GoHorseShow will be reporting from the AQHA Select World Show through Saturday.

AQHA Select World Through the Eyes of GoHorseShow

Final Report #6, Saturday, September 2, 2017

The 2017 Select World Show is a wrap. Our final picture of the show is the well deserved first AQHA World Championship win for Marilyn Masterson. If you have not had the pleasure to meet her, you are missing out. She is one of the nicest and most humble people you will ever meet. Marilyn and her horse, KM WeKnowShesHot were the unanimous winners in the western pleasure.

Marilyn told us that it felt “amazing” to bring home her first gold with a homebred mare by their stallion, RL Best Of Sudden. “Our trainer, Casey, says that she has the ‘It Factor.’ She is big and strong, her profile is good, her movement is fabulous and you can present her anywhere. I really want to thank Casey, Blair and Ken. They were the ones who made this happen.”

Marilyn’s husband, Ken, proudly adds, “I couldn’t be more proud of Marilyn or Mercedes. Our team did a great job.”

We would also like to give a shout out to Kathy Tobin and RA Undisputed on winning the gold in the horsemanship.

“RA Undisputed’s barn name is Coco and he is such an easy horsemanship horse. He loves it,” Kathy told us after her class. “He just does everything I ask and with such little effort on my part, which is wonderful because then I can concentrate on my posture and the pattern.”

Tobin added, “I was surprised I did so well because the younger ladies and men just look so good. My go went really well with Coco being the best with his transitions and turns. I’m just so blessed and fortunate to have him. His previous owner, Diana Davidson with Chad Evans, was so happy for us. It made me feel so good.”

The duo also ended up Reserve in Western Riding and third in the Select All Around.

Well, that’s it from Amarillo. In case you missed out on some of the winners, check out our winning run article here where you can view all the winning run videos from AQHA. Everyone have a safe trip home.

Report #5, Friday, September 1, 2017

To say the Select Amateur Showmanship finals was a tough class would be an understatement. There were a lot of different transitions from the walk to the trot, circles, turns, a back, and a setup from the side to name a few of the complicated maneuvers. Jennifer Anne Michaels and PSU Willy Be Krymsun of Woodland, Pennsylvania took home the gold and beat out 51 other exhibitors in the class. We talked to Jennifer’s trainer, Chris Gray after the class.

“This was a very proud moment for me as a trainer. This is the first world show Jennifer has attended, so naturally, we had some nerves to overcome in the nights leading up to the prelims,” Gray told us. “I feel like the finals call back justified it in her mind that she could do this.”

Gray told us that this was a horse that he, Jennifer and her sister, Jerilynne, purchased from a dear friend of his, Carla Weaver.

“For Jennifer to build this horse up from a green horse to a World Champion is a fantastic feeling. They did a tremendous job today. The last thing I told her as she entered the pen was to have fun with her horse and follow our plan. I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

We were able to talk to Jennifer after the horsemanship prelims. “I was first in the working order. For me, that was an advantage. I had clean dirt and could set my own pattern. My biggest fear was not hitting the mark for my first stop. When I got to the point of my turn when I was facing the steward, I knew we were on target,” Jennifer recalls. “Overall, I was happy with my go. However, I knew there were 16 tough competitors to follow.”

As far as her bond with her horse, “Will is a sensitive horse and always does his best to please. This attitude makes for a good Showmanship horse. He gave me his all today, and I am so proud to be his partner.”

Report #4, Thursday, August 31, 2017

GoHorseShow caught up with Anne Wilson and Marilyn Masterson today. Both classy ladies made the finals in their respective events.

The western pleasure preliminaries were held on Thursday afternoon. We talked to Marilyn Masterson, who made it back to the finals on her mare, KM Weknowsheshot, better known as “Mercedes”, who is by Masterson Farms, LLC stallion, RL Best Of Sudden. Marilyn and Mercedes were the 2016 Congress Champions in the Select Amateur Western Pleasure. Marilyn, who talked to us after her ride, says that Mercedes was perfect, and she couldn’t have asked for a better ride. “I just love everything about her,” Marilyn fondly says about her mare. “She was great in the arena and I’m proud of her. She did everything I asked of her. I feel really good going into Saturday’s final.”

One funny thing Marilyn told us about Mercedes is that she is a total princess and girlie girl. “She doesn’t like Ken or Casey at all, but she will love on both Blair and I all day. I guess you could say that she tolerates the men,” Marilyn says and laughs. “I would really like to thank Blair, Casey, and Kaitlin for all their hard work getting her ready for me. I couldn’t ask for a better team behind me.”

Wilson (pictured right), a multiple AQHA Select World Showmanship Champion, made it back to the showmanship finals with her horse, Laziness. “I was happy about my transitions in my pattern and very happy that my horse backed into setup number one and stopped square in setup number two.”

We know this team looks forward to showing off all their hard work in the finals on Friday morning. Anne and Lazy are 16th to go out of 17 in the finals so keep an eye out for them.

Report #3, Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In Amarillo, today was the Select World Show finals in the trail. With seven of their eight horses making it back to the finals, it is not too surprising that the Searles’ barn had the top three placings. Susie Johns came away as both the World and Reserve World Champion in the class. She won on Lopin For A Chex (Lazy) and was Reserve World Champion with 20-year-old “Grandpa,” I Gotta Good Name (Sampson). Third was Cathy Corrigan Frank riding Tamu Zippin Assets.

“Unbelievable” and “Truly Blessed” are the words Susie used to describe her wins. “I have an amazing team behind me that made it all possible including two awesome horses that were on their ‘A Game’ today. I am grateful for Jim and Deanna Searles, Chris Holbin, Taylor Hanson, my son, Jeff, my sister Kathy Tobin, and the support back in California from my other two sons, Blake and Trevor, and the rest of my barn mates.”

Trainer Jim Searles talked to us right after the class. “Having the top three horses was a great feeling, especially in that group of horse and riders. We pulled that out last year too. Anyone of those horses and riders in the finals could have won today. It’s the best of the best.”

Searles adds, “I knew Susie and Sampson were going to be close to the top, but I didn’t see the rest of the class. I thought in my gut that Lazy was a little better. It was an amazing group of horses with a very complicated pattern,” Jim told us. “I kinda felt it was a little too much pattern today, quality maneuvers but a lot of memorization. Just tough.”

Searles says that working with the selects is a lot of fun. “They are seasoned in the show pen and pretty laid back, but we love teaching them. They absorb a lot and make us look good.”

Jim told us that having seven horses in the finals was a huge challenge and exhausting physically and mentally for their whole crew. “But we have a great team assembled. Chris Holbin, Cruz and Taylor Hanson and Stephanie Conti, even from home in Arizona were difference makers. It was a team effort, but right now, all of us are headed for an afternoon nap,” Searles says and laughs. “Deanna and I are just so thankful to be apart of this group. To do something you love to do among one of the greatest families. It doesn’t get any better.”

Report #2, Monday, August 28, 2017

One of the most popular classes with Select Amateurs is the trail class. This popularity is shown by it being one of the largest classes at the Select World Show with over 70 shown.

We talked to some of the ladies who made it back to the finals. Pictured here (above) are Laurel Champlin and Bonnie Sheren of Highpoint Performance Horses. They both made it back to the trail finals which shows on Wednesday. Bonnie said she was glad to make it back in the top 15, so she didn’t have to do the Shootout. Bonnie and Heza Radical Zip (Troy) were recently Select Amateur World Champions in the trail at the NSBA World Show.

Laurel also made it back with her new partner, UF A Certain Star (Peter). Champlin has recently started competing again in the western events but is largely known for showing her multiple AQHA World and Congress Champion Hunt Seat horse, Look N Hott. “Peter was wonderful,” Laurel told us. “I just broke up the pattern into individual elements and concentrated on one thing at a time. He was listening to my every move.”

Jamie DeVencenty and Chex Is The Choice (pictured right) made it back to the finals after having to fight for it in the Shootout. Her daughter, Natalia, is just off winning the Trail at the AQHYA World Show, so no pressure there. Her daughter was in Amarillo to watch her show.

“I warm Chex up for her when she shows him, so I’m always super nervous to watch her show because I know that if she doesn’t have a good go, then I’m going to feel responsible,” Natalia told us. “But they were great in the shoot out and scored a 232 to make it back to the finals. I’m just here to keep him in a good frame of mind and make sure he has treats in front of him at all times.”

Lastly, The Searles barn dominated the trail pen with seven of their eight horses making it back to the finals.

Kathy Tobin had three horses make it back. “I felt blessed and thankful. With so many talented horses in the class, I was thrilled to get one back, but three horses is unbelievable. With so many people in southern Texas suffering, I felt a bit guilty too, that I was having a wonderful thing happen while others struggle with a life or death situation.”

Kathy’s sister, Susie Johns, made it back with two horses while Cathy Frank and Bonnie Elber each made it back on one of their mounts. We asked Jim Searles to talk about his amazing Select Amateurs, but he didn’t want to “jinx” them going into the finals. We know he is proud of every one of them. Jim did mention, though, that last year they had six of their seven horses make it back to the finals, so it appears that history is repeating itself.

We wish all of these ladies the best of luck in the finals.

Report #1, Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our first picture from the Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas is Heather Lange of Norwalk, Connecticut. Lange is giving a thumbs up after officially registering and getting her show number at the show office. This is quite a trip down South for this pair. Heather is showing at her first Select World Show with her horse, Tell A Rosey Story. This team is showing in the trail and showmanship. Her trainers are Tami and Garry McAllister, who are located in Southbury, Connecticut.

“We set this show as a goal in January, and I am excited to be here,” Heather told us. As far as working with her trainers, “They are wonderful. They understand that this is a hobby for me, so it needs to be both fun and successful and that success may be different for every class/ride.”

We wish Heather the best of luck and stay tuned for more pictures throughout the show.


GoHorseShow is reporting from the AQHA Select World and will be featuring someone or something that stands out daily throughout the show. The show is the premier event for select amateurs and runs through September 2nd and is the world’s largest, single-breed world championship horse show, open exclusively to amateur exhibitors age 50 and over. We are excited to be sharing exhibitors’ experiences and stories throughout the show.