A herd of talented 2-year-olds made for great spectating during the 2011 All American Quarter Horse Congress Masters classes.
By Jessica Miller for The American Quarter Horse Journal
Photo by Jeff Kirkbride Photography
A Win for Bud
Sometimes, you just know a winner when you see one.
From the day he was born, AQHA Professional Horsewoman Deanna Searles knew Lastcallfour Alcohol would be her 2011 All American Quarter Horse Congress Hunter Under Saddle Masters horse. “Bud” (short for Budweiser) was big when he was born. From his conformation and even temper, Deanna knew as she named him that she would hear his name coming from the loud speaker as winner.
“He’s big and green so steering is always an issue,” she says. “At 17.2, he’s like a locomotive – slow to get going and slow to stop. But he’s willing to do anything I ask. And that’s why I chose him for the Masters this year. His mentality. He’s cool-headed and quiet as can be.”
By Allocate Your Assets and out of Jazzy Details by Last Detail, the stallion was bred by Deanna’s husband AQHA Professional Horseman Jim Searles. Deanna started Bud in March and knew he had the look and movement for a hunter.
“There is just something special about him,” she says. “We’d see him lope around the turnout pen and think ‘Ohh, how nice!’ He had this self-carriage and expression you just don’t find every day.”
With 16 2-year-olds and thousands of spectators in the Celeste Center, you expect the mounts to get a little jittery. But not Bud.
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“He didn’t throw any fits and didn’t spook at anything. I couldn’t have been happier,” Deanna says. “All I was thinking as we entered the class was to stay on and not let him trip or get distracted. He did amazing though. He locked his head and let me guide him around the rail.
“The whole class was a very tame set of 2-year-olds. There wasn’t the electricity in the ring that there normally is which was nice because they feed off of each other’s nerves.
“It was really a lot of fun,” Deanna says.
Although it wasn’t her first time competing in the Masters, it was the Scottsdale, Arizona, trainer’s first win in the class, and she hopes to be back in the winner’s circle again someday.
As for Bud, “He’ll make a great three-year-old futurity, non-pro and open horse with Kathryn Tobin.”
The big boy has a big future ahead of him.
Persistence Pays Off
Hard work and a little time is all it took for AQHA Professional Horseman Gil Galyean of Purcell, Oklahoma, to win the 2011 All American Quarter Horse Congress Masters western pleasure class.
Winning the reserve title on Cool Krymsun Lady (by One Hot Krymsun) in 2007, Gil started the mare’s daughter in hopes of the championship title in 2011.
By RL Best Of Sudden, Suddenly A Cool Lady, aka “Venus,” never looked like a star from the beginning, but once Gil and his team started her under saddle in January, she settled right in and he knew she’d have a shot at the Masters this year.
“She just has a great self-carriage. Just a really mellow gal,” he says.
“She was a little off when we first got (to Ohio), but she was really good when I schooled her so I didn’t push it,” he says. “I hadn’t even longed her too much; I didn’t want to wear her out. She just felt good when I was riding her.”
With the crowd buzzing, Gil was a little nervous how she’d react.
“I was just trying to warm her up and relax her nerves, but once we settled in and found our spot on the rail, I knew we were in good shape,” he says. “We were really lucky to have perfect positions on the rail during both of our lopes.”
That is often the most challenging part of rail classes. It’s all about strategy.
“All of the horses in the arena were competition for us, particularly the four who placed top four,” Gil says. “It was a full class of really nice horses.”
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The judges obviously had a tough time placing the class as well, as they took their time letting the riders jog and lope for an extended amount of time in both directions.
“Winning the Masters had always been a dream of mine,” Gil shares. “As a little boy, you hear about the Congress and the Masters, and to have finally won it feels great. We’re just tickled to death.”
Venus will make appearances at the AQHA World Championship Show and at all the major shows next year, too. Bred by Heritage Farms/Leslie Lange, the mare is owned by Starland Ranch LLC of El Reno, Oklahoma.
After winning reserve in the 2010 Masters, the mare’s mother then went on to become the world champion 2-year-old in western pleasure and junior pleasure and Gil hopes the same for Venus.
“We did an embryo transfer to get Venus and we’ll probably flush her for an embryo, too,” Gil says.
Maybe Gil and another Cool Lady generation will be back in the future.