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Shelly Boyle & Put Your Spurs On Break All-Time Points Record


Everyone has heard the saying, “teamwork makes the dream work.” With the right rider, horse, and trainer combination, anything is possible. Exhibitors and trainers alike dream big and think of the day their names go down in history. Experiencing a feat as significant as breaking the all-time point’s record for Amateur Hunter Under Saddle is something exhibitors and trainers only dream of, but Shelly Boyle and Put Your Spurs On, under the guidance of Darla and Brian Lee, have done just that.

Put Your Spurs On, otherwise known as Micky, is a 2006 AQHA gelding by Potential Investment. Initially bred for western pleasure, the bay found his stride in the hunter under saddle arena. Owner Shelly Boyle commented, “Micky is a physically tough, sound horse that loves his job. At 16 hands and a plain bay, Micky isn’t the biggest, flashiest, fanciest horse in the pen, but he is great legged and consistent with great expression.”

Shelly and Micky came together in 2009 when Shelly decided to move towards the hunt seat all-around. “The goal was to be competitive in the all-around, but also be able to show in the hunter under saddle, which I was still a novice in at the time. I was training with Laurie Hoopes, and she stumbled across Micky by chance.  During an August show in Harlansburg, she struck up a conversation with Ray Carmean and let him know that we were looking for a ‘tweener.’  Ray told Laurie he had just the horse, and his wife Tanya would be showing that horse over the weekend. The next day, we watched Tanya show Micky in the hunter under saddle and Laurie told me I just had to buy him. The rest is history,” Shelly recalls.

Since then, the team has amassed four AQHA High Point awards (2010 Limited Amateur Hunter Under Saddle, 2011 Amateur Hunter Under Saddle, 2012 Amateur Hunter Under Saddle, and 2013 Senior Hunter Under Saddle), multiple top ten placings at the AQHA World Show, as well as the NSBA World Show. Micky also has his superior in Showmanship (65 points) and Hunt Seat Equitation (53.5 points), and is an Amateur AQHA Performance Champion, with points in Amateur Performance Halter Geldings, Amateur Trail, and Level 1 (Green) Trail.

But, this team’s most significant accomplishment is breaking the record for all-time points leader in the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle. Micky holds 730.5 points for this event, with 724 of them being won with Shelly. The remainder of the points are from the previous owner, Tanya Carmean.

Shelly’s trainer, Darla Lee stated, “This accomplishment means a lot to both my husband, Brian and I and Shelly and her mom, Brenda Campbell. It’s not something you think about until you start to get close enough to feel like it’s something within reach. We knew at the end of last year that it might be something we could get accomplished this year, but did not want to overexert Micky to do it. We wanted to let it happen if it was meant to be. We did not schedule any other shows or anything like that; we just did what we always do. Every show we would feel good that we were a little closer.”

An accomplishment so large, it took a decade to achieve. “A few weekends ago, when Shelly got the points, she was actually in the middle of the Senior Hunter Under Class when they were reading off the results of the Amateur. When we knew Shelly got them, she came cantering around the pen and just smiled at Brian and I, and it was just a great feeling. It was ten years of work all in a single moment. I’ve had judges tell me that they didn’t even see him in the pen; they lost him or didn’t even notice him, so I’m so happy he is getting the recognition he deserves for his long career. There are not very many hunt seat horses that can show for ten years; you can probably count them on one hand,” Darla explained.

At thirteen years old, Micky is older than most of the horses he competes against. Shelly clarified, “I think Micky has demonstrated that age is nothing but a number and he truly loves his job.  Brian and Darla are dreading finding my next horse because we know this boy is irreplaceable. Luckily for us, he is showing no signs of slowing down. I plan to keep showing Micky and casually looking for just the right young one to come along. This one is once-in-a-lifetime and I consider myself so fortunate to get to be part of his story.”


About the Author: Taylor Riley is from the small town of Cole Camp, Missouri, where she currently attends college at Northwest Missouri State University to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education. Outside of class, Taylor enjoys competing in the APHA all-around events with her paint gelding, Masked N Marvelous aka Radar. As a DIY amateur, much of her free time is spent caring for and training her horses that reside on her family farm.

Photos by Larry Williams, Emajes Design

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