2012 Select World

Equitation Over Fences

Smile for the Select camera, Fonzie.

Larks Happy Days, appropriately nicknamed “Fonzie,” loves to smile for the camera for a granola bar. Especially if it’s in a Journal Winning Run interview, because that means he has just earned an AQHA world championship. 

He carried his owner, Lori Bucholz of Waterloo, Nebraska, to their latest title September 1 at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show, in equitation over fences.

“It’s just amazing (to win at the Adequan Select World),” Lori told the Journal. “It’s a wonderful feeling, especially with this group of competitors. We all know each other very well, and we all root for each other, so it’s nice to hear the congratulations and 'good jobs' from everyone else.”

Fourteenth in the go, Lori felt prepared for the class, the first finals on the last day of the 2012 show.

“The five line, the first full line that we did, was a little bit tricky,” Lori said. “We kind of had to work on that repeatedly this morning. But he did it real well and everything else just flowed for us.”

She ended up first under two judges and second under three, taking home the gold trophy.

Since winning his first AQHA world championship in 2006 in junior pleasure driving, during FedEx Open Week at the AQHA World Championship Show, Fonzie has added a slew of titles and accomplishments in the over-fences classes to his resume, along with 231 open and amateur points to date.

He carried Lori to her first Select world championship in 2009 in working hunter and then to the Select pleasure driving and equitation over fences championships in 2010.

“He’s a great guy,” Lori said, as Fonzie nosed her hand for another granola bar. “We call him a construction foreman kind of guy: He knows his job; he does his job; he likes to be put back.

“He gets pampered a lot by Brad Foss, (AQHA Professional Horsemen) Lainie DeBoer and (AQHA Professional Horseman) Kevin Dukes. Everybody kind of pampers him. He does his job and he does it well.

“He’s great, he’s The Fonz.”

Lori said this past show season has “been kind of crazy,” and she hasn’t been on the road showing as much as she has in the past.

“We are in the middle of a kitchen and laundry room remodel,” she said. “I’ve got to go home and put a kitchen back together.

“We’ve done a few shows, the (National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship Show), then to Kevin and Melissa Dukes’ and rode the week before coming here. We’ve ridden when we could and practiced when we could.”

She added that “It takes a village (to win a world championship), for all of us (showing here).” And she expressed thanks to the Dukes, Lainie and Brad.

“And of course, (thanks to) my wonderful husband, Rick, for letting me come and play and make all my dreams come true. I try to tell him on a daily basis thank you for buying me this horse. ...

“What a pleasure to come to the (Adequan) Select World,” she continued. “It’s been an amazing 10 years, and I hope it goes on for another 20 or 30 years and I’m like Suzanne Jones (of Tatum, New Mexico) who is here riding, when I’m 87. It’s a great horse show for all of us. We all love it.”

Including Fonzie, who nudged the microphone hoping to be asked to smile again.

2012 Adequan Select World Champions in Equitation Over Fences Lori Bucholz and Larks Happy Days

Lori Bucholz and Larks Happy Days, aka "Fonzie," win the equitation over fences at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show.