March 20-22, 2014, Houston, Texas
Lil Ruf Catalyst and Mozaun McKibben
The race to the Versatility Ranch Horse open world championship was just as tight as the dash to the amateur VRH world title earlier in the day. Mozaun McKibben was sitting in first place, just three points ahead of Lavert Avent and four points ahead of Sara Gugelmeyer. Once again, it hinged on the quality of their working ranch horse run.
In the end, Mozaun and Lil Ruf Catalyst placed third in the working ranch horse with a score of 260, Sara and Colonels Miss Chic were fifth with a 177 and Lavert and Gallo Poco Cross had a tough go that resulted in a score of 94. Tripp Townsend and the Burnett Ranches-bred Sixes Sixgun won the working ranch horse with a score of 360.
But third place was good enough to get Mozaun and “Stud” the gold AQHA world championship trophy, his second VRH open world title. Lavert and Sara were tied for reserve, but the tie-breaker of the highest score in the working ranch horse made Sara the reserve world champion and Lavert took home the bronze trophy.
“Our week started off really good,” Mozaun told the Journal. “We won the cutting and ranch riding, we were second in the trail. Today, we had a little hard time in the halter, placing fifth, and not a great cow horse run, but I just needed to be clean.”
Mozaun and girlfriend Hillary Zimmerman of Whitesboro, Texas, bought Stud when he was just a yearling. The personable 2006 black stallion, who is by Lil Ruf Peppy and by the Taris Catalyst mare Foxy Catalyst, was bred by Werner Hermus of Valley View, Texas.
“We did the cow horse stuff on him when he was a 3-year-old and done versatility, SHOT and RHA, he won the open ranch horse pleasure at the world show last year,” Mozaun said. “He’s been a really honest, good horse. We hardly ride him now. We turn him out in the day time and put him in at night.”
Hillary was beaming with pride.
“I’m very proud of both of them,” she said. “We love him. He’s probably not the most athletic horse we’ve ever had, but from the time he was a baby, he’s had a ton of personality and so good-minded. It doesn’t matter what event Mozaun wants to do with him, he just wants to give 100 percent.”