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The Top-10 Most Popular Stories on for 2009

2009 was an incredible year for the horse show world as well as for In January, we kicked off our first annual Trainer Bowl which shot our exposure into high gear. With a combination of responsible journalism, entertainment, education, interaction and fun, our traffic and readership consistently increased throughout the year and hit a year-long high at over 18 million hits during the month of December.

As the year has come to an end, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back on the top-10 most popular stories of 2009 on

Here’s the most popular story of 2009!

NUMBER 1 Exclusive: Vital Signs Are Good Sells to Moran Family
Original Publish Date: 10/28/2009

At the Congress, we started hearing rumblings that one of the greatest horses in AQHA history, Vital Signs Are Good, might be selling…and for a very large amount of money. Most people thought it could never happen and there were indications from the inside that it would never happen. Speculation continued after the Congress.

Then we received a phone call that ultimately resulted in’s most popular story of 2009. Charlie Cole of High Point Performance Horses wanted to break the story that The Moran Family had indeed purchased what he considered to be “The greatest show mare ever.”

According to Cole, “I called because there had been a lot of speculation floating around and I knew they would do the story right, and they did.”

The result of Cole’s phone call was a first-to-break, exclusive story on (despite claims by other websites to the contrary) which spread the facts of the transaction throughout our industry like wildfire. Within five minutes of posting the story, the flood of traffic caused our server to crash, something that had never happened before! Fortunately we were back up within minutes and the story went on to be the most popular story of the year.

We followed up the next day with an interview with Kristin Galyean addressing the sale from her perspective. That story on its own would qualify for top-5 status and confirmed to us that this was, by far, the most popular story of the year.

Click here to see the most popular story from all of 2009!


Dakota Diamond Griffith Reports from the Congress
Original Publish Date 10/12 – 11/02

Seventeen-year-old Dakota Diamond Griffith took us all by storm while reporting for from the 2009 All-American Quarter Horse Congress and left many of us wondering what we were doing when we were that age! Readers had a blast with her Shopping Must Haves List, her Fashionistas and Quotes of the Day as well as her exclusive video interview with Major League Baseball star Roy Halladay, and his horse showing wife, Brandy.  Dakota also showed us a more serious side during her video interview with Congress Show Manager, Cam Foreman, and her coverage of the Masters including difficult topics such as Alex Blackwood Suicide Prevention, breast cancer research and therapeutic riding.

It came to us as no surprise that Dakota’s grand slam came on her final at bat – the Horse Show Hotties List. During her entire time at the Congress, she ran a fairly unscientific poll to determine who was worthy of the title Hottest Girl, Hottest Guy and the Hottest Couple.  Only in a way that Dakota could bring those results to you, she finished her Congress coverage with a bang.

For all you loyal Dakota fans (there are a lot of you out there!), we are thrilled to announce that Dakota will be a regular contributor on She will continue to cover the horse show world in an entertaining and cutting-edge way that our youth readers as well as the more seasoned members of our community have grown to love.

Click here to see the 2nd most popular story on for 2009.


On The Cart With Compton: Troy Compton’s Exclusive Interview With Ted Turner
Original publish date 1/21/2009

Although several interviews from Troy Compton’s amazingly popular segment, “On The Cart With Compton” statistically dominated a few of the top-10 stories of 2009 on their own, one of those interviews topped them all. When Troy sat down with leading halter exhibitor Ted Turner, the readers couldn’t get enough. Readers were captivated by just how outspoken Turner was on several topics when he sat down with a fellow horseman like Troy Compton. With a rekindled desire to stay at the top of the halter world, Turner gave the readers an earful. And throughout 2009, he backed it up with multiple Congress and World Championships to add to his resume. In case you were one of the few people who missed it, we strongly encourage you to take the time to read (or re-read…it’s that good) On The Cart With Compton featuring Ted Turner.

Here are some of the other popular stories from “On The Cart With Compton”:

Click here to see the 3rd most popular story on for 2009.


World Champion Wonit Ona RV Version Dies In Trailer Accident – BeBe’s Condition Updated
Original publish date 9/12/2009

Unfortunately, not all of the stories from 2009 were happy ones. had to report on horse deaths as well as the passing of people in our community, for which there were many this year. Certainly, one of the most tragic stories that we had to share was the horrific trailer accident that happened following the Select World Championship show. Ronnie and Vickie Kent were traveling in their motorhome on their way to Santa Barbara when their trailer hitch broke free in Big Spring, Texas. 2009 Select World Champion, Wonit Ona RV Version, died in the accident.  Subsequently following a month-long battle, the Kent’s other horse, 2009 Select World Champion, Ill Be RV Radical had to be euthanized.

Click here to see the 4th most popular story on for 2009.


We ask the experts: What’s The Hardest Class At The Horse Show?
Original publish date: 4/05/2009

“We ask the experts” was one of the most popular reoccurring columns on during 2009.  Throughout the year we asked leading trainers and exhibitors some interesting questions about various topics concerning the horse show industry.  However, the most popular of all was when we asked some of the leading trainers and exhibitors the question, “What is the hardest class at the horse show and why?” You may be surprised at the answers from our experts. (We also polled our readers and 31% of them said Western Riding, 25% said Western Pleasure and 18% said Trail.)

Here are a few of the other popular stories from “We Ask The Experts”:

Click here to see the 5th most popular story on for 2009.


The Sun Circuit Was HOT – Complete Candids and Results from Scottsdale
Original publish date: 1/28/2009

In 2009 alone, brought readers candid photos and results from 25 of the top horse shows from all over the country.  Candids and results are by far one of the most popular features on Our readers tell us they particularly love this feature because it allows them to feel as though they were at the show, even if they weren’t.  However, we also know that even people who were there like to look back and remember the shows and also see what they missed!
Of all the 25 shows in 2009 covered on including multiple World Shows, Congress, Red Bud, and the Reichert, there was none more popular than the fantastic Sun Circuit from Scottsdale, Arizona. Show managers Mark Harrell Horse Shows provided the results and the pictures were provided by three of our readers; Darcy Reeve, Megan Machesky and Kathleen Downs. Thank you to all!

Click here to see the 6th most popular story on for 2009.  


Whose Tat Is That? Answers Revealed!
Original publish date: 09/01/2009 collected several tattoo samplings from some of the horse show industry’s leading exhibitors. Whatever the significance, each and every one of these tats has its own story. Some of the stories are horse-related and some are not. Some of the ink is prominently displayed and some is hidden. Regardless of their meanings and locations, each of these horse show tattoos is very unique to the person attached to it.

Click here
for the 7th most popular story on for 2009.



Check Out All The Slide Shows From The Congress VIP Club Parties
Original publish date: 10/20/2009 sponsored the Congress VIP Club, a fantastic restaurant, bar and lounge conveniently located at the southeast corner of the Gilligan directly across from the Coliseum.  The VIP Club provided a place to relax and entertain among all of the excitement of the Congress.

Good Ride, The Krymsun Kruzer, Western Gunslinger, Kaplow Insurance Agency, Gumz Farms, Hot Ones Only and Allocate Your Assets each hosted a special party in the VIP Club on their designated night during the Congress. was there to capture candid photos from each event.

Click here to see the 8th most popular article for 2009.

APHA World Show Split Creates Controversy – Industry Leaders Speak Up

Original publish date: 5/27/2009

Following a test run of two separate world shows in 2008, APHA made the decision to split the event further for 2009. The first APHA event, the Summer World Championship Paint Horse Show held June 24–July 4, featured all Novice Youth, Youth and Select Open and Amateur events. The second installment which featured all other Open and Amateur events, took place November 5-14.

The decision by the APHA to split the event into two separate shows has been met with criticism by some, and praise by others. But whether you are for or against the split, people seem to have a definite opinion. asked the question “What is your position on the World Show split?” and we received some very interesting answers.

Click here to see the 9th most popular article on during 2009.

Redbud Horsemanship Pattern From The Judge’s Perspective

Original publish date: 6/15/2009

The 2009 Redbud Spectacular saw many of the nation’s top Youth, Amateur and Open competitors. As exhibitors made preparations for upcoming World Shows to be held at the same facility in Oklahoma City, most of the classes showed the same depth expected at the World Show level.
In order to differentiate the tough competition, Judges often stepped up their degree of difficulty in pattern choices. One particularly challenging pattern was the Horsemanship, designed by one of the show’s judges, Robin Frid, specifically for the event. Not only did Frid’s Redbud Horsemanship pattern help create some separation between the exhibitors, but both judges felt it was a great preparation pattern for upcoming Congress and World Show competition where exhibitors can expect the same degree of difficulty.

Robin sat down with to explain the pattern in more detail and talk through each of the elements. What was Robin looking for when he judged it? What did he see? What separated the top of the pack from the bottom? What can exhibitors do to prepare for this level of pattern? Find out in this exclusive interview.

Click here to see the 10th most popular article on during 2009.