Select exhibitor Pam Herz's first horse wins Level 1 amateur performance halter mares at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships. Photo © Larri Jo Starkey

News from AQHA Level 1 East Championships: A Dream Comes True

Pam Herz of Three Rivers, Michigan, shows Chip Skip N Repeat in the Champion of Champions drive at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships.

When Tiffany Pattison of Nutrena Feeds needed a model horse for the educational nutrition series, Pam Herz volunteered her mare.

To Pam, Chip Skip N Repeat is the most beautiful horse ever foaled — a model horse. She’s also the fulfillment of a dream.

“I’ve had the dream from the time I was 3 years old and never had a horse until I’m Select age now,” she said.

Pam bought “Iva Jean” on the advice of AQHA Professional Horsewoman Christa Baldwin, who scoured the earth to find the perfect horse for Pam.

Chip Skip N Repeat is a 2012 black mare by Repeated In Red and out of Black In The Berries by Dont Skip Charlie. She was bred by Libby Trucco of Delaware, Ohio. Pam, who lives in Three Rivers, Michigan, bought the mare from Melissa Street of Polson, Montana.

“She was a really special mare, so I was looking for a special home for her,” Melissa said. “I can tell that Pam loves her as much as I did.”

Pam bought the mare in July 2018 and showed her in May at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships in Wilmington, Ohio, in halter and Rookie walk-trot amateur classes. Pam and Iva Jean won performance halter mares – an unexpected surprise.

“It was surreal,” Pam said. “I didn’t understand how there were so many (horses) left (in the class), because this is so new to me. I was just waiting and then when they called my name – and then when I saw Melissa coming out and she was the one who presented the trophy to me – it was surreal to me. This is a dream come true.”

Iva Jean lives with Christa, and Pam drives five hours twice a week to ride her.

“We have our lessons, and I leave there just on a high every single time,” Pam said. “She’s as sweet inside as she is beautiful. She’s just the nicest mare. She tries so hard for me.”

Pam and Iva Jean are competing in walk-trot classes at the Nutrena East, but they expect to start loping soon.

It’s the continuation of Pam’s dream.

Winning the Biggest

A first-timer wins the largest class at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Out of 96 entries, Caitlynn Osting of Milroy, Indiana, came out on top.

Caitlynn Osting shows Hot As The Blazes to the title in youth showmanship 14-18 at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Youth showmanship 14-18 was the largest class at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships, and Caitlynn worked out of the second cut before qualifying for the finals with Hot As The Blazes.

“Definitely my second (run was better),” she said. “I was a little nervous, but the pattern had highlights I like about him. (My trainer) told me to go in there with confidence and do what we know how to do.”

Hot As The Blazes is a 2002 chestnut gelding by Hot Impulse and out of Babes Last Blaze by Blazing Hot. He was bred by AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark of Andrews, Texas, and is owned by Herman A. Heinz Jr. of Vincennes, Indiana. Caitlynn is leasing the gelding, and they have been partners for about six months.

“He’s 17, and definitely our favorite thing is showmanship,” Caitlynn said. “He’s really sweet and willing, and he works hard.”

Caitlynn, a freshman, was competing for the first time at a Level 1 Championship.

“I like the environment, and it’s a really pretty place (in Wilmington, Ohio),” she said.

Nutrena East Champion of Champions

Ginger Baxter of Rockford, Michigan returned to showing in style as she won the Level 1 amateur halter Champion of Champions title May 3 at the 2019 Nutrena East Level 1 Championships in Wilmington, Ohio.

Ginger led Coos Me In The Dark to win Level 1 amateur aged geldings, which qualified her for the Champion of Champions drive.

“Colby” is a 2013 black gelding by Kid Coosified and out of Rth Style And Grace by Kids Classic Style. He was bred by Kelli Jensen of Freeland, Michigan.

”I have not been in the show pen since I was 18,” Ginger said, “and I’m 43. I’ve always been a horse show mom with my daughter, and now the deal was I had to show him.”

Show him she did. The decision for Coos Me In The Dark was unanimous, as all three judges had three-time world champion at the top of their cards. 

“We took ownership of him this year,” Ginger said. “We’re blessed and excited to have him.”

Shawn Yount of Knox, Indiana, showed Equities to the reserve Champion of Champions title with Equities, a 2013 sorrel mare by CK Kid and out of Emoney by Mr Elusive. She was bred by Terry Bradshaw of Thackerville, Oklahoma, and is owned by Shawn and Elizabeth Thompson.

 Equities won the Level 1 amateur aged mares class to qualify for the Champion of Champions drive.

Blayne Specht, who turns 7 next week, of Meadowview, Virginia, led Shez Telling Me to the youth Level 1 halter Champion of Champions title. Shez Telling Me is a 2013 sorrel mare by Telling and out of Shez Kiddin Me by Im Kiddin. The mare was bred by Don and Doreen Mackenzie of Dugald, Manitoba, and is owned by Kyle G. Hughes of Meadowview.

Shez Telling Me won the Level 1 youth aged mares class to qualify for the Champion of Champions drive.
 Alissa Zio of Johnstown, Ohio, led No Bling Needed to the reserve youth Champion of Champions title. The 2018 sorrel filly is by I Am Relentless and out of Unsweet Tee by Tees Legacy. She was bred and is owned by Renie F. Williamson of Granville, Ohio.

No Bling Needed won the Level 1 youth yearling fillies class to qualify for the Champion of Champions drive.

Amateur Walk-Trot Champion

When Lauren Boisvert of Pilesgrove, New Jersey, was invited to take her victory lap, she did so – at a trot.

Lauren Boisvert takes her victory lap at a trot after amateur walk-trot equitation at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Lauren is just one of the exhibitors at the 2019 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships who is competing in walk-trot classes this year.

Lauren’s win came in amateur walk-trot hunter under saddle with Suddenly Punk.

“We’ve been working for it all year, with my trainer, and we were ready to come,” Lauren said. “We’re just starting out, and this is a good place to start.”

AQHA added show managers to offer walk-trot classes for youth and amateurs beginning in 2016. In 2018, the classes were added to the Level 1 Championships.

Lauren wasn’t ready to canter yet, she said. She exactly fit the group the walk-trot classes were designed to appeal to.

Suddenly Punk is a 2013 brown gelding by RL Best Of Sudden and out of Ant Punk 06 (TB) by Storm Day. He was bred by Kara Baggett and Val Murrell of Folsom, Louisiana. Lauren calls him “Punk.”

“I just got him about 10 months ago, and he’s just the best,” she said. “I was scared and nervous, but he takes care of me – he’s a good boy.”

Lauren was still excited as she lined up for photos after her win.

“I can’t wait to call everyone,” she said.

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