by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Catherine Keith and Rinskis Old Gold negotiate the trail course August 29 on their way to a world championship at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
The trail to the world championship started in a lesson barn.
On August 29, Cathy Keith of Abilene, Texas, rode Rinskis Old Gold to the gold trophy in trail at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show.
Rinskis Old Gold is a 1995 sorrel gelding by Zippos Old Gold and out of Precious Rinski by Dude Boston. He was bred by Tom and Eleanor Tilton of Argyle, Texas.
“I’ve had ‘Red’ for 12 years now,” Cathy said. “I bought him as a 6-year-old. He was a lesson horse that a friend of mine had. He was giving little kids lessons on a longe line. And we took him home and took him to (AQHA Professional Horseman) Buddy Fisher, and Buddy has had him in the barn for 12 years. He loves going to the shows. He loves being part of the group, and he loves trail. Which is good! I love trail!”
In 2012, Cathy and Red were reserve world champions, and she was hoping for another top-10 finish.
“That pattern was really made for Red,” she said. “It’s for a horse that needed to be able to feel and move and guide, and he loved it. The colors were good. He was paying attention. He did everything I asked. He was just fantastic for me.”
The Tim Kimura-designed course included some tricky spots that Buddy described as “rattlesnakes.”
“I was concerned with the first back-through at the cones,” Cathy said. “We had been practicing that trot maze, but I still had some hesitation in that, and I was so proud of him for going through there.”
After Cathy finished her pattern, she knew she had a couple of ticks, and she wasn’t really expecting to win.
As the placings were announced, Cathy and Red waited on the wall near Susan Johns of Paradise Valley, Arizona, until they were the only two left. In describing the reserve world champion, announcer Darren Moore said the reserve world champion would be first in National Snaffle Bit Association competition.
“When they said first in NSBA, I went, ‘Hey, I’m not in NSBA,’ ” she said. “And then I figured it out.”
The world championship hadn’t sunk in when Cathy had her exclusive interview with the Journal.
“I feel like I ought to do the football thing and say I’m going to Disney World, but I don’t know what we’re going to do (to celebrate),” she said. “I want to thank my husband (Billy), of course. He’s the one who encouraged me years ago to start. He has to be top of the list for that. I have to thank Prim for letting me buy the horse. And Buddy, oh, my Lord, you cannot believe the time. He was going to send (Red) home after the first two weeks because Red was so stubborn. Then all of a sudden, he turned a page and he said, 'Oh, I want to be a show horse.' That is definitely part of his success, that he has been with Buddy that long.”
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Buddy’s unique wagon wheel trail exercise is in the September issue of the Journal as the Borrow a Trainer topic, and Cathy’s really familiar with the wagon wheel.
“Oh, you don’t even want to know (how many times I’ve ridden it),” she said. “But you know what? It pays off. It does pay off.”