We Ask Exhibitors: Who Would Play You and Your Horse in a Movie?
Have you ever taken a look at your horse show family and thought, ‘we really need a reality show’? Or have you and your horse been through so much comedy, drama, thrills and classic moments that your horse show life could rival a major motion picture?
Although the reality of a horse reality show might not be realistic (what reality show really is?), one thing’s for certain, the horse world is full of quite the cast of characters.
We had some fun with some of the horse show industry’s top youth and amateur exhibitors and asked them who would play them and their trusted mounts in a movie about their lives.
Smart, sassy, funny and say-it-like-it-is, cartoon character, Maxine from Hallmark cards is who AQHA Select World Champion, Kathy Tobin would choose to play herself in an animated movie about her life. Tobin, who hails from Arizona and trains with Jim and Deanna Searles, is far from the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Crabbiness’ that Maxine is, but Tobin likes to enjoy life and make others laugh.
Her horse, Roanie or Suddenly A Good Bar, a 13-year-old gelding and multiple AQHA Select World Champion and AQHA Open World Champion, is also a star in his own mind. Tobin laughs, “He is obsessed with peppermints and expects them just for standing there looking cute. He is very observant and he doesn’t like to practice much before he shows and once he’s done, he wants you off his back and back to the stalls, of course expecting a peppermint when you get off, and then one or more back at the stalls.”
In keeping with the cartoon theme, Tobin suggests the best character to play Roanie in a parody of their lives would be Gumby’s horse friend, Pokey. “Pokey, like Roanie, got Gumby out of problems and Roanie helps me get through the problems of a trail courses with his level headed logical thinking. I point Roanie at the logs and he figures out how to get over them,” Tobin asserts, “He does deserve all those peppermints.”
Sad Story with a Happy Ending
Beautiful and poised, Lindsey Gillette from St. Petersburg, Florida is almost the spitting image of actress Anna Kendrick (pictured below). Both she and her mom frequently get mistaken for the stunning performer. Her horse, however, has a different appeal.
Sam or Lethal Secret Weapon, is an all-around gelding with an interesting tale of how he came to be Gillette’s. She explains, “My trainers, Andrew and Lori Augsburger, had Sam in training when he was 4 years old for a previous client. They sold Sam when he was 6. In September of 2014, I got a call from a local horse rescue telling me about a quarter horse gelding that was surrendered to them with the papers. When I heard the name, it sounded familiar so I immediately called up Andrew and Lori. I jumped in the trailer and picked him up the next day.”
After several months of rehab and proper nutrition, Sam entered the show pen again. Since then, we have been top ten at the NSBA World in Showmanship, top ten in the Level 2 Trail at the AQHA World, made multiple finals at the Congress, finished 5th in the nation in the Novice Amateur Pleasure and earned 3 Superiors. He is truly a once in a lifetime horse that I was so lucky to stumble upon. I guess you could say we were meant to be a team.”
And the happy ending will leave us laughing. Gillette jokes, “Although a gelding, he would be played by Rebel Wilson, possibly in drag.”
“Not only would Rebel be the perfect actor to depict Sam’s ‘unique’ personality, the relationship between Fat Amy and Becca is quite similar to that of Sam and me. Sam could just be referred to as “Fat Sam” as he is obviously in a relationship with his hay bag with his life revolving around eating, and he is never ‘down for cardio’. Like fat Amy, he has his own take on activities, such as only doing things that are truly necessary (and is picking up your feet in trail really actually necessary?). But when in his groove, he can bring it and it’s pretty spectacular.”
Southern Period Piece
Originally hailing from Georgia and now residing in Whitesboro, Texas, southern belle Farley McLendon would be played by none other than the charming and classic character of Scarlett O’Hara. Determined, stubborn and bent on getting what she wants, Scarlett is the perfect personality to represent McLendon. And what would a lovely, leading lady be without her perfect man?
McLendon would have her 5-year-old partner, Hank, be played by the complimentary southern actor, Matthew McConaughey (pictured right). “He’s tall, handsome, sexy, muscled, totally laid back and just cool to be around,” she describes her gorgeous gelding.
Sleep Alilbit Longer is a Reserve World Champion, two-time AQHA Congress Champion, and two-time NSBA World Champion. “Hank loves people, especially little kids. It’s great to watch him put his big head down for pats and kisses.”
She recalls a funny Hank story, “At the beginning of the 2015 Tom Powers Futurity, Hank was really fresh. He knocked over the manure cart and got loose. I wasn’t there but everyone made a pact to not tell me. Of course, they told me at the end.”
Novice Amateur, Noelle Stevens from Madison Connecticut, is currently one of the top AQHA Level 1 exhibitors in the nation. She chooses Halle Berry (pictured right) to play her in a movie of her life as her stunning beauty has lead people to compare her to the gorgeous actress.
Humbly, Stevens finds this a great compliment. She explains, “I think that she could pull off my slightly neurotic, must be in control, type A, must conquer the world, big heart but guarded, tough, confident yet sensitive personality.”
And in this love story, her horse, Lopin Like Lazy, would be played by the sexy, Scottish actor, Gerard Butler (pictured below right). Stevens gushes, “Gerard Butler would have to play my horse. I love him. When I think of him in the roles I’ve seen him play; tall, handsome, athletic, goofy but very serious and intense when he needs to be, talented, big heart. He’ll do anything for you if you’re there for him.”
Affectionately known in the barn as Kenny Marie, the 7-year-old gelding has a promising career ahead of him with Stevens. Only paired together for eight months, they have won several prestigious circuit championships and reserve awards in showmanship such as at the Florida Gold Coast, Martinganza and placed Top 5 at the 2017 AQHA Level 1 East Championship Show.
Stevens is enamored, “To me, his oddest quirk is that he has to put everything in his mouth and he chews on everything. He can destroy reins in less than 60 seconds if you’re not paying attention, but he will not touch a showmanship lead. Ever. Personality-wise, he’s how I described him above. He’s a big love.”
We will have to keep watching to see how this love story progresses, but it definitely looks like there will be tears of happiness at the end as he is currently being shown by Stevens in the All-Around events and by Whitney Lagace in trail. He is also qualified for the 2017 AQHA World Show in Senior Hunter Under Saddle.
Goal oriented and educationally focused, youth exhibitor, Sarah Finkel from Walnut Creek, California, is always studying and practicing to remain at the top of her game like the actress she would choose to play herself.
“I have a huge girl-crush on Emma Watson,” Finkel giggles. “I have always admired her talent as an actress as well as her passion for women’s rights as a UN goodwill ambassador. She speaks her mind and speaks up for what she believes in, which has always inspired me.”
Finkel won the Novice Youth Trail at the 2017 AQHA Level 1 West Championships and has many top 10 placings at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in the all-around events.
A family friendly movie about a girl and her horse would be the adventures of Sarah and Taco, also known as So So Good (pictured right). The 18-year-old AQHYA World Champion is as stocky as he is sorrel. “Maximus, the horse from Disney’s Tangled, would for sure play my horse,” Finkel explains. “Max is always trying to do the right thing and do his job, just like Taco. Also, they are both pretty darn cute. He always gives his best effort in the show pen. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to show with such a great teammate. Taco has a lot of adorable quirks from his love of Cutie oranges to the special spot on his neck where he can’t get enough scratches.”
Finkel has recently verbally committed to ride on the NCAA Equestrian team for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2018.
Who doesn’t love a feel-good story about a peculiar girl who ends up winning the heart of the handsome, popular heart-throb? That is the movie about amateur, Courtney Suthoff, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
The newlywed teases that her life compares to the role of DJ Tanner in Full House. “My story would be a series of ‘learning life lessons’ with a twist of humor like DJ showed us in each episode (pictured below right). The only thing I’m missing is the corny inspirational music and John Stamos.” (Don’t tell her handsome husband that.)
However, she has won the heart of a 4-year-old Hot N Blazing gelding named WF Big Asset. Doc is a Reserve Congress Champion and NSBA Reserve Champion Highpoint in the hunt seat.
Suthoff swoons over him, “Doc would most definitely be played by Ryan Gosling. He’s great to look at; I can’t help but stare when he lopes around the arena. He’s got great style; a big, bay, distinctive white markings on two legs, beautiful neck and legs for days. He’s Mr. Congeniality. He’s young, playful and quirky and like Ryan, he’s the total package.”
This gentle giant stands at least 17.3H but is one of the kindest horses Courtney has ever had. “Everything Doc does is a little quirky,” Suthoff jokes. “One of the things I find really endearing, that also drives my trainer crazy, is when he gets nervous or bored. He’s like a little kid and looks for something to put in his mouth. I want to say to him: ‘Doc, you are almost as big as a Clydesdale, what could possibly intimidate you?’”
Nevertheless, this Rom-Com is sure to have a happy ending.
Who would you want to play you and your horse in a movie? Have some fun and let us know.