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On a Whim, Hot Ones Only Wins Two More Congress Championships

On Wednesday at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, Hot Ones Only cemented himself as one of the greatest hunter under saddle horses of all-time. Showing with very little practice and even less notice, the seven year-old stallion won both the Senior Hunter Under Saddle and Senior Pleasure Driving in impressive fashion. Hot Ones Only is now a 13-time Congress Champion.

“Until this year, the last time he was shown at the Congress was when he was still a junior horse,” trainer Jason Martin of Highpoint Performance Horses states. “Early this year, we took him to one show, the Arizona Sun Country Circuit and qualified him in both the Amateur and Senior Pleasure Driving.”

After owner Tammy Dyer turned 50 this year, Highpoint decided to take him out of retirement so Dyer could show him at the AQHA Select World Show. Following breeding season, they started prepping him for the Select World where he went on to become the World Champion in Pleasure Driving. It was Dyer’s first ever world championship and Hot One Only’s ninth.

When Highpoint was completing their Congress entries, Sharnai (Tammy’s daughter) requested two stalls for “Stretch”, her 17.3 hand, three year-old by Hot Ones Only.

“We were never planning on showing Bruno at the Congress but I had entered him in the Senior Pleasure Driving to get the additional stall,” Martin recalls. “The week before leaving for the Congress, Sharnai realized she was unable to take Stretch due to her work commitments, so I asked Tammy if I could take Bruno to practice for the World Show. I have never driven Bruno before, and I thought it would be good to get one drive under my belt before the World Show.”

When the group arrived at the Congress, Jason asked Beth Case to please ride Bruno but with the strict instructions of, “No Cantering!” Martin asked Beth to only practice the park gate and trotting. However, two days before Martin’s driving class, Bruno was still too fresh and he asked Beth to please “fix him.”

“Well, Beth’s interpretation of me asking her to fix him was that she could canter,” Jason says smiling. “So, on the night of the fourteenth at two am, I got a text telling me that “he’s fixed” and she asked if she could show him in the Senior Hunter Under Saddle.”

November 2009 was the last time Beth had showed Bruno or even schooled him. She last won the Junior Hunter Under Saddle at the AQHA World Championships when he was three years-old.

“We never showed him as a four year-old except one time with Sharnai when she won the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle because she qualified from winning the previous year,” Martin recalls. “So, I said ‘Okay, you have not shown or schooled him in four years but you think you can have him ready in two days? She said, ‘Yep'”.

Martin continues, “I told Tammy and Beth that if you show him, we are doing it because you just want to enjoy showing him. No pressure and no expectations. He has been such a great horse and doesn’t owe anyone anything or need to prove anything to anyone. We are doing it just for fun. Well, it turned out to be a very fun day! He is now the 2013 Congress Champion in Senior Hunter Under Saddle and Senior Pleasure Driving! What a show horse. He showed like he never missed a ride!”

A funny side note is that Jason didn’t tell Sharnai that they were going to show him. “I texted her when they where placing the class.  It read, First Judge 1st, Second Judge 1st. She asked, ‘Who?’ I replied, Congress Champion Senior Hunter Under Saddle, Hot Ones Only! She said, ‘I’m going to kill you!'”

All kidding aside, GoHorseshow is thrilled for everyone involved in Bruno’s success at the Congress.

CLICK HERE to view his ad in the Congress issue of GoMag.