Anne Wilson shows Visible Investment in showmanship August 30 at the Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Buy preliminary and finals classes on DVD at Envision! Film and Video
by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Anne Wilson of Dallas, Texas, sent in her 2011 Adequan Select World Championship Show entries on a wing and a prayer.
“I didn’t even think I was going to be here,” Anne told the Journal. “My horse (Visible Investment, aka “Dudley”) was injured at the beginning of May. He has been hand-walked for four months. When we sent in our entry fees August 1, (and) my trainer said we had a less than 50 percent chance of coming, but we knew he was getting better. We just hoped and prayed he healed in time.”
She qualified in six all-around events, but only entered five – she thought if Dudley was ready at all, it would be too much to ask him to do trail.
While Dudley hand-walked all summer, Anne practiced her classes on other horses: “My trainers (AQHA Professional Horseman John and Jill Briggs) had me practicing my riding classes on one horse, and for showmanship, I was running in the deep dirt with a different horse.”
On August 22, before the Adequan Select World began on the 28th, Anne’s veterinarian longed the gelding, “and he was perfect.” They worked in a practice show on the 24th, “and it was a little wreck,” Anne said. They had some rough edges to work on, but they came on to the show.
By the end of preliminaries August 29, Anne and Dudley had made the finals in showmanship, horsemanship and hunt seat equitation. By the end of the day August 30, they’d won the Select world championship in showmanship.
“My horse is amazingly fit!” Anne said. “I’m just -- I’m in shock to be here and even more in shock to have had this success.”
Anne bought Dudley in late 2005 because he had won the showmanship high-point award that year with former owner Ann Webb. “I love showmanship, so I was so excited to be able to buy a horse that was good in that event. He’s been so special. I love him to death, especially considering how he’s performing now after a four-month break. He’s just really wonderful and seems to be so happy to be back doing his job.”
Ann had a crowded win photo at the backdrop – she was one of four exhibitors from the Briggs’ barn in Pilot Point, Texas, to make it back to the showmanship finals. The whole barn gathered for the photo: Ann, Sue Pennau, who finished third, and finalists Becky Borders and Dan Yeager.
“We’re really proud of our trainers,” Ann said. “Everyone is great. We all learn from each other and we support each other. After we’d done our patterns (in the finals), Jill said, ‘Well, you guys all might be finalists or you might be 1, 2, 3, 4!’ We all did a good job. We’re all happy to be here together.”
With two more riding finals as well as the performance halter geldings class to go, the Adequan Select World isn’t over yet for Anne.
“My husband (John) has been so supportive,” she said. “He was the one who encouraged me to send in my entry fees knowing that I might not be able to come. He’s my sponsor and my groom! And I couldn’t do it without him.”