by Tara ChristiansenThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A Zhivago and Terry Tippin of Palm Bay, Florida, were crowned the amateur 2-year-old stallion world champions at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo).
The “triple crown” – that’s how Terry Tippin described A Zhivago’s wins in amateur 2-year-old stallions at the 2011 Adequan Select World Championship Show, All American Quarter Horse Congress and finally, his most current, at the AQHA World Championship Show.
“We’ve finally won all three of the big shows, and this is our first (AQHA) world championship,” Terry says. “My wife (Rhonda) has gotten reserve out here before, so I topped her on one. She’ll have to do it next year for us.”
A Zhivago joined the Tippin herd in fall 2010 and it has been history ever since.
“We bought him last year at Congress,” Terry says. “We’ve shown him all year – we won the Select World, we went to Congress, won the Congress, he stood grand champion (at Congress) and now we’ve won the world with him.
“We’re very happy with him, very pleased. Our trainer, Jason Smith (of Whitesboro, Texas), he’s the one who does it all – we just do a little bit of the work,” Terry says modestly.
“I’ve been showing about eight years, and my wife has been showing a lot longer than that – she’s the one who got me into it,” Terry says. “We used to have 18 (show horses), and we’d show too many of them. It’s a little bit easier for us now. We can just show up at the shows, show the horse, go back home and have time to do other things.”
Those other things include working, of course, and more recreational activities, like fishing and golfing.
A Zhivago, a 2009 chestnut stallion bred by Roger and Debbie Graham of Lebanon, Tennessee, is by Kid Coolsified and out of The Coolest Spirit by Coolest.
Terry only has the highest praises for his world champion stallion.
“He’s a well-mannered horse; he’s easy to show,” Terry says. “(Anyone) could take him out and show him tomorrow. We just love him.”
It’s Rhonda and her eye for horseflesh that receives the credit on the purchase of A Zhivago.
“When my wife tells me to go out and get a horse, that’s what I do. She has a great eye and we’ve done well the last four or five years – whatever she says, we do!”
But what lies in store for the Tippins and A Zhivago?
“He’s for sale and we’ll buy a baby and start again, or we’ll stand him if we don’t sell him ‘cause we’ve had quite an interest,” Terry says. “It’s all up in the air right now.”
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When it comes down to it, the Tippins are forever grateful to A Zhivago for giving them an astounding year in the show pen.
“We’ve had a blast – it couldn’t get any better than this,” Terry says. “This is what you dream of!”