Lea Ann Koch of Oswego, Illinois, wins the 2012 Select world championship in 2-year-old stallions with Hez N Command.
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by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
In a first Select World Championship Show appearance for both Lea Ann Koch and her stallion, Hez N Command, the two walked out with a gold trophy in 2-year-old stallions August 26.
“It’s pretty cool; I own his daddy so that really makes it really cool, also,” Lea Ann told the Journal in her Journal Winning Run interview. “I’m pretty excited.”
She added: “Actually, truthfully, this is the third time I’ve touched him. I bought him; I got him qualified at one show; I worked with him yesterday, and this is the third time.”
Even so, Lea Ann, a seasoned exhibitor, was confident in her new horse, fit by her longtime trainer Andy Staton of Shelbyville, Illinois.
“(Hez N Command) is just like his daddy, he’s really calm, he’s cool,” she said. “This is his fifth time he’s been to a horse show. He’s easy to get along with; he’s almost to the point where you forget he’s a stud, he’s so quiet.”
She continued, “You shouldn’t go into the pen unless you’re confident. You have to go in there with the idea that you want to win. I try to go in confident and not get scared and nervous.”
Plans for the stallion now are to go on to show at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and then to the AQHA World Championship Show. After that, “We’ll see,” Lea Ann said. “I unfortunately lost his daddy. So we’ll see where this goes.”
Showing halter horses was something Lea Ann enjoyed with her late father, Dr. Howard Koch. Lea Ann is an AQHA 10-year breeder, as were she and her father together. Lea Ann won the 2011 amateur yearling mares world championship with Best To Be Me, a homebred mare she and her father raised.
Lea Ann left her “main crew at home” in Oswego, Illinois, but Jim and Laura Pyatt, who bred and raised Hez N Command and sold him to Lea Ann, were in the stands. They have a full sibling to the stallion on the way for 2013.
Showing at the Adequan Select World “means I’ve gotten old!” Lea Ann said with a laugh. “We just decided at the last minute, let’s do it, let’s go. It’s funny to see people who are here at the Select, and we used to show in the youth with each other…. It’s cool.”