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2019 AQHYA World Champions Return to Defend Titles

Every August, exhibitors travel from all over the world to Oklahoma City to compete at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. Forty-two of them walk away with a gold globe trophy in their hands as newly-crowned World Champions. From there, at the top of the world, what do they do next? Well, of course, they try to do it again the very next year.

GoHorseShow had the opportunity to speak with a few of the 2019 AQHYA World Champions who are competing again this year. Each exhibitor told us a little about their “#GotThatGlobe” moment, along with their expectations for this year.

Sydnie Ochs and No Doubting Me – Milton, Wisconsin

In 2019, Sydnie took home her first World Championship title in the 14-18 Western Pleasure on her horse, No Doubting Me. “It was an unbelievable experience to win last year,” she told us, “The whole week was extremely emotional for me. The day before the finals, our practice did not go well, but when we came into the finals, and he felt amazing, that’s when I knew we had a shot at the gold.”

As for 2020? Sydnie says that she is, “just looking forward to seeing everyone and showing. It has been such a crazy year, and I miss my horse show family so much. Of course, I would love to have a repeat of last year, and I believe that NoNo is a lot stronger and so much more consistent than he was last year, so I would say my expectations for us are very high.”

Trent Searles and Shes That Radiant – Scottsdale, Arizona

Trent and Shes That Radiant, aka “Kate,” have a unique opportunity to become three-time World Champions in the halter events this year. In 2018, the pair took home gold in the Yearling Fillies and duplicated the feat in 2019 in the Two-Year-Old Mares. Trent said that winning a World Championship is, “an experience you can’t fully describe.” Having grown up watching his sister, Taylor show and win at the Youth World show, he said, “I wanted to be able to say that I have a championship buckle at the Youth World Show. It means so much to hear your name called out and to have the neck ribbon placed over your horse’s neck. It’ll make anyone cry tears of joy. I can tell you the feeling never gets old. The second one was just as memorable as the first.”

This year, Trent will show Kate in the Three-Year-Old Mares for a chance at a three-peat. “I am looking forward to showing both of my horses, Shes That Radiant and Gunnarockya, in the halter, and being at a show where I can see old friends again,” he explained. Despite his successful record at this event over the past two years, he says that he doesn’t “really have big expectations when I show. I just get ready and go, never really sit down and worry about what I need to do or what could happen. The best thing to do is just to do what you have been doing all year and go show.”

Emma Gore – Croton, Ohio

In the second year that 13 and Under events were offered at the AQHYA Youth World Show, Emma Gore became the second-ever World Champion in the 13 and Under Horsemanship with her horse, My Only Good Shoes. The victory was her first World Championship title. “It was amazing,” she said of the feeling, “I worked hard, and I am very blessed to have achieved such a big accomplishment.”

At the 2020 Youth World Show, Emma told us that she is “really excited to be able to be back to showing, and for the opportunity to spend time with the other youth and friends that I show with.”

Emma’s situation for the 2020 Youth World Show is slightly different from the other exhibitors in this article, as her World Champion partner from 2019 has sadly passed away. She will still compete at this year’s event, but with three different horses. Her expectations are always high, even with the limited showing she has been able to do this year with a new horse, Krymsun N Gold: “I would love to win another gold globe,” she said. “None of us have had the opportunity to show as much this year, so I am going to do my very best and hope that is enough. No matter the outcome, I feel grateful for the opportunity to do what I love.”

She would also like to add that she wishes all of the youth attending the event safe travels and the best of luck.

Avery Mortman and He’s Just  A Touch More – Magnolia, Texas

Avery and “Gumy” had a hugely successful 2019 AQHYA World Championship Show, taking home multiple top-three finishes. Still, their victory in the 13 and Under Showmanship was the crowning moment of the show. Avery told us, “winning the Youth World is something I’ve dreamed and prayed about for years now. I am so blessed to have this horse, the guidance of my trainer, Chad Evans, and the ability to accomplish something as amazing as a Youth World Championship title. It was such a happy, rewarding moment that I will forever cherish.”

This year, she is looking forward to the show for a multitude of reasons. She is particularly excited about the range of competitors, from Level 1 to Level 3, that will be competing this year. “I really love all of the patterns, and I am looking forward to competing and putting on the best performances I can,” she said. “I am also so excited to see all of my friends and to get to spend time with them at a horse show.”

Avery, Chad, and Gumy have been working hard on the western all-around events leading up to this year’s show, and she is hoping that all of their efforts pay off. “I hope to excel in and do well in the trail, horsemanship, and showmanship. It would be amazing to place in the top five in such an awesome group of competitors,” she concluded.

Caroline Nielson and The Only Kiss to Envy – Las Vegas, Nevada

Last year, Caroline took home her first World Championship title in the 14-18 Western Riding with her horse The Only Kiss to Envy, whom she affectionately calls “Scottie.” Walking out of the arena with a Gold Globe in her hand, she says, “was truly an indescribable feeling. I dreamed of winning the Youth World Show for so long, but never really believed it would be possible.” She used this dream as a motivation to push herself to be the best rider and version of herself that she could be. So, she told us, “when I won the western riding at the Youth World Show last year, not only did my wildest dreams come true, but I was reassured that the hard work I invested paid off.”

The Youth World Show is always an exciting event for her, partially because of the showing, but also because she has “been able to not only reunite with my friends who live all over the country but also witness their success.” Watching as her close friends accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams, “has been an absolute blessing,” to her.

“Going into my final Youth World Show, I am trying to keep my expectations minimal,” Caroline explained. “Ultimately, all I want is to have the best rides possible, no matter the results.” To close out a youth career that has already exceeded her “wildest dreams,” she is just hoping to have “one last great world show,” with Scottie, who she says, “has already given me so much and allowed me to accomplish things I never imagined possible.”


Each of these competitors has achieved the highest level of success in the Quarter Horse industry. They walked out of the Jim Norick Arena, a Gold Globe in hand, and set their sights to this year. These youth should serve as an inspiration to equestrians of all levels. Even after all of their success in the arena, they have not lost sight of the root aspects of showing which attract us all in the first place – a love of horses. It is an opportunity to make friends that serve as a support system like no other.

GoHorseShow wishes safe travels, great rides, and many picture-perfect moments to all of the youth who are traveling to Oklahoma City this year, go #GetThatGlobe!