One of the more inspirational stories that came out of The International, held Sept. 23-27 in Denver, was that of Taking A Rest, owned by Marc Wagman, of Talala, Oklahoma. Wagman rode Taking A Rest in the NRHA Non-Pro, scoring a 216 that won the Prime Time Championship, as well as the Loot For Grassroos Prime Time Amateur Championship.
“My horse, Taking A Rest, foundered in June of his 3-year-old year and almost died,” Wagman said. “They sent him to Oakridge Veterinary Clinic in Edmond, Oklahoma, where Dr. Mike Major spent a month saving his life. We never knew if he’d be able to be ridden again. When I got him home he could barely walk.”
Wagman hauled Taking A Rest (Smart Spook x Plenty Of Rest x Custom Crome) back to the clinic every five weeks for x-rays and farrier work. While there had been talk of putting the horse down, Wagman was determined to do everything in his power to save the horse. His diligence paid off.
“Early into his 5-year-old year, he’s running around his pen like Secretariat, and I’m thinking, ‘Holy cow, he looks so sound!’ So I started legging him up and riding him, and he never took a bad step.”
Wagman showed Taking A Rest once in 2014, making the finals in a Non-Pro class, then handed the stallion over to trainer Duane Latimer. In April 2015, Latimer and Taking A Rest tied for fourth in the Level 3 Open and made the Level 4 finals at the National Reining Breeders Classic, posting the stallion’s first paychecks to Equi-Stat. Two months later, they won the Level 3 Open at the NRHA Derby.
“So this horse that was never going to do much more than be a pasture ornament ended up winning over $50,000 in two horse shows,” said Wagman, who then made the Levels 3 and 2 Non-Pro finals at the Tulsa Reining Classic aboard the stallion. “I was so excited about his resurrection that I brought him to Denver to show before Duane takes him to the [American Quarter Horse Association] AQHA World Show.”
The $512 Wagman earned for winning the Prime Time Non-Pro was supplemented with an additional $425 for winning the Loot For Grassroots Amateur, $665 for finishing second and $763 for third in the Non-Pro, and $1,500 for taking third place in the Loot For Grassroots Gold Level Non-Pro. That’s a total of $3,865 in cash, plus Wagman took home a Continental Saddlery trophy saddle.
“I was so excited that I won a gorgeous Continental Saddlery saddle. I am so appreciative of their sponsorship and support,” Wagman said. “I can’t wait to ride in it. I’m going to show in it so everyone can see it!”
Watch for Taking A Rest at the AQHA World Show Nov. 5-21 in Oklahoma City.
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