by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Ted Turner Jr. led Nancy Dyer’s weanling gelding This Big, aka “Big,” to his halter class win November 18, at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show. Nancy, of Tallahassee, Florida, led the gelding to a reserve world championship during Bank of America Amateur Week.
“It’s exciting,” Nancy says; the Journal caught up with her after a long day of helping Ted through a showing a number of classes. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a world champion so it’s really special.”
Big finished at the top of four of five judges’ cards. From the stands, the youngster hardly moved at all during the class, showing off to every judge. Nancy says that’s just the way he is.
“He’s very quiet and easy,” she says. “When I showed him in the amateur last week, we set him up, he parked and never moved the whole class. He was really easy to show and good to be around; no trouble at all.”
She adds, “He has an exceptional amount of muscle for a baby and yet still is pretty like a halter horse.”
Nancy’s been showing halter horses “for probably 25 years.” She started as a youth and had her first of several world champion in 1985, winning youth 3-year-old mares with Justa Fantasy.
“I’ve had halter horses with Ted ever since,” she says. “The horses are so neat … They are so big and yet to be able to still have a relationship with them … You can go out there and ask them to do something and actually have them do it for you and they are still your friend. It’s a great experience.
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“And then to be able to take something that’s that big and have it still be pretty is something special. That’s why I like the halter; they’re just so pretty.”
Nancy adds that it’s a lot of work to fit them, more than most people realize.
“You get back what you give,” she says. “We pretty much live with the horses. The only time we don’t see them usually is between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. People don’t realize how much time and work you spend on them. There are hours a day brushing them, working with them, setting them up, practicing, currying, vacuuming, sweating, etc.”
She sends a special thanks to Big’s breeders, Jim and Georgia Snow of Quinlan, Texas.
“They are really good friends of ours and they let me buy him. It obviously worked out for all of us – he’s by their stallion, My Intention, and one of their mares, and it was a good day for the whole ‘family.’ ”
AQHA Professional Horseman Ted Turner shows Nancy Dyer's This Big to the 2011 weanling geldings world championship. (Journal photo)