by Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Irish A Shine and Deah Hessian-Ruple mark a 217.5 to win the reining world title at the 2013 Adequan Select World. (Journal photo)
Who knew that what started as just two friends talking over drinks would result in a reining world championship for Deah Hessian-Ruple and Irish A Shine?
The two decorated cow horse competitors stepped into the Amarillo National Center at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show with one goal: to make the reining finals. Anything more than that, like the world title they earned on August 28, was just icing on the cake.
Two years ago, Deah and her good friend, Marilyn Harris, were lost in conversation while they were in Oklahoma City for the AQHA World Championship Show.
“Marilyn said I needed to buy a better horse,” Deah told the Journal. “I said, ‘I’d really like to buy a better horse: I’d like to buy your horse.’ ”
That horse happened to be Irish A Shine, the 2002 sorrel mare Marilyn had ridden to numerous titles, including the 2010 Adequan Select World working cow horse world title, plus back-to-back Select reserve world championships in the event in 2007 and 2008. And that’s just the short list of what “Clover” has accomplished. Without a doubt, this was the kind of mare Deah wanted to call her own.
“We were at a bar, and the next thing I knew, Marilyn said, ‘Well, I think maybe that might be a good idea,’ ” Deah recalled. “The minute she brought that horse over to our barn, I was happy as a lark.”
With the help of AQHA Professional Horseman Jimmie Paul of Phoenix, Deah and Clover were tuned up for their reining performances at the Adequan Select World.
“We ended up first in the prelims, and I was a little nervous that that might not be a good-luck thing,” said Deah, who calls Fountain Hills, Arizona, home.
“This mare is just so easy to show. She runs, she stops she rolls back, and she just sits back and says, ‘OK, what do you want to do next?’ ”
By Paddys Irish Whiskey and out of Shine O Lena by Shining Spark, Irish A Shine was bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Carol Rose of Gainesville, Texas.
“My goal was to just make it to the finals, so I had made my goal and my feeling was whatever the outcome is, at least I can say I really showed this mare,” Deah said. For their efforts, Deah and Clover earned a score of 217.5, besting Tamra Kyle and A Ruf Gal by half a point.
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A horse addict since she was a little girl, Deah got hooked on reining through a friend, whom she was rooming with through vet school at Colorado State University.
“When I graduated from school, I talked my then-fiancée into buying me a reiner,” she explained. “I punked around on that horse for a while, then after working for all of those years and having a work life, I was able to finally purchase some really nice horses.”
Deah rode with legendary horseman Jim Paul Sr. for several years, then transferred over to his son Jimmie just a few years ago. She has been very pleased with Jimmie’s program, and said that it’s a great fit for Clover, who Deah will be competing with in working cow horse and ranch pleasure at the Bank of America Amateur World Championship Show this November in Oklahoma City.
“Between now and then, Jimmie will probably go back to roping on her. She’s a really easy horse to keep up,” Deah said. “They rope on her, they ride her out in the pasture; they just try to keep her fit. She doesn’t take much to get tuned up.”
While this reining world championship certainly means quite a bit to Deah, she considers herself lucky to also boast two National Reined Cow Horse Association world titles to her name, which she earned a few years ago with Teninolena Chex in the non-pro limited and $5,000 non-pro limited classes, NRCHA’s equivalent to boxing.
“I think that anybody who does this sport at this level, you really have to have a spouse who understands the time commitment,” Deah said. The newly crowned world champion is quite thankful that her husband, Scott, fits that description, but adds that there is one other secret to the success behind their 23-year marriage.
“It’s best that he does his thing and I do my thing,” she said, clarifying that Scott is a competitive marksman.
And with a laugh, she added, “It makes for a happy home.”