Maggie Bellville of Atlanta, Georgia, and Dcoolest win yearling stallions at the 2012 Adequan Select World.
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by Tara ChristiansenThe American Quarter Horse Journal
For years, Sylvia Walsh watched her sister, decorated amateur competitor Maggie Bellville, travel the AQHA show trail. Last year, Sylvia set about looking for her first American Quarter Horse, and with the help of AQHA Professional Horseman Ronald Stratton of Blountville, Tennessee, Sylvia found her ticket to an AQHA world championship.
Dcoolest, by Acoolest and out of the Image Of Kid mare Image Beyond Compare, was bred and raised by 20-year breeder David Hinkle of Shady Spring, West Virginia. David showed the sorrel to 10th place in weanling stallions at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show, and it was at the World Show that Sylvia purchased her future world champion.
For her first year with Dcoolest, Sylvia turned the shank over to sister Maggie, and on August 28, Maggie led Dcoolest to the win in yearling stallions at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show.
“I’m just so happy that I was able to deliver for my sister – she’s been such a supporter all these years,” Maggie told the Journal during her Winning Run interview. “I’m just so happy that she gets a gold trophy because they’re so hard to get, so I’m thrilled for that.”
Sylvia, of Vestal, New York, wasn’t able to watch Dcoolest’s performance in yearling stallions in person; her daughter is getting married in upstate New York on September 1, so Sylvia is caught up with wedding plans, Maggie said.
“I leave here Friday and have to get to upstate New York for the wedding at 2 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, so I’ll be high-tailing it out of here,” Maggie said. “I wish (Sylvia) could be here, but she’ll be here for the World Show and the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress.”
Maggie – who hails from Atlanta, Georgia – has only been competing in halter for a few years, but it’s an event that has her hooked.
“I’ve ridden all my life and I’ve just started showing halter in the last few years, I don’t feel any stress (when I’m out showing),” Maggie said.
“(Halter) always is (a challenge) – my hands are still shaking. But it’s a very positive challenge and I’m very gratified and humbled that I’m able to do it and have such nice horses.” Of Dcoolest, she said, “For a yearling, they want to kind of step around, but he was very good and I was so pleased with him. He listened and was just quiet and kind.”
Maggie is grateful for Ron, who found the stallion for Sylvia, and for AQHA Professional Horseman Roy Houser of Bristol, Tennessee, who also helps fit Dcoolest. Although Maggie has designs to get Sylvia in the show pen, Maggie will be the sister to show Dcoolest at the Congress and Ron will lead the stallion in yearling stallions at the World Show.
It’s been a successful start to the Adequan Select World for Maggie – she and MTK Rules already captured the reserve world title in aged mares on August 27. But the show is just getting started, as far as the Georgia horsewoman is concerned. With all-around horse Bud Light Please, Maggie will compete in horsemanship, western riding, trail, hunt seat equitation and showmanship. As much as she loves competing in performance classes, halter is certainly an event revered by Maggie.
“I just love going in there and showing them because they’re just wonderful, beautiful horses.”