horse and rider and cow
Katie Fox & Metallic Heritage • Photo by Shane Rux

Katie Fox Wins AQHA World Championship on First Try

First in the arena, Katie Fox and Metallic Heritage put together a solid reining pattern and electric cow work to set the standard for the other finalists competing in the Lucas Oil American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) World Championship Show on Monday, Nov. 12. The pair was also the last to be standing in the arena when the announcer crowned the Amateur Boxing World Champion, fulfilling Fox’s goal of winning an AQHA World title with her roan gelding.

Finishing 2.5 points higher than the reserve champion, Fox rode to a 215 in the rein work and a 222 in the cow work. Metallic Heritage, a 2013 gelding by Metallic Cat and out of Dual Heritage (by Dual Pep), was the only horse ridden in a snaffle bit in the final showdown.

“I pushed him in the rein work more than I have in the past, and he was with me the whole way,” Fox said of her winning run. “He spun around good and was so good. Working a cow, he is awesome and it is easy for him. It makes my job easy.”

From Chino Hills, California, Fox attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and competed on the rodeo team. As a youth rider, she showed in all-around events, but she burned out on the slow-paced show classes. Cow horse caught her attention.

Her father, Dan, who owns Metallic Heritage, purchased “Harley” from Arizona horseman Corey Cushing. Now, the pair rides under the guidance of California horseman Les Oswold.

“Les found Harley for me, and he’s the first horse I’ve really learned cow horse on,” Fox said. “I rode barrel horses before, and it’s a totally different riding style. I didn’t think anything would be more fun than barrels until I started riding cow horse. I love it; it is fun, and everyone in the sport is like a family. Working a cow is a blast.”

Fox, 26, drives six hours to Oswold’s place in Oakdale, California, to practice and work with her horse. The time spent traveling and the effort put into learning to show Harley was more than worth it.

“I knew I had a good go but didn’t know where it would place. I was third in the prelims,” Fox said. “I don’t know it’s sunk in yet, but I feel accomplished. My goal when I got him was to win the [AQHA] World Show. I thought it would take another year, but I’m not complaining!”

Fox plans to step up to the working cow horse, which requires going down the fence, after one more year of limited showing.

Amateur Boxing Reserve World Champion Becky Stockett piloted her gelding, Hick Oleana (Hick Chicaroo x Miss Ann Oleana x Miss N Cash), to a 434.5 (211 rein/223.5 cow) to earn the silver globe. There were 34 total entries in the class, which was sponsored by Fox Creek Ranch, and $10,016 was awarded.