September 26, 2012
Horse-showing history: A look back at the 2011 Bank of America Amateur World Championship Show.
By Tara Christiansen for The American Quarter Horse Journal
In the span of one afternoon, one horse and rider combo came out of the shadows to win the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
Lauren Eichstadt of Greenville, Pennsylvania, and Its My Lucky Detail, bred by Larry and Linda Whitaker of Rogers, Arkansas, earned 39 points competing in three classes to win the coveted title.
In addition to bragging rights, Lauren and Its My Lucky Detail took home a Farnam All-Around Amateur prize package that included $15,000, plus $1,000 in Farnam products, an embroidered Fusion Contour blanket, courtesy of WeatherBeeta, a rose bouquet and a bronze by Lisa Perry.
For all of the success that they’ve had, this was undisputedly the highest achievement yet for Lauren and “Lucky,” as the big 2001 bay gelding is affectionately called.
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“I used to show in all-around western (classes) for years, and then I started showing hunters and I ended up fourth (in the all-around amateur race) without even thinking it was possible last year,” she recalled. “Like, ‘Oh, you’re fourth!’ Then I was like, ‘Wow, I was fourth, maybe next year I could win it …’”
With all three of their finals classes November 11, 2011, it was right down to the wire in the Farnam All-Around Amateur race for Lauren and Lucky. They placed third in amateur working hunter and amateur hunter hack and also won the reserve champion title in amateur equitation over fences.
“Once I had done well, I thought that I was competitive against the hunter peo
ple,” Lauren said, “but I wasn’t sure how any of the western people had done.”
It was the duo’s third-place finish in amateur working hunter that sealed the deal, bumping Darcy Reeve of Garden City, Kansas, and A Certain Vino from the all-around win to second place.
It was a successful year for the Eichstadt family and Lucky, by Last Detail and out of Run To Seattle by Seattle Song.
“He’s my sister’s horse, but I’ve been showing him for quite a few years,” Lauren said.
At the 2010 AQHA World Show, Lauren and Lucky were reserve in amateur working hunter and amateur hunter hack, which yielded their fourth-place finish in the 2010 amateur all-around race.
Things really started to look up for the Eichstadts in August 2011, when Lauren’s younger sister, Madison, and Lucky won working hunter at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
But it was at the All American Quarter Horse Congress that Lauren herself really got on a roll for the year.
“(In 2011) at the Congress, I won the non-pro hunter classic, and I won the amateur hunter hack,” she said in 2011. “I usually don’t have much Congress success, so I was hoping that it (wouldn’t) jinx my world show.”
There were a few things that Lauren, a pharmacy school student at the University of Findlay in Ohio, learned that year that helped her grow as a competitor.
“I just need to relax and let him do the thinking. He’s got a better track record than I do,” she admited.
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Lauren and her family certainly appreciate what a fine equine athlete their gelding is.
“He’s very, very spoiled,” Lauren said. “He came with his own party-sized bag of peanut bag M&Ms and has eaten through most of it.”
“He doesn’t do much of anything without getting any treats,” she added.
“She didn’t mention to you that he bows,” chimed in Lauren’s mom, Tammy.
And with that, Lauren whipped out a peppermint candy. Not that she really needed it – Lucky was more than happy to dip into a bow, almost as if he knew what Lauren was about to ask.
“He’s so much fun to show,” Lauren said wholeheartedly. “He gives an awesome trip every time we go in the ring.”
“He’s a one-in-a-million type of horse.”
The 2012 Bank of America AQHA World Championship Show is November 2-17 in Oklahoma City. For show information and a tentative schedule of events, visit the World Show website. You can also purchase tickets to the show online.
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