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Journal at the World

November 11, 2011

Sharing Their First Year

There is a great bond between the Parisek sisters.

By Samantha Eckert
The American Quarter Horse Journal

Morgan Parisek and You Maka Me Happy

Morgan and You Maka Me Happy after their equitation over fences preliminaries at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo).

Morgan and Lexy Parisek of Elgin, Illinois, were born with the love of horses in their blood. Their parents, Jackie and Jerry, met at a horse show. Jackie grew up showing western pleasure and all-around at local shows and Jerry was mainly a hunter, showing warmbloods.

“I had a plethora,” Jackie says. “I had Quarter Horses, I had an Appaloosa, I had Paints.”

The girls started out on a path closer to their father’s horse career.

“The girls started riding when they were young,” Jackie says. “I think Morgan was six and Lexy was four when they started taking riding lessons.”

“We started out three-day eventing,” Morgan says. “That’s what we were taking lessons for. From there we started the hunters. Then we started doing western and the hunters.”

Morgan and Lexy competed locally at Paint shows, open shows, and A-circuit hunter shows.

“This is the first year that we decided ‘Okay we’re going to go,’” Jackie says. “After last year at the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress, we said, ‘we’re gonna hit (the Quarter Horse circuits) hard this year.’”

And that they did. Both Lexy and Morgan got new horses. Lexy got Slow N Natural, aka “Rodger,” and Morgan got You Maka Me Happy, aka “Happy.”

They hit all the big shows and both were qualified nationally to come to the AQHA and Built Ford Tough AQHYA world championship shows in several events.

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Lexy went on to win the hunter hack class at the 2011 Ford Youth World with Rodger. She was not expecting to do so well at her first Ford Youth World.

“He gets so distracted sometimes, so it’s hard with him to do the under saddle,” Lexy says about Rodger. “But we went in there and he was just amazing. He couldn’t have been any better. So I had no idea.

“Then they were handing out the Intermediate (awards). The two girls that were the other Intermediate champions, I knew. So we went in there and we were the last three ones standing when they were doing the regular placings. My friend, Carleigh, looked at me and she was like, ‘Lexy you just won!’

“I totally didn’t know. And they were all bawling their eyes out, and I started crying. It was just so exciting. I had no idea. I was totally not expecting it, but he’s just so good. “We went in there and our jumps were so good. I was hoping we would at least be up there (in the placings), but I was not expecting it for my first year at all.”

And with that, the Parisek’s luck carried over to the AQHA World Championship Show, where Morgan made the equitation over fences finals, which will run November 11. So far, Morgan has had a lot of fun attending her first AQHA World Show.

“It’s awesome, it’s so much fun,” Morgan says. “And I love my horse. He’s trouble, but (he’s) a blast!”

The two also swept the Congress this year. Morgan won the amateur working hunter, novice amateur equitation over fences, reserve in amatuer equitation over fences, was fourth in novice amateur working hunter, and was fifth in the non-pro hunter classic. Lexy was reserve in the novice youth hunter hack, fourth in the youth hunter hack, fifth in novice youth equitation over fences and seventh in novice youth working hunter. Her horse, Rodger, won the junior working hunter, was third in progressive working hunter and third in the junior hunter hack with the Parisek’s trainer, AQHA Professional Horseman Linda Crothers of Sarasota, Florida.

Lexy is currently a senior in high school and is homeschooled so she can show her horses and her dogs full time. She will follow in her sister’s footsteps and attend Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, this fall. Lexy hopes to be a professional dog handler when she gets older.

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Morgan is currently a sophomore at Murray State and is majoring in pre-veterinarian. She rides on Murray’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association hunt and stock teams. Morgan attributes a lot of her advancement as an equitation rider to riding the various Murray horses.

“Riding all the different horses,” Morgan starts, “you never know what horse you’re going to have there. And my horse likes to change a lot when I ride him, too. When I go in the ring I never know if I’m going to have the ‘quiet Happy’ or the little ‘wild Happy.’”

Morgan and Lexy are responsible for all of their own preparations at the show. There’s no doting show mom in their corner.

“Oh, they have 100 percent,” Jackie says about the girls’ responsibilities. “I help if they just need a little bit of something. But they have to be here and work the horses, get up at four o’clock in the morning, and be back at 11. I don’t do that – this is all their responsibility.”

But the girls don’t mind.

“It’s really neat that,” Morgan says, “especially with Happy. I do pretty much all the riding. He’s my boy, and I don’t have to share him.”

“It’s good to have a bond with them, too,” Lexy says. “We spend all the time and all the work and stuff with them. They’re pretty, I would say, attached to us for the most part.”