After a summer filled with horse shows and concluding with kids heading back to school after the Iowa State Fair, you’d think show season would slow down. Well, competition actually picks up even more with national and state finals! THF held their own amongst the best in the country at the Monarch National Championship, St. Louis National Charity, Mane Event, IA October Fall Classic, and the American Royal National Championship.

Avis and Reedann’s Desperado (“Raun”) finished their 2023 season in glittering fashion. At St. Louis National Charity, they unanimously won both the qualifier and championship in Amateur English Pleasure. This show is a favorite and it was an honor to earn one of the famous championship neck ribbons! To top off their already fantastic season, Avis and Raun earned fourth at the American Royal National Championship out of sixteen of the best adult show pleasure horses in the country. We were thrilled!

Abby and her steeds, Million Dollar Kiss (“Dinero”) and Absolutely On Heir (“Ichabod”) did magnificently in the pleasure equitation national championships – earning top 10 finishes in all of them. Highlights include making the top 3 in both the ASHBA National Championship and the Saddle and Bridle National Championship at St. Louis Charity. Abby and Dinero also stepped into the saddle seat equitation division to compete in the renowned Good Hands National Championship at Mane Event. They not only made it in the top 10, but also earned a sixth place finish (with a second place vote from one of the three judges!). We’re proud of Abby’s most successful season yet in the senior equitation division and look forward to the future!

In only her first season with a show horse (we mention it a lot, but we’re so proud of her!), Cameron and CH HS First Day (“Spencer”) concluded it with a splendid fall. Highlights include earning reserves in junior exhibitor show pleasure at both the Monarch National Championship and St. Louis National, in addition to wins at IA October Fall Classic. However, perhaps this team’s best memories were made at the American Royal. They won their qualifying class and then earned a reserve neck ribbon in the championship (amongst a field of 15 horses!). Cameron and Spencer grew so much this year and we are so happy to see their dreams come true!

Gracie Kay and Copperhead Road (“Copper”) continued to build as a team in the fall of their first season together. Having both faced injuries earlier this year, they had their fair share of obstacles. However, Gracie and Copper started to really hit their stride at St. Louis Charity, where they won the Good Hands qualifier. They went on to compete in the Good Hands National Championship and made the initial cut in a deep field of equitation riders. At the American Royal, they earned a reserve finish in their equitation qualifier and garnered a top 12 finish in the UPHA Equitation Challenge Cup National Championship. We’re proud of how Gracie has overcome so much and look forward to her future with Copper!

Our academy riders also did exceptionally well at the IA October Fall Classic, where the state academy championships are held. We came home with many wins and top finishes with this polished, hard-working group! We’re eager to see these young ladies continue to develop over the winter and be even more successful in 2024!

Reflecting on the 2023 show season, we have much to be grateful for. We are already setting goals for next year and look forward to what’s to come in 2024!