Here She Comes Again: Taylor Searles Wins Gold in Back-To-Back Classes
To say that The Searles Family has had an outstanding AQHYA World Show would be an understatement. To start off the show, Jim and Deanna Searles’ son, Trent, unanimously won one of the toughest halter classes, the Yearling Fillies with Shes That Radiant where he brought home his first golden globe.
To continue that momentum, on Thursday, his big sister, Taylor, won the gold back-to-back in arguably two of the toughest riding classes, the Level 3 – 14-18 Western Pleasure and Western Riding with the talented, yet green mare, Hereicomeagain. The last time anyone has accomplished such a feat was 13 years ago when Sharnai Thompson and Majestic Scotch won both classes.
“This mare is so talented, she gave me her all today and was just so fun to show,” Taylor shares. “She has honestly given me her all this whole show and I’m so proud of her for handling this world show like a veteran. She’s only five. May was the first time that I showed her consistently and she just kept getting better and better. Katie and Rusty Green had her perfectly prepared for the western pleasure, and my mom was able to make the quick turn around for the western riding.”
What makes these two wins even more special is that this is Taylor’s last year to compete at the AQHYA World Show. “We knew it was her last year, but we didn’t talk about it,” Jim Searles told us after Taylor’s big wins. “It was obviously on our minds, but watching Taylor ride you would have never known.”
The proud father continues, “She was calm and focused, and it was amazing to be around her. I credit a lot of this to her involvement with the Auburn Equestrian Team.”
As far as the mare, affectionately known as Chloe, “We bought her off a video as a yearling and we have taken her along very slowly. She’s just a freak lead changer with her front leg. Taylor and Chloe became a team when they were able to spend time together showing in Nebraska and Vegas this summer. She had the highest score in the Trail prelims with a 242 but showed her greenness in the finals, but Taylor kept going and never gave up on her.”
Taylor adds, “It says a lot about Chloe since she was able to go straight from western pleasure to the western riding. In the western pleasure, she showed perfectly, and when they called to lengthen the stride at the lope, it was so much fun because I was able to get off the rail and go forward and she just threw her front leg out and was perfect. After the western pleasure, I had just enough time to change a few leads and then go in the pen for the western riding. Chloe couldn’t have tried harder. I’m just so proud of her.”
Photos © Kirstie Marie Photography