about a show schedule being posted online could reach number 3 in our Top 10 stories of 2018 is proof that the show is very popular indeed!

#2- Prayers Needed For Gene Parker Tonight

Sadly, both our number 2 and number 1 stories of the year focused on the passing of some well-loved equestrians in the industry. Following the news that beloved horseman, Gene Parker, had suffered a heart attack in the stands of the APHA World Championship Show this fall, many in the industry gathered together to send up prayers for their fellow competitor. Unfortunately, Gene passed shortly after, but he is remembered fondly by all who knew him. Read more about Gene.  

#1- Industry Mourns Passing of Young Equestrian, Clint Collingsworth

On June 7th, 2018, young trainer and husband, Clint Collingsworth, passed away at his home, leaving behind a large and loving family consisting of parents, mother and father-in-law, grandparents, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and his wife of six years, Alana Brown Collingsworth, in addition to many friends in the horse industry. In addition to being a lifelong horseman and owner/operator of Collingsworth Quarter Horses, Clint was a NSBA World Champion and had several Top 10 finishes at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The news of his death, as well as the deaths of other young equestrians in 2018 shocked the industry. Read more about Clint. 

Well, that’s all folks! From the frightening and even sad to the hopeful and uplifting, our Top 10 stories of 2018 ran the gamut. We’re looking forward to providing you with more great reading material in 2019!

As always, if you have a great story that you think we should cover, email


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