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Maria Salazar Purchases Congress Champion RL Suddenly Lopin from Dan Yeager


GoHorseShow would like to congratulate Maria Salazar on purchasing multiple Congress Champion RL Suddenly Lopin (Joey). This talented, black gelding is by RL Best Of Sudden and was owned by Dan Yeager of Dallas, Texas. At the Congress, Yeager won the Select Amateur Showmanship, and his trainer Charlie Cole of Highpoint Performance Horses won the Junior Western Riding on Joey. 

“I showed Joey all year, and he was getting better at each show,” Yeager recalls. “We ended up Reserve Champions at the NSBA World Show in the Horsemanship. The Congress exceeded all my expectations. We ended up third in Horsemanship and first in Showmanship. Winning the Showmanship was so exciting. He could not have been any better. He did his job, and I could not have been happier.”

“The Junior Western Riding wasn’t even on my radar,” Dan recalls about Joey winning the class. “I was in Dallas working, and they called to tell me the great news. Although it was a total surprise, Charlie and Joey had worked hard all year. He is a great lead changer. I was thrilled for them.”

Yeager said that they hadn’t talked much about selling him. “Joey was a little small for my body type. Then, at the Congress, Jason (Martin) mentioned he might have a buyer. So, I agreed to let someone try him. I didn’t know it was Maria. She is so talented and a beautiful rider. I knew they would be super-successful.”

Multiple AQHA World and Congress Champion Amateur exhibitor, Maria Salazar told us that she wasn’t exactly horse shopping, but Jason Martin told her trainer Shannon McCulloch Bacon, that Joey could be purchased at the Congress. “We immediately went to try him and fell in love. We’ve bought my last two horses from Highpoint or on the advice of Highpoint. I’m so appreciative that they and his owner, Dan Yeager allowed us to buy him. I know he was in hot demand.”

Salazar continues, “I’m excited to have a horse that can excel in the western events. My past horse, Maid Me Good was 17 hands, and while that was fun, I found I missed having a smaller, western horse. Joey is already a Congress Champion in Horsemanship, Showmanship, and Western Riding. We will also show in the Trail, Hunt Seat Equitation, and revisit his Western Pleasure that he did as a young horse. I’m honored that Charlie Cole will continue to show him in the Western Riding and Jesse Jones in the Trail. Shannon McCulloch Bacon is the master puppeteer/trainer, and he will live at home in Pilot Point with us.”

As far as the backstory, Charlie Cole talked to us about how RL Suddenly Lopin originally came to Highpoint. Cole said that Joey was sent to Pilot Point, Texas as a yearling from their longtime customer Geni Addicott. Charlie and Jason started their horse training business in California at Addicott’s ranch. 

“He was a long, gangly two-year-old, so we took our time with him,” Cole remembers. “We sent him to Sara Simons for part of his three-year-old year and most of his four-year-old year. Sara put a solid all-around foundation and lead change on him.”

When Yeager lost his previous horse Pistol, Charlie and Jason had him try Joey. “It was a good fit.  Joey had to step up right away for Dan and did by winning the circuit in Showmanship at Sun Circuit and Reserve Champions in Horsemanship.” 

Charlie told us that Shannon McCulloch Bacon asked if Maria Salazar could try Joey at Congress. “From the moment Maria got on him, we knew it was a match. She looks great on him and rode him perfectly. I’m excited to see all the success they are going to have.” 

McCulloch Bacon adds, “We’re excited to have a more western all-around horse.  We look forward to adding a couple of events to his slate and are excited for the opportunity to expand his all-around career.”

GoHorseShow would like to congratulate Maria and wish her and Joey the best of luck in the amateur all-around events.

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