By Delores Kuhlwein
Congratulations to Alicia Ritsema, now the proud owner of This Cowboys Mine, by The Lopin Machine and out of Suddens Leading Lady.
“Cowboy,” raised by Paula Czapko, and out of her beloved mare, Suddens Leading Lady (RL Best of Sudden), proved to be a success at age two with Aaron Moses in 2021, with titles such as the NSBA High Point 2 YO Western Pleasure Horse, followed by titles of the WEC Champion in the 2 Year Old Maiden Western Pleasure, and a 3rd place in the Congress 2YO Western Pleasure Stakes.
Then at the 2021 AQHA World Championship Show, he earned a Bronze Championship with Andy Cochran.
He continued his winning ways as a three and four-year-old, with a Top 10 in 2022 in the 3YO Limited Non Pro with Paula, and a Top 10 in the 3YO Open Western Pleasure with Cody Conover at The Sudden Impulse.
This year at Sun Circuit, he won the L3 Junior Pleasure Circuit Champion with Aaron, and the 3 & 4YO Ltd and Open Non Pro Champion and Circuit Champion L2 Select Western Pleasure with Paula.
At the 2023 NSBA World Championship Show, Cowboy and Aaron won the $25,000 Limited Horse Open Western Pleasure – and these are all just some of his accolades.
The combination of his presence as a pleasure horse and his outstanding character won Alicia Ritsema over. “He’s a big strong horse and he moves so effortlessly. He loves to do his job and take care of his people,” she explains.
Paula, who raised Cowboy from an embryo, says he’s also quite a comedian. In fact, one of her favorite photos of Cowboy depicts him holding a Gatorade. “He wanted a beer,” she says, “but he settled for Gatorade.”
Alicia says, “I would like to thank Aaron and Courtney for finding me such a great horse and my parents for all their support in helping me follow my dreams. I would also like to thank Paula for selling him to me. I know how much he means to her and I’m grateful to be a part of his career.”
The plan is for Alicia to show at Congress in the Maturity Non-Pro and the Amateur Western Pleasure. “We also plan to show at the AQHA World Show in the Amateur Western Pleasure!” Alicia says, as well as those respective classes in 2024, and Cowboy will continue in Aaron’s program. “Aaron has had Cowboy since he was two, so I think it’s really cool that such a special horse gets to stay in his barn,” adds Alicia.
Since Congress will be their big debut, the anticipation building is tremendous. Alicia says, “Cowboy always gives 100% when he shows, so I’m very excited to show him!”
Equally fun is the fact that their first photo taken together will be revealed in the upcoming Congress issue of The Equine Chronicle! Stay tuned to watch Alicia fulfill her dreams beginning on the pages of the EC soon!