by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Jordan Larson takes a victory lap on Custom Harley. (Journal photo)
An old campaigner slid to the top November 19.
Custom Harley has been in almost all the major shows, placing near the top but never winning. About a year ago, though, owner Rancho El Fortin sent the 7-year-old stallion to Jordan Larson of Whitesboro, Texas, a connection that would end in gold at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
“They decided to give me a crack at it last year, and he’s just been really good for a horse that’s been shown as much as he has,” Jordan says. “He’s extremely honest, and he’s a cool horse.”
In senior reining, Custom Harley and Jordan rode into the Jim Norick Arena for the 15-horse finals with an explosiveness that would snatch the lead with a 222.5 and hold it until the end.
“He’s big strong physical horse, and he does things hard,” Jordan says. “It’s almost intimidating sometimes to ride him, but he’s a cool horse. He doesn’t try to use it against you.”
Jordan wasn’t completely happy with his preliminary go and took the sorrel stallion back to Whitesboro to tune him up before the finals. Back in Oklahoma City, he was ready.
“For a horse that’s been shown as much as he has, he ran in and stopped really good, turned good,” Jordan remembers. “I had a little penalty turn to the right, I think, and I tried to be a little conservative in the circles to try not to get his blood pressure up before we went to stop. It worked. He was very good, so I was very happy with him.”
Custom Harley is by Custom Crome and out of Peppys Tonette by Peppy San Badger. He was bred by Patrice St. Onge of Gainesville, Texas, and has been in the barns of Jody Brainard, Andrea Fappani and Shawn Flarida. Custom Harley has more than $106,758 in National Reining Horse Association earnings, but the win November 19 is his first AQHA world championship.
It’s the first for Jordan, as well, he told the Journal.
“I’ve been wanting to win the AQHA world title for a long long time, ever since I was a little kid,” Jordan says. “I lived on the West Coast and idolized Bob Avila and Todd Bergen and those guys, so to finally get a world title – I’ve been trying for a while. I’ve taken a lot of good horses here and not gotten it done.”
The win pushed Jordan over $1 million in NRHA earnings, he says.
“That was pretty exciting.”
Custom Harley might be looking at retirement, Jordan says.
“It’s nice to go out with a bang. He was very good, and I was very pleased with him.”