by Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Annette Fowler and Lets Get Started win back-to-back hunter hack world titles at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Fifth in the go, Annette Fowler and Lets Get Started were riding not just for a gold trophy. The chance to defend their hunter hack world title from the year before was on the line, as well.
The judges were impressed with the pair and their August 30 performance at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show in Amarillo. In fact, Annette Fowler and “Lester” were first under three judges cards and a strong second on two.
“You always have that hope that you can do it again,” Annette told the Journal in an exclusive interview. “I didn’t really feel the pressure, but usually rail work is not his favorite thing to do. He loves to jump. I wasn’t worried about (the fences); I was more worried about my rail work. But he pulled it out and he did a good job.”
By Iron Enterprise and out of Dans Flying Saucer (TB) by Do It Again (TB), Lets Get Started is a 2004 bay gelding.
Thanks to AQHA Professional Horseman Chuck Briggs of Azle, Texas, Lester made an easy transition from hunter under saddle to over fences classes, and has seen much success since then. In addition to his win in Select hunter hack last year with Annette, Lets Get Started was ridden to the hunter hack world title by Annette’s daughter, Casey, at the 2010 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. The bay gelding boasts countless AQHA year-end high-point awards, too.
“He was in Chuck’s barn and someone else was riding him and showing him in hunter under saddle,” Annette said. “Chuck said, ‘You know what, I think this horse will be a good over-fence horse.’ So we decided to take a chance; Chuck has always been great at finding horses for us.
“My daughter, Casey, started riding Lester as a 4-year-old and started jumping him,” explained Annette, who also calls Azle, Texas, home. “Lester has just been awesome. It was like this is what he was meant to do.”
While Casey was away at college and riding on the Auburn University women’s equestrian team, Annette stepped into Lester’s irons. But since Casey graduated this May, mom and daughter have been sharing the reins.
“Casey will show him at the (Bank of America) Amateur World this year,” said Annette, who will be competing against Casey and Lester aboard her own horse, Malibu Moose, in Oklahoma City.
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Annette always wanted a horse when she was growing up, but she didn’t have the chance to purchase one until she was a young newlywed.
“I didn’t have my first horse until I was 26,” she said. “I always wanted one as a kid, and my dad, he raced motorcycles, and that’s all he would let me do.
Yes, that’s right – Annette traded her motorcycle for some four-legged horsepower.
“The year my husband, Bruce, and I got married, he let me have my own horse,” she added. “I started out in Paints, and I was riding with Chuck Briggs at that time, showing Paints. We were doing the all-around stuff, then we started doing over fences. Quarter Horses had more entries in it, so we progressed to the Quarter Horses.”
Annette is glad that she can share her passion for horses with not only Casey, but her youngest daughter, Ciera, as well. Still in college, Ciera is pursuing a nursing degree at Texas Christian University and competes on the TCU women’s equestrian team.
The Fowlers share one more horse fan in the family, who comes in the form of Annette’s husband, Bruce.
“Bruce used to rope,” Annette said. “Then it got to be when my daughters and I were showing, we couldn’t do it all, so he gave it up. That was also about the same time we bought our business.”
The Fowlers own a building supply house and a block plant.
“Bruce comes with us usually to all of our shows and supports us; he helps us, does whatever he needs to,” Annette said.
“It’s been great for us because we’ve done it all as a family. We’ve traveled a lot and it’s just been great for all of us.”