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Horsetrader Hits the Highway:
AQHA Select World Championship
Days 7-8

The Horsetrader's Cece Campbell and Cynthia Cantleberry head to Amarillo, Texas. Follow us!

By CECE CAMPBELL / Horsetrader staff - September 8th, 2009 - Horsetrader Hits the Highway
Cynthia in a 3 a.m. practice

Cynthia in a 3 a.m. practice

Day 7 — Early practice in the Coliseum

Morning came early after watching the reining finals that ended at 11 p.m. the previous night. We’re on a countdown to Joan’s ride, so Cynthia was up at 3 a.m. to ride Reprint in the Coliseum. The Coliseum is only open for practice after the show ends each day until 6 a.m. There were over 50 horses and riders — all practicing for their upcoming events. Joan arrived at the barn and completed her practice trail work. They allow 10 minutes per practice for each horse and run 80 horses through by 1 p.m. She rode beautifully through the course, and she was beaming when she finished. “It’s a good course for Joan and Reprint,” commented Cynthia “with tight trot serpentines and wagon wheel lope-over maneuvers.

In the main Coliseum, the show started with aged halter horses, followed by performance halter. What a lovely group of horses! Then, the finals were run for western pleasure and western riding. Talk about talented horses and riders! I got to watch Kerry Papendick on the infamous Harley D Zip and Susan Johns riding Majestic Scotch. Both horses had incredible go’s, but it was Susan and Majestic Scotch who won by a single point (scoring a 232). I think she had the best ride I’ve ever seen in the western riding with every single lead change smooth and cadenced.

At the end of the day, there was a lovely reception with H’ordeurves and drinks for all exhibitors at the AQHA Heritage museum. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Heritage Museum next to the AQHA main offices, you need to start planning a trip. There are numerous exhibits, memorabilia and historical information that is fascinating, plus lots of interactive activities for the kids. In addition, the art show and sale which accompanied the reception was breathtaking!

We arrived back at the barn after 9 p.m. and washed Reprint in preparation for the 8 a.m. class tomorrow. Tomorrow will be another 3 a.m. day for Cynthia, as Joan shows 14th in the draw on Thursday.

Joan and Cynthia in a walk-through

Joan and Cynthia in a walk-through

Day 8 — It’s time for Joan and Reprint to compete!

Up at 3:30 a.m., Cynthia and I headed to the barn where Cynthia was riding by 4 a.m. I finished chores and helped with the final preparations for Joan to show. After two hours with Cynthia doing the final tuning on the mare, she brought Reprint back to the barn so we could brush and clean the mare once more.

Joan and her daughter, Lauren, arrived at the barn at 7 a.m. as planned. Joan was dressed and ready to show. We were busy with final details, and Lauren went off to do some final jogging and loping on Reprint.

At 7:15 we headed over to the Coliseum for the trail walk-throughs. This is where all the riders and trainers walk through the trail course and ask questions of the renowned course designer Tim Kimura.

Joan mounts up for her class

Joan mounts up for her class

Joan was scheduled to ride 14th out of 70, so we had her mounted by a little after 8 a.m. She trotted outside the arena in the small warm-up circle. She was grinning and excited, but seemed pretty calm about her upcoming ride. When it came time for her turn, she started her pattern like a pro with the serpentine trot-overs, gate and back-up. Next came the first set of lope-overs –- no problem! She was clean over the obstacles! What a ride. Next, there was a complicated breakdown to a jog and trot-overs, then into a lope on the other lead for a set of six lope-overs arranged like a wagon wheel. This is the second to the last obstacle. She finished the first four perfectly –- and then started heading to another set of poles, missing the two last poles. She caught her mistake and headed back, but could only make one of the two poles. OFF COURSE! Oh, no! Now, nothing she has done will count, as she is disqualified. She finished up her work with the most extraordinary trot segments, stop-and-turn-around box. Outside the arena, the first words out of Joan’s mouth were “I want to ride the course again!” Because of her error, her scores would not count, so she will not head on to the finals — but she’s won anyway. All of us who supported and enjoyed watching her journey to the Select World have sworn to come back with her again next year. All the Californians here are supportive of each other — like a team effort. It’s a wonderful experience!

Next up at the Select World: This afternoon, the classes begin with team penning, followed by ranch Sorting. I’m off for a quick nap. Friday’s classes will be my favorite – western horsemanship, hunter under saddle and English equitation. Having qualified for the hunt seat equitation, I’ll be watching closely. You see, my horse, “Indy,” colicked 45 days ago, had surgery, and could not make the trip. Gratefully, he survived, and I hope to bring him back here next year and join Joan for a re-ride!

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