As everyone buzzes about the upcoming sale season, I can’t help but get excited. I am approaching my four-year anniversary with Quarter Horse News (QHN) and I’m more involved in this amazing industry than ever before.
As many of you know, I love Paint Horses. Before graduating from Virginia Tech, I interned with the American Paint Horse Association. During that experience, I fell in love with sorrel reining stallion Gunners Special Nite. The World Equestrian Games double gold medalist was also a double-registered Paint (Colonels Nite Special). What more could a girl hope for?
A lot happened in 2011 – I graduated, started working for QHN and moved 1,400 miles from the East Coast to Texas. Along with that whirlwind of life changes came a steep learning curve. I had somewhat of a reining background, but my knowledge increased tenfold by the time the 2011 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity rolled around.
I was eager to watch talented 3-year-olds at the Futurity, but even more thrilled to visit with my former employer, Steve Worman. Steve, who journeyed to Oklahoma City from Chesapeake, Virginia, to sell a horse in the NRHA Futurity Prospect Sale, was deciding on stallions for the 2012 breeding season. As we put our heads together to talk horses, we created the perfect storm – nobody else at the dinner table could get a word in edgewise.
It took some doing, but I convinced Steve to breed my favorite of his two mares – In Your Eyes (Reminic x Smoken Hillbilly x Mr Gun Smoke) – to Gunners Special Nite. I had a gut feeling that “Izzy,” as we call her, would throw a gorgeous baby with lots of chrome and even more talent. The best part? I was right!
On April 5, 2013, I got a cell phone photo of a gorgeous sorrel filly, complete with bald face, big white stockings and pretty blue eyes like her daddy’s. I tried to buy her sight unseen, but Steve wouldn’t go for it. Instead, I’ve anxiously awaited her 2-year-old year. It’s finally time to send videos in for the Prospect Sale, so I got my first glimpse of just how cool Gunners Special Eyes has turned out to be.
As usual, you’ll probably find me at this year’s Prospect Sale running a brush over Steve’s 2-year-olds one last time before they walk through the sale ring. I’ll be the girl behind the curtain with a huge grin stretched across my face. This filly is a product of Steve’s program, but to me, she’s much more. She is a reminder of how good my instincts are and how much I’ve learned about the greatest industry in the world.
Kelsey Pecsek is the managing editor for Quarter Horse News. The multiple American Horse Publications award winner began working for QHN in 2011 after graduating with honors from Virginia Tech. Kelsey enjoys showing her American Paint Horse “Lucky” in speed events at breed shows, while also exercising horses for her boyfriend, who is an assistant cutting horse trainer.