American Miniature Horse Registry Features ADM Student, Residents
October 13, 2016
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Beginning September 7 and continuing through September 18, the American Miniature Horse Registry put on their 28 annual National Horse Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Running for ten days, over 1,600 horses competed for the 415 available titles of a National Top Ten Award.
The show started Wednesday with only youth activities. These activities, put on by Merry Wicke of Illinois, include check in where exhibitors are given “swag bags.” This year these bags were small totes embroidered with the registries initials, AMHR ASPC ASPR followed by the word “Youth.” These bags were filled with pens, candy, cookies, chips, brushes for the horses and cups donated by trainers, farms and vendors around the show. Each exhibitor also received $5 in “youth bucks” to spend at a vendor or concession stand on the grounds. A voucher for an 8×10 image from the show photographer, paid for by the Registry, is offered to each youth who checks in.
Along with check in on Wednesday, some youth decided to test their knowledge of judging in Junior Judging. During this time, a carded judge from AMHR, Andrea Barth of Iowa, judged six classes alongside the youth competitors. Each youth acted as if they were a judge themselves, which included asking exhibitors questions and placing the class. Youth were also asked to answer two questions regarding each class. Some questions included “What is the difference between a side and over check in driving classes? and “What are the gates used for roadster classes?”
Beginning Thursday morning, the youth began showing their horses at eight o’clock in the morning. The youth classes continued through Saturday evening. Classes youth could compete in included halter, where the horse is judged on how they look and jumping classes, where the exhibitor leads the horse through a jumping pattern. Other classes include obstacle, where the horse and exhibitor complete an obstacle course and driving classes, where the horse pulls a cart with the exhibitor inside. Each class is judged differently. These classes had anywhere from one to 59 exhibitors, according to Pony Shows. Multiple exhibitors showed multiple horses in each classes, making the week especially tiring for both horse and youth.
Youth competed in activities outside of the arena, including a new game based around Pokemon. Around the barns, Pokemon figures were hidden, and exhibitors had the opportunity to search for them. If they found them, their names were entered in a drawing to win these Pokemon characters. Other contests included the coloring contest, where coloring pages were judged, and the Quiz Bowl, where the knowledge of miniature horses was tested. At the end of three days of showing, almost all youth were exhausted but proud of their horses and the ribbons won. Saturday evening ended with the Youth Awards Ceremony, where the Junior Judging, Quiz Bowl, Sportsmanship and Coloring Contest awards were given. Later in the week the winners of the One Horse/One Youth High Point award and the Overall High Point award were notified.
One thing that is special about the National Show is the stunning center ring backdrop for Champion and Reserve Champion photos.
The next eight days were followed by classes open to amateurs, trainers, youth, ‘golden aged’ adults (the oldies but goodies) and every person in between. A total of 22 farms from Iowa sent horses to Tulsa this past month. Three of these owners are from the Adel DeSoto Minburn area, Hannah Borst, Stephanie Gilchrist and Herron Stables. Stephanie Gilchrist has been attending Nationals for three years now. She owns the business Showtime Tack and Stitches by Showtime, which helps bring her back each year. This is her first year owning Stitches by Showtime, and business wise it was great. This year Gilchrist brought one horse, Dino, who won National Champion and two Top Ten awards. Gilchrist first started showing Miniature Horses when she had a riding accident that left her with a shattered elbow. Showing these small horses helped build her confidence up to show once again. This accident eventually brought her to Nationals, where she loves meeting people from all over the country and competing against the best in the country.
Although there are still areas to work on to help the show run more smoothly, overall, those that attended and watched the live feed provided by Video Horse World felt the show went great.
This November, beginning the 8th and wrapping up the 12th, ASPC/AMHR/ASPR Convention will be held in San Antonio, Texas. These days committee meetings will be held to discuss multiple issues, including Nationals and the timing of classes, the hiring of judges and other issues within our industry. One of the most exciting parts of Convention is the Hall of Fame Awards Breakfast. During this time, horses are given permanent, lifetime championship status. Horses achieve these awards by placing in their classes enough times to get 70 points, along with five Stakes wins.
Many people from the Miniature Horse and Shetland Pony industry visit Convention each year.