Julie Gibbons may have won the 2019 Lucas Oil American Quarter Horse Association Amateur Boxing World Championship at 8:30 p.m. on Monday night, but by noon on Tuesday, she was back in the operating room. The obstetrician-gynecologist from Highlandville, Missouri, plans to celebrate her big win—which was years in the making—but not until the weekend.
Riding her home-raised 2008 gelding Cat Man Dew (WR This Cats Smart x Dew It Flo x Mr Peponita Flo), Gibbons finally went from bridesmaid to star, winning the event she and “Can Dew” have competed in and placed reserve (2012) and third before.
“I couldn’t believe I finally did it! I couldn’t believe me and this horse did it,” she said. “The cool thing is that the very first year [AQHA offered] the Boxing at World, 2012, he was second. A few years later (2014), he was third. We finally got the gold trophy; we have a matching set. All the hard work put into this, all the work Todd put into my horses and me, it’s so cool. It is exciting!”
Gibbons regularly competes at the AQHA World Championship Show, riding her home-raised horses like stallion Uno What Time It Is. Since 2012, she’s qualified for every show.
“I’m goal driven and I really enjoy the cow horse,” Gibbons said. “It is a hefty goal to shoot for the World Championship and I’ve been close several times, and it kept me going. I’m not done!”
For the last 10 years, Gibbons has had her horses with Oklahoma-based trainer Todd Crawford. She credits him with preparing Cat Can Dew for the class. Though she rode 12thout of 15 in the finals, Gibbons didn’t watch the previous runs.
“I just knew that I had to do everything correct, keep my hands still and let [my horse] do his thing,” she said. “I felt pretty good about the rein work; he did his job well. He loves his job. I didn’t know much about the cows before mine except most were black. The one they let out for me was tan, and those can be more aggressive and run more. I was excited about it because I thought I could get a good cow work in.”
Gibbons cow work was quick, with big stops and showed off the gelding’s cow savvy to mark a 221. Combined with the 218 marked in the reining, the total 439 was 2.5 points higher than second place.
When the results were announced, and Gibbons didn’t hear her number called for reserve, she briefly covered her face with her hands. Goal, achieved.
“My horse did everything he was supposed to do and did it well. We couldn’t have done anything more to be prepared. He was good,” she said. “I thanked Todd after for not selling him the year he showed him to fifth place at the Snaffle Bit Futurity [in 2011]. This horse was supposed to be in the Snaffle Bit Sale! When I came to watch the finals, Todd said he was sorry but it was too good of a horse to sell.”
With a trusted mount under her, you would think Gibbons was beyond needing any extra “mojo” for her finals, but she added a little lucky charm before she rode—the back number Crawford wore on the 2019 AQHA Senior Working Cow Horse World Champion Jerry Smoke.
“I found that back number on the stall room floor. I picked it up, folded it and had it in my back pocket during my ride last night. I’ll do any lucky charm or mojo to help!”
There were 34 qualified entrants in the Amateur Boxing, a class sponsored by Fox Creek Ranch. The purse was $10,362.52. DVA Smart Mate Dually (Smart Mate x Itty Bitty Dually x Dual Pep) carried Lori Frampton of Ordway, Colorado, to the Reserve World Champion title with a 436.5 composite score. Debbie Crafton, Lori’s mom, owns the 2010.
For more on the AQHA World cow horse classes, follow quarterhorsenews.com.