Taylor Zimmerman, of Rogersville, Missouri, wasn’t leaving anything to chance on her quest to win a World championship. That determination helped the 17-year-old rider, who has lifetime reining earnings of $136,943, win the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) Reining World Championship, as well as Reserve honors.
Carrying Zimmerman to the winner’s circle with a 222 finals score was Gotta Get A Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Brillante Diamantes x Shining Spark), a 5-year-old mare bred by Cross C Ranch, of Maysville, Oklahoma, and owned by Zimmerman’s grandfather, Vaughn, of Springfield, Missouri. Zimmerman and “Cricket,” as the mare is called, also won the preliminary go-round with a 220.5.
Zimmerman’s Reserve champion mount was Wimpys Dolled Up (Wimpys Little Step x Dolled Up Gunner x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), also known as “Peaches,” a 7-year-old mare bred by Jordan and Taylor Larson, of Valley View, Texas, and also owned by Zimmerman’s grandfather. The mare, who has earned $83,580 in the reining pen, scored a 221.5 in the Reining Level 3 finals.
The World show was the first time Zimmerman had shown Cricket, other than one other time at a small show where she just loped the mare through the pattern. Zimmerman couldn’t have been more pleased with Cricket’s performances.
“She was super good,” Zimmerman said. “She’s a really good-minded mare, and she just carried me around the pen. She was really, really good and super honest everywhere. They [Cricket and Peaches] were pretty much perfect.
“Peaches just had a little trouble on one turn – I think we had an overturn penalty,” she added. “She’s just a super honest mare – she’s awesome.”
Zimmerman’s favorite quality she likes in Cricket, who has $14,197 in Equi-Stat earnings, is the mare’s honesty.
“I love how honest and how relaxed and easy she is to ride,” she said. “She’s not a lot of work. She’s calm and just a really nice little mare.”
So nice, in fact, that Zimmerman, who rides with Bobby Avila, Jr., wishes she could continue showing Cricket, but she believes her dad, Justin, will be taking over her reins.
Two other members of the Zimmerman household show or have shown in the past. Zimmerman’s mother, Leah, used to show pleasure horses, and her 13-year-old brother, Jacob, also shows reining horses. In fact, Jacob, who qualified for his second AQHYA World Show this year, qualified for this year’s Reining Shoot Out riding I Am Magnificent (Magnum Chic Dream x Hide N Cita x Dunit Rawhide), owned by Vaughn, but missed qualifying for the finals.