LHIFTLP! (Let's Hear It For the Little People)

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Today, thanks to web-cam technology, I got to watch a small victory for those known as "the little people." Among the top-10 winners in the World Championship Appaloosa Show's open yearling longe line class--from a field of about 30, shall we say, "bigger players"--was a bay filly with nothing BUT "LP" connections.

Her name is A Secret Melody. She is the first offspring of a relatively unknown stallion, whose own brief show career consisted of halter classes--not what most "in the know" show people seek out for a Western pleasure-type sire. Her dam is an adored but nothing-fancy old family pet, with no modern-market broodmare credentials whatsoever. The filly was born in back-of-beyond Idaho, where she shared her first pasture months with wandering deer, moose, and elk. Her current owner, who did all her own training and who handled the World-level showing duties on her own as well, is a longe-line rookie from Bismarck, North Dakota. For the record, her name is Charlotte "Chuckie" Heim.

Apparently, nobody told A Secret Melody's wee support group (owner, breeder, stallion owner, and his wife) that they wouldn't have a chance to do well. I guess being unknown has its advantages--people can't tell you you've gone wrong when they don't know you exist.

Hire a pro handler for the filly's World Show run? Nah. "My filly knows me best. So I'll just go ahead and show her myself," went Chuckie's reasoning.

A Secret Melody ended up placing on each of five judges' cards. One judge even put her up in second place. Quite an achievement for a Lil' Miss Nobody horse from Idaho and North Dakota.

And needless to say, a shot in the arm for anyone with a dream that's bigger than the resources espoused by conventional horse-show wisdom!