"Before this year, I had never made a finals. I was a small town Iowa girl who looked at the people who even made the finals as royalty," said Mallory. Photo © KC Montgomery

Youth Exhibitor Mallory Vroegh Looks Back on her “Triple Crown” Year

Eighteen-year-old Mallory Vroegh of Grimes, Iowa had an unbelievable year in the show arena. We wanted to take a look back on her incredible show season and ask Mallory about her favorite moments of the year.

Some of the highlights include sweeping the showmanship at all three major championships – AQHYA World Show, NSBA World Show and Congress, hence this major feat being named by many as the “Triple Crown” of showmanship.

Also, the close bond Vroegh shares with her equine partner, Krymsun Belle, is one of the many reasons why this team has been so successful during their youth career.

“There are so many memorable moments that I could talk about from this year,” Vroegh told us. “In my opinion, the path you must travel before you can get to the highlights are the most important. Without the blood, sweat and tears, the happy ending isn’t as sweet.”

Vroegh told us that she remembers some of the challenges earlier in the year. “In January, my mare had just started the horsemanship. She had no lead change and could only spin one direction. The many days spent from then until April trying to get her qualified with her being green were rough to say the least,” Mallory remembers. “Despite it all, we got qualified and started our transition into world show prep. I spent a week in Missouri doing a million lead changes, two million set ups and taking Advil for my legs because of the brutal legwork.”

But all of her hard work paid off. “It was finally worth the wait when I heard my number called as World Champion in the showmanship. I couldn’t hold back the tears, not just because of the amazing honor but because all I could think of was the truly incredible people who stood behind me always and made it happen. That same day was the final go of the horsemanship finals, and we had crazily enough made those too, but when we came out reserve champions, it was a moment I will never forget. Ever since I was little, horsemanship has been my favorite class, and it was a long time dream come true. I will hold that day in my heart forever.”

She credits her trainers, Blake and Kendra Weis, and her mother, Shannon Vroegh for all their help.

“I have become a better person from being involved with horses,” Mallory says. “I have learned responsibility, to be humble, that hard work pays off and many other life skills that will help me in all aspects of my life. When you realize that not everything is about you, but also the people around you – that’s when your success becomes more meaningful.”

Of course, Mallory has to thank Krymsun Belle for their incredible year. “She is everyone’s favorite horse and she loves everyone. She will accept all treats, gives lots of kisses and it took a while, but she’s now goat friendly due to her newfound friend, Missy. As far as showing goes, Belle loves her job. Although it usually makes my mom and Blake nervous about her attention span, she always steps into the ring with her ears up and with a great expression. I sometimes think she want’s to win as much as I do.”

Her favorite win this year was winning the showmanship at the AQHYA World Show. “Before this year, I had never made a finals (at the AQHYA World Show). I was a small town Iowa girl who looked at the people who even made the finals as royalty. It was truly bittersweet.”

We asked her what she thinks made her unbeatable this year in the showmanship. “I think if I had to pull something from what sets me apart that it would be the way I prepare,” Mallory states. “Showmanship is about grace and I think that the fact that when I’m home, I run regularly, eat healthy and stay in shape, sets me apart. I do everything that I can to ensure that I have a strong presence when I run my patterns. My mom thinks I’m kind of weird because I stretch before the class.”

A lot of people ask Mallory what it’s like having her mother as one of her horse trainers. “I have to admit, it can be hard. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My mom and I work together to better each other, and I just think that it has made our bond strong enough to last through anything.”

This next year is Vroegh’s last year in youth. “I just want to make the most of it. I’m blessed to be able to spend it with great people and magnificent animals. There’s no way it can go wrong, but I’m a firm believer that your future is what you make of it. Belle and I are working very hard at home right now to remain consistent and, hopefully, step into 2018 strong. There is no one else I would rather do it with.”

Vroegh’s future college goals are to attend Southern Methodist University and ride on their equestrian team. She also plans to study actuarial sciences, with a minor in mathematics/statistics.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the village that carried me through. Everyone who helped me this last year and, even the years leading up, had a part in this happening and I am forever grateful.”