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It Takes A Horse Show To Raise A Child

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34 – March/April, 2024

By Brittany Vermeer

It’s the way that Josh and Kaleena Weakly grew up, and it’s much the same for their own children, Jax and Knox. However, there are some big differences for today’s horse show kids, and the Weakly family is doing their best to ensure their children stay gracious, grateful, and grounded.

How It All Began

“Both my mother showed and her mother before her,” Kaleena says. “It was the same with Josh’s mom and grandfather. I started out at open shows and worked my way up to AQHA by my last year of youth. I hit the circuit hard when I turned Amateur, and that was 22 years ago now!”

Kaleena and Josh met at a horse show–the February show in Gordyville–during Kaleena’s first year as an Amateur. She was competing in all-around classes, and Josh was campaigning his Halter horses.

“I did really well in a Showmanship class, and he asked me if I was going to haul for the title,” she says. “I hadn’t really thought about it, but that put the idea in my head. We kept seeing each other at shows around the country and, by the end of the year, we’d started dating. I think we both won whatever we were hauling for! That’s going on 19 years now.”

Since that time, Kaleena has partnered up with many well-known, all-around horses, such as Hours Yours and Mine, No Question I’m Lazy, and Don’t Skip My Good Image. Her most recent partner was Definately A First, a 14-year-old gelding who passed away due to an aneurysm at the NSBA World Show last year.

After a long, hard search, she happened upon her new partner, Moonlite Cruiser, another 14-year-old gelding. “We looked for so long, and he finally became available at the Congress,” she says. “Actually, we were interested in him before we bought Definately A First. It was almost meant to be that I was in the market again.”

The recent Florida Gulf Coast Horse Show was their first event as a team, and they competed in Showmanship, Halter, Trail, Western Riding, Equitation, and Horsemanship.

Meanwhile, Josh has led countless Halter champions into the pen. This year, he will be campaigning a yearling colt named De La Cruz, a two-year-old stallion named The Last E, a three-year-old stallion named Hippies and Kowboys, a two-year-old mare named Cake, a three-year-old mare named Sitting O So Pretty, and an aged mare named Ecredilicious.

Evolution of a Horse Show Family

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34 – March/April, 2024

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