October 24, 2010
Her Congress dreams were almost dashed by a freak accident.
It was five days before they were to leave for the 2010 All American Quarter Horse Congress when Angela Fox got a call – her gelding, The Heat Seeker, had been in a trailer accident.
Her trainers, AQHA Professional Horseman John and Jill Briggs of Pilot Point, Texas, had set up a practice show at a nearby arena, and Angela rode “Bomber” there in the morning, practicing trail. Then she headed back to D&L Farm and Home in Aubrey, Texas, where she works as an equine nutrition specialist.
On the way home with the horses, the Briggs pulled in to grab a quick lunch at a fast food restaurant when the unimaginable happened.
“He was in the last slot of a five-horse trailer,” Angela recounted, “and something spooked, either him or the horse next to him. Before they even walked inside to eat, they heard a bunch of ruckus inside the trailer.”
In a matter of seconds, Bomber had somehow gotten hung up over the center divider between the last two slots in the trailer. Then, in his struggles, he flipped over the divider and under the two horses ahead of him. In the effort to get him out, a veterinarian called to the scene drugged the gelding, and he was pulled out the back door.
“It was crazy,” Angela says. “They were 15 minutes from home. No one knows what happened. The horse hauls really good. It was a freak accident.”
None of the other horses were hurt, but Bomber was scraped up and received stitches. An abdominal ultrasound revealed that he’d torn a bit of the outer layer of his abdominal lining. But, a few days later, it was two different veterinarians’ opinions that he could make the trip to Columbus, Ohio, for the show.
“We debated and debated whether or not to try to come,” Angela says, but she decided to go for it. Once in Columbus, it would be several days before any of the horse’s classes were held.
Bomber received extra fluids and electrolytes along the way, and Jill’s mother, Select amateur rider Sue Pennau, made sure he had treats at every rest stop, sending Angela cell phone photos along the way, since Angela had to work.
“John showed him in the green western riding four days after they got here, and ended up ninth overall,” Angela says. “And that was his debut in western riding! He had another week off until I showed him.”
Angela and Bomber showed in the fun versatility class – hunter under saddle, horsemanship, western pleasure and pole bending, changing from event-to-event changing tack in the arena – and they won the reserve.
They also took reserve in the amateur horsemanship, third in amateur hunt seat equitation and won the amateur showmanship.
And Bomber is doing great. Their next stop is the AQHA World Championship Show for Bank of America Amateur Week beginning November 6 in Oklahoma City. Angela and Bomber are aiming for world championships in horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, showmanship and performance halter geldings.
“He made it!” Angela says, “I’m just grateful to be here and lucky to have a horse with so much heart.”
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Editor – general, rail & pattern, halter, health, breeding
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