Robert Denton slides to a stop after his victory lap on Dun Its Legacy. (Journal photo)
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by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Robert Denton of Temecula, California, is at his first Adequan Select World Championship Show. But it won’t be his last.
On August 29, he marked a 217 to win the world championship in reining, also his first.
“I don’t know (how it feels to be world champion),” he said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will. It feels great right now.”
Robert’s world champion horse was Dun Its Legacy, a 2005 gelding by Hollywood Dun It-Whiz N Darlin by Topsail Whiz. “Phoenix” was bred by Joseph Monego of Sherwood, Oregon.
“I’ve had him for three years now,” Robert said. “This is the first year that we’ve really gotten in sync with each other. He’s done a great job all year long, so I’m really proud of him.”
Robert and Phoenix worked last in the first half of the class, right before the drag. Pattern 5, the Adequan Select World finals pattern, calls for the spins at the beginning of the pattern.
“He turned pretty nice,” Robert said. “I thought maybe on the right turn I was going to have a little trouble with him because he was kinda wiggling in the back, but we got him settled and got him turned good. Once I got him through the turns, I know he’s going to circle really good, and I know he’s going to stop, because that’s his best maneuver.
“We got into those right circles, he did his thing, I got him changed and then got him down and stopped him good like he can do, and I knew we had a good run at that point.”
Robert walked out of the arena happy, but he was even happier when he heard the score, whooping and hugging his trainer, AQHA Professional Horseman Tanya Jenkins, also of Temecula.
“I thought 217 was the best score I ever marked, so win or lose, I knew I had won something.”
Robert qualified for his first Adequan Select World in one show.
“I love it,” he said. “I’m going to come back every year if I get treated like this!”