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AQHA World and Congress Champion Dont Ya Just Love It Passes at 26

Dont Ya Just Love It, better known as Lyle, was laid to rest Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The talented all-around horse was by Dont Skip Charlie and out of Goddess Of Love. Hedy Levin of Sturgis, Michigan bred the sorrel gelding. He amassed points in seven different events.

Owner Rick Meredith of Granbury, Texas talked about the loss of this sweet gelding that was retired at their farm a few years ago. “Today is a sad, bittersweet day. Sad because we are saying goodbye to Dont Ya Just Love It, Lyle. Bittersweet because I know he gave us his whole self, and he can lope in green pastures with his trailer mate, We Be Jettin, Jetson. Being blessed with great horses is so much a gift from God. Horse friends be thankful for these gifts.”

Lyle won AQHA World Championships in the showmanship, hunt seat equitation and hunter under saddle as well as Reserve World Championships in hunt seat equitation and hunter under saddle. Some of the exhibitors who showed him over the years included Beth Case, Joetta Meredith Bell, the Ratliff sisters, Rebecca Pine, Gabby Salamone and Libby Schneider.

“He was the first horse I ever showed at the AQHA World Show in 2004, and we were Reserve World Champions. Then, the next year in 2005, we won,” Case recalls. “Lyle was my first-ever world championship. He was older when I showed him, but he was still so honest in the pen. Never cheated. He made dreams come true.”

Trainer Leslie Lange of Greeley, Colorado also recalls a time that she caught rode him at the Congress. “I was very fortunate to ride him as a three-year-old at the Congress in the Hunt Seat Futurity. Bruce and Sue Ellen Vickery had him in training, and she had another great horse to show, so they asked me. I had great success with him being the reserve champion in both the open and limited division. It was a blast and a true honor. I was forever a fan,” Lange shares. “When they leave us behind, they take a piece of our heart with them.”

Marijo Meredith talked about her last day with Lyle. “I gave him about five flakes of alfalfa, and we reminisced about all the fun we’d had. We sold him for just a very few years to trusted people, but my intent was for him to come home to retire,” Marijo remembers. “I wanted him to come home to be with Jetson, his best friend. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. Horses remember friends and family. We unloaded Lyle, and he ran straight to his old friend. They spent Jetson’s final years shadowing each other every day. Best friends until the end.”

GoHorseShow would like to send our condolences during this difficult time.

Photos © KC Montgomery, Don Trout