by Laura StevensThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Karen Stallings and NMSU Truckin Chex.
For the third year in row, NMSU Truckin Chex has claimed the AQHA world championship in amateur working cow horse with owner Karen Stallings.
As Karen put it in the Journal’s winning run interview, “Elvis” doesn’t have much left to prove. His achievements include more than $110,000 in National Reined Cow Horse Association earnings and more than $24,000 in AQHA World Championship Show earnings, not to mention his 2004 NRCHA world championship in open bridle and 2007 NRCHA non-pro bridle world championship.
Not only is Elvis great at his job, but he loves it.
“He just wants to please you, does his job and is a freak of an athlete. It makes it easy.”
Karen attributes the horse's longevity to his want-to-please attitude. Elvis is now 12 and is still mentally and physically sound, according to Karen.
“He’s so much fun to show; I kind of don’t know how to retire him,” Karen laughed. “When we take the trailer to shows and we leave him at home, he actually gets upset. So, I don’t know.”
Karen said Elvis was “right on,” in the dry work. Tonight, his “lead changes were perfect, which is sometimes my bobble,” Karen said. “He took care of me there.” Then Karen took a moment to calm herself before working the cow.
Karen thanked her husband, AQHA Professional Horseman Kevin Stallings.
“He is who keeps Elvis together,” she said. “Everybody says that Elvis likes me more, but there’s no way I could do what I’ve done on him if my husband Kevin wasn’t there, coaching me and riding Elvis along with me.”
“I owe everything to Kevin and to Elvis.”