Already beaming, Kaleigh King was in for a big surprise when she walked Scootin Jule Lee forward to get the all-important neck ribbon for winning the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Limited Open Bridle World Championship.
“I won a saddle?” King asked incredulously.
It was true. The winning 440 composite (218.5 rein/221.5 cow) King and her 7-year-old mare marked in the finals Wednesday (Feb. 21) won them $4,150 and a slate of prizes, including a saddle. More importantly, it was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning.
“It meant the world. I’d been daydreaming about it for the last year,” said King, of Overbrook, Oklahoma. “Last year I was here and I made a pilot error and overspun, and I knew I could do it. I just needed to get out there and do my best.”
King, who grew up riding Western pleasure horses, got into cow horses when she began working for trainer Bobby Lewis about five years ago. Lewis is also how she wound up buying Scootin Jule Lee (Scootin Boon x Angelina Jule Lee x Soula Jule Star).
“He’s really taught me a lot,” King said. “I couldn’t have made it this far without him teaching me and being as patient as he is with me.”
King is excited about the future with for her mare. The plan is for the horse to show in some open bridle classes this year, and hopefully be back at the Celebration of Champions in 2020.
“I’ll hopefully show her next year in the World’s Greatest Horseman,” King said.
First, she’s going to track down that new saddle.
“I’ve been really close to winning one, it just never has happened,” she said, smiling.
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