by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
There’s no feeling like your first AQHA world championship – just ask Shelley Anderson of Simonton, Texas. She led her 2000 gelding, Mister Terifficcandy, aka “Candy,” to the top of the amateur performance halter geldings class at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
“It’s incredible!” Shelley says. “I don’t know to describe it. It’s one of those dreams that you never thought would happen.”
She’s understandably breathless, talking to the Journal for her winning run interview shortly after the class. There were 36 top geldings entered, which meant showing for more than an hour. When you add the adrenaline rush that comes from lining up for each of five judge’s placings, it’s a genuine workout for the exhibitors on the arena floor.
“(I wanted) just to go out there and keep his feet under him and keep his head up, and that’s about it,” Shelley says and laughs. “He was looking around, (asking) what’s that?”
She adds, “He’s a goofball. He loves to play. He’s the sweetest thing ever…. He just gives me his all, all the time.”
Shelley and Candy worked hard to earn their first amateur Championship award in 2011, showing in horsemanship, hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation. They added barrels and poles “for fun” to go after the award: “He can really go if he wants to. He gives me whatever he can, whatever it is.”
A certified ag teacher, Shelley is currently substitute teaching: “I took this year off, and I wanted to go show and do some things for me, and it’s been one great year.”
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She has always fit Candy herself for the performance halter, but this year she sent him to AQHA Professional Horseman Mike McMillian to prep for the World Show.
“(I’ve been) just doing it on my own … getting all the points and everything on him,” she says. “It’s just been one thing after another. It’s been a long road but a fun one.
“If it wasn’t for (Candy) for a while, I don’t know what I would do. He means the world to me.”
She thanks her parents, Allen and Marilyn Anderson, for all their help this year; farrier Sean Wright, Mike and Amanda McMillian, and veterinarian Danny Dutton.
“Without all of them, we couldn’t be here today,” she says, tearing up. “We’re going to go have one good dinner!”
Shelley Anderson led Mister Terifficcandy to the 2011 amateur performance halter geldings world championship.