Last night at the AQHA World Show, the amateur horsemanship finals drew a healthy crowd, despite the late start time of 9:30 p.m. The pattern tested the skills of the top 14 horses and riders (one pair scratched), and snappy transitions were the game of the night.
Exhibitors started their patterns at an extended jog, then had to slow to a jog and resume an extended jog. After 1-1/2 spins, they picked up a lope, loped a small circle to the right, then changed leads and extended the lope for another circle. The pattern ended with a break to a walk and another spin.
In the rail work, the riders got a serious workout, going most of the first direction sans stirrups.
Whitney Walquist Vicars and Dress This, a 6-year-old gelding, took home the high score and the gold trophy. Check out this slide show to see a few of the top exhibitors.