November 6, 2010
By Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
View larger slide show with photo captions
Tanya Relander, left, and Barb Delf chat across the rail in the Jim Norick Coliseum warmup pen at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show.
Walking around the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City is a great way to say hello to some familiar faces and meet some new ones.
The 2010 AQHA World Championship Show officially started at 8 a.m., November 6, but as early as November 4, horses and exhibitors started arrriving and trainers began putting up their elaborate stall curtains and fronts. The barns have been busy for days.
Tanya Relander of Aledo, Illinois, was riding her homebred stallion, One Lazy Investment, trying to get him accustomed to the commotion of the World Show, the banners, the giant screens and the excited people.
In 2008, One Lazy Investment won the Congress Masters 2-year-old western pleasure class. In 2009, he was third at the World Show in amateur western pleasure with Tanya. Since then, Tanya has been doing all the horse’s training herself, and she had some success at the 2010 Congress in Columbus, Ohio. She placed second in amateur western pleasure, was 10th in junior western pleasure and placed third in the open western pleasure maturity.
Tanya hopes to echo some of that success at the World Show and was working off some of her own nerves by chatting with Barb Delf of Custom Tails. Barb is from Bluegrass, Iowa, and she and Tanya are practically neighbors, in Quarter Horse terms, but they never get a chance to chat.
In another corner of the Super Barn, another amateur exhibitor was getting ready to show her own Masters winner.
Susan Kaplow of Chappaqua, New York, plans to show Quality Art in hunter under saddle. The 2007 sorrel gelding was the 2009 Congress Masters winner in hunter under saddle with AQHA Professional Horseman Beth Case in the irons. Since then, Susan has been showing the horse herself, and the World Show will be a big test of their partnership.
Just outside the Super Barn, Fon Laughlin of Little Elm, Texas, was unloading Zip Along Home, aka “Homer,” from his trailer. This is the fifth year that Fon has been to the World Show with Homer and this year, just like every year, her goal is to make the finals in one class.
“I don’t ask for much,” she says. “I don’t expect to win. I just want to be in the finals.”
Fon and Homer show in all-around classes, so surely with western horsemanship, performance halter, showmanship, trail and western riding all to come, this will be Fon’s year. But she’s trying not to think about that.
“No, this is just another weekend show,” she says, pretending she hasn’t heard she’s at the World Show. “La la la la la.”For everyone else, though, the World Show has arrived in Oklahoma City. Bookmark www.aqha.com/worldshow and come back often to read about what’s going on behind the scenes as well as about the new world champions.