Friday, August 12, 2016

A different kind of championship

In this part of the world, it's generally accepted that the best strategy for winning Overall Performance Championships is to pick a versatile model and show it in as many classes as possible.
There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but it requires the shower to make a lot of compromises. Instead of showing models specifically sculpted for a certain event, most people elect to use horses with a more generic pose. This is why you see a lot of "making the cut" entries in a cutting class and a million trot fences in the hunters.
I like winning, so I do this, too.
Lu Heater does something else entirely.
Lu hails from New Mexico, but she shows here in Colorado. She specializes in the Other Performance (specifically Native American costume and Scene) and Western Performance divisions, and her entries are spectacular. 
Instead of forcing one horse into every class, she uses a whole bunch of different horses that are uniquely suited for the event in which they are performing.
I should never beat Lu.
And on a class by class basis, I usually don't. 
When it comes time to choose the Champions, however, I often end up with the big prize simply because my one horse (or mule) placed in more classes than any single member of her show string.
I like winning but I kind of hate this.
Jennifer Scott and I want to reward true excellence at the Jennifer Show, so we're trying something different in regards to the performance championships. In addition to a traditional championship for the top performance model, but there will also be a separate and equally prestigious championship for the top performance shower. Both champions will receive an English saddle made by me.
We are really, really excited about this plan, and we hope you will be, too. Dust off those one class wonders, people! This is one show where they can actually contribute to an Overall Championship.


  1. I love this! I would rather make a nice setup for each class, and let more of my string into the arena! Plus it's easier on those who aren't as fast at tack changes, or showing in multiple divisions at once.

  2. Aiming hard at a saddle!

  3. Anyone need help? I'm currently living in Karen Gerhart'd #gimpworld but may be up for helping a bit and just might have a little tack to loan..

  4. This is such a cool idea. And those saddles are worth striving for. I am lucky enough to have one.