When pitted against 114 entries in the preliminary round of Reining at the Built Ford Tough American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Championship Show, Raeanna Thayn didn’t back down. They stayed even stronger in the finals to take a golden globe.
Reining was the first of the Western performance classes to crown a World champion at the World Show, which kicked off Aug. 1 in Oklahoma City. In the prelims, Thayn piloted Coded N Karma (Electric Code x Whiz N Snap x Topsail Whiz) to the second-highest score — a 218.5 —to earn a spot in the finals.
“We had a little bobble on our first turnaround, but other than that, we were super clean and he was really good for me,” Thayn said.
The Tioga, Texas, pair were 12th to go out of 21 riders in the finals. At that point in the competition, Madison Rafacz and Whizenboonsmal (Peptoleap x She Whiz A Star x Topsail Whiz) were leading with a 219. Thayn went in looking for another clean run and “Karma” delivered. The duo earned a 219.5 for the Championship and Rafacz settled for Reserve.
“He stopped really big for me,” Thayn said. “We had a little bobble on the lead change but otherwise, he was great.”
This was Thayn’s third trip to the AQHYA World Show and her first big win there. The event fell just a few weeks after her trip to Switzerland to compete in the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships. There, Thayn and Karma were Individual Junior gold medalists with a 218. They were also part of the gold medal-winning team.
“I was nervous about him flying over there, but he did great,” she said. “When we got back, it didn’t leave us a lot of time to ride together, but he did so well.”
The Thayn family has owned the 8-year-old gelding for five years. Jared Leclair showed him as a young horse and won the 2015 Minnesota Pink Slid’ In Derby Level 4 Open. Thayn took over the reins when Karma was 6.
In 2017, Karma and Thayne won the National Reining Horse Association Derby Youth Non-Pro. Last year, they celebrated back-to-back Youth ancillary wins at the Tulsa Reining Classic and Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity. Glen Arthur Estival also rode the gelding for Team France at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and advanced to the finals.
Thayn currently rides with Kole Price and boasts lifetime earnings of more than $40,000. Karma’s recordtotals $66,228, but that’s not Thayn’s favorite quality about the gelding.
She describes Karma as a super sweet, easy-going horse who is ready to work every time he leaves his stall. And, she knows they would be nowhere without the support of those around them.
“I just want to thank my parents, Robert and Robbin, for all their support,” she said. “I also want to thank Kole and Kelsey Price, and anyone and everyone who has helped me along the way.”