As the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions World Championship show, held Feb. 15-21 in Fort Worth, Texas, came to a close, young reined cow horse competitors took their turn in the spotlight. The Youth Bridle and Youth Limited World championships marked the last of the 2014 titles to be handed out.
Kelly Valdez, of La Junta, Colorado, won the Youth Bridle World Championship aboard MH Bold Intentions (Bodee Boonsmal x Freckles Docs Oak x Doc’s Oak), a gelding owned by her parents, Betty Lou & Robert Valdez. She accumulated a composite score of 437.5 (214.5 rein/223 cow), claiming paychecks totaling $855.
The Championship also came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by the Beaty family; a Gist Buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn; a $2,000 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation; boots from Rios of Mercedes, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Valdez began showing MH Bold Intentions, bred by Western States Ranches, of Dublin, Texas, several years ago.
“This is my mom’s horse. She shows him in the bridle. He loves working the cow. He makes the same run every time. He is a pretty easy ride,” she said. “We’ve always loved him; my mom showed him and got second at the [American Quarter Horse Association] AQHA World Show. He’s just been a great horse; we’ve both done really good on him.
“It was good, it was fun and we were going fast,” Valdez continued about her run. “He pretty much just did it himself. He’s good on a cow.”
Valdez, also an avid National High School Rodeo competitor, receives help and coaching from her mom and from NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Don Murphy. The multitasking young rider started showing when she was 8.
“I love running barrels, rodeoing and cow horses. I love going down the fence,” she said.
Later this spring Valdez will compete in High School Rodeo in cutting, cow horse, barrels and roping, and MH Bold Intentions does more than just show in the cow horse. “I rope on him, too. All our horses have to have two jobs!”
Reece Rosenauer, of Burleson, Texas, rode Playin With Smoke (Playgun x Im Thirsty Smoke x Doc Gunsmoke), bred by Tom and Susan Ryan, of Millsap, Texas, to the Youth Bridle Reserve Championship. The duo scored a 215 in the reining and a 219.5 in the fence work for a total of 434.5, collecting a check for $684.
Madelyn Gosselin, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, rode Shiners Little Peppy (Shining Spark x Little Jalapeppy x Peppy San Badger) to the Youth Limited Championship with a composite 431.5 (216 rein/215.5 cow). The Championship paid $1,050 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle from the NRCHA; a $1,250 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a gift certificate from Platinum Performance, and a World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.
The Youth Limited Championship came down to the judge’s reviews at the end. When asked about her win, Gosselin said, “I definitely wasn’t expecting it! It wouldn’t have mattered; I would have been happy either way. I didn’t wish to redo my run. I was happy with my horse. This is definitely awesome!”
Gosselin’s grandparents had horses, and according to her grandpa, from the time she was a toddler, she “had horses on the brain.” She is thankful for her support system – her parents, her family and her coach, Travis Rempel.
This is Gosselin’s second year showing in the cow horse, and her third year with Shiners Little Peppy. She plans on going down the fence this year, and continuing to show in the cow horse and cutting events.
Addison Fjelstad rode Mini Mes Mercedes (Mini Me Merada x Spooks Hickory x Olenas Command), bred by Deborah Jean Powers, of Fostoria, Iowa, to the Youth Limited Reserve Championship, scoring a 215.5 in the reining and a 215.5 in the boxing for a composite score of 431. Fjelstad, of Scarville, Iowa, took home a check for $825.
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