At the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Show, held Aug. 5-13 in Oklahoma City, youth exhibitors competed for prestige and awards in a variety of performance and halter classes.
During the first go of the cutting on Aug. 9, 41 young riders vied for a spot in the finals. Fifteen horse-and-rider pairs made it back to the final round, held Aug. 11. Of those duos, it was Mattie Dukes, of Weatherford, Texas, and One Time Player who came out of the third draw to mark the top score, a 225, and take home a golden globe.
“It’s pretty amazing. I’m still in awe,” Dukes said.
The 16-year-old said that being early in the draw did not make her too anxious, in spite of the pressure that was on her. She and “Player” also topped the first go of the cutting after marking a 224.
“Coming into the finals I was a little bit nervous because I kind of set myself at a high standard,” Dukes explained. “But I figured I made it to the finals so whatever happens, happens.”
Dukes described Player (One Time Pepto x My Jewels Missin x Lenas Jewel Bars) as “amazing,” saying that he has “really good stops and a lot of eye appeal.” The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Dukes and was bred by Bob and Patty Thornton, of Whitesburg, Georgia.
Kenli Marvin rode Sannabelle Cat out of the 13th draw in an attempt to best Dukes’ score, but just missed it by 1.5 points. Marvin settled for the AQHYA Cutting Youth Reserve World Championship instead. Sannabelle Cat (High Brow Cat x Belle Mate x Smart Mate) is a 6-year-old mare who was bred by Carroll’s Cutting LLC and is owned by Tommy and Susan Marvin.
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