Unlikely Pair Wins Championship at 2020 AQHA World Show
When Libby Ramsuchit bought a green four-year-old from Ohio State University’s Buckeye Bonanza, she would have never guessed that four years later, they’d be taking a victory lap at the AQHA World Show.
“I didn’t expect this win. I hoped that he would be a great horse that wanted to jump, and I was hoping to go to Congress with him since I lived so close,” she said. “I never expected him to grow into such a great hunter.”
Only A Little Cash, known as Leo around the barn, was born to shatter expectations – literally. He wasn’t even expected as a foal.
“Nancy (Bullock) was the one who donated Leo to the OSU program,” Ramsuchit said. “She had gotten his mom from auction, unaware she was in foal, and when Leo was born, she tracked down the previous owners to get him registered.”
“After watching the students work with him and his videos, I could tell he had a great personality and seemed chill about pretty much everything,” she said. “He didn’t seem phased by the obstacle course, and I hoped that would translate to fence work.”
Leo was Ramsuchit’s first horse – she hadn’t started riding until she joined her college’s equestrian team.
“I didn’t grow up with horses and didn’t even start riding until I joined my college’s IHSA western team,” Ramsuchit said. “When I graduated, I decided to start taking English lessons because jumping looked fun. Four months after I started jumping lessons, I bought Leo, so we honestly learned how to jump together.”
“As a young horse, Leo was, and still is, sometimes a stubborn horse,” she said. “His default coping mechanism when he didn’t want to do something was to rear. He knocked my confidence and made me doubt myself the first year we were together due to that. I asked my trainer to ride him for a couple of weeks, but I also sucked up my fears and still rode him almost every day, even if we just spent the time walking. Week-by-week, as he matured, he would throw his tantrums less and less until they were only once in a blue moon.”
Ramsuchit and Leo worked hard, at first only going over ground poles and small two-foot jumps. They went to schooling shows, showing over cross rails, and even getting beat by kids half her age. But, little-by-little, they progressed, moving up to showing the hunters at local show circuits, going to AQHA shows, and even ending up at the Level 1 Championships.
“Hitting all the milestones along the way and getting to look back on how far we’ve come has been my favorite part,” Ramsuchit said. “Plus all the amazing people along the way who have helped us get to where we are now.”
Finally, they arrived in Oklahoma City to compete, and in the Level 1 Amateur Working Hunter, Ramsuchit and Leo won their class.
“We had a great course, and when we were the last horse standing in awards, I just remember trying to hold back tears while also giving Leo the biggest hug ever,” she said. “My husband was just as teary-eyed as I was when we won. My trainer and barn family, plus the breeder that has Leo’s mom, were all watching on the live stream and blowing up my phone.”
“I was a little concerned for the equitation class because Leo doesn’t enjoy trotting jumps, but he nailed it, and I left the ring with a huge smile on my face,” Ramsuchit said. “It made my day even better when we got third in the equitation. It felt amazing. I’ve put in about 99 percent of the work myself, making him the horse he is today, and it was such a wonderful feeling that my hard work is truly beginning to show.”
Ramsuchit had an amazing World Show experience and hopes to qualify to compete next year, and even have the chance to defend her title.
“I’m just your typical amateur rider who works extra overtime and started my own photography business to help pay for shows,” she said. “We haul around in a trailer that’s older than I am, and most of my stuff is bought used, but we’re still out there, trying to make a name for ourselves.”
They are definitely on their way.