by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
In 2008, Carrie von Uhlit was the world champion in amateur reining with Ricochet San. This year, Samantha Griffin made her work twice as hard.
On November 10, the finals reining scores at the AQHA World Championship Show were not announced to build drama. As the last reiner rode out of the Jim Norick Coliseum in Oklahoma City, announcer Clark Scoggin told the assembled crowd that two riders would be working off: Carrie and Samantha.
After an arena drag, Canadian Samantha rode first on Dun Playin Tag, the 2004 dun gelding who just placed third in the individual reining with Canadian Duane Latimer at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Her hard-driving run brought plenty of applause. Then it was Carrie’s turn.
“I was a lot more nervous for my first run,” Carrie said. “Honestly, my first run was the best run I’ve ever had on this horse, so I was super excited for that run, and they said a runoff, and I thought, ‘What the heck, I’m first or second.’ I was really excited to just be there.”
Carrie’s run also brought applause and cheers, but the scores were still being held. As the finalists were announced in reverse order, Samantha placed third on her other horse, This Chic N Whiz, then had to quickly mount Dun Playin Tag to receive her reserve world championship trophy.
Carrie said Ricochet San’s next career will be in working cow horse.
“I’ve showed him in the limited some, and I’m going to start taking him down the fence next year,” she said. “He’s been a great horse in the reining. We’ll probably stick to the cow horse now.”
Carrie, who rode during college for her Texas Christian University’s Varsity Equestrian team, hasn’t been able to accept prize money in the past due to NCAA rules.
“I graduated in May,” she said. “I finally get to keep the money.”
Carrie Von Uhlit and Ricochet San