by Jody ReynoldsThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Meghan O'Malley outjumps 36 amateur working hunter qualifiers for the gold. (Journal photo)
It’s been a great AQHA World Championship Show for Meghan O’Malley of Suffolk, Virginia. After watching Jessica Johnson and AQHA Professional Horseman Lainie DeBoer pilot Meghan’s 2002 buckskin mare A Chanceof Blueskies to world championships in senior hunter hack and senior working hunter, respectively, Meghan found herself in back-to-back classes on November 9.
She had an interesting strategy with “Lucy.”
“The equitation over fences is something I struggle with a little bit,” Meghan confessed. “It’s not my class. Some of the horses are really handy, they turn well. She’s not like that. She’s more of the hunter type. She wants to go straight and focus and do the job that she knows. There were some tight turns in equitation, and I opted not to do them. I decided to use my equitation trip to prepare me for the working hunter and just work on my pace and consistency. It totally paid off, because I went in the ring for the working hunter and cruised around. It was easy. She makes it easy.”
The strategy paid off and took the duo to the amateur working hunter world championship.
“She takes care of me,” Meghan said as she fought back tears. “Before I went into the ring, this is so silly, I told her, ‘Lucy, please take care of me because I really think we could win this!’ And she did. She took care of me.
“She’s very consistent and steady,” Meghan continued. “You just hold your breath and try to get out of her way. She was born for this to happen. She just does her job. The hardest part of my job is staying out of her way and letting her do her job.”
Although she’s a Farnam All-Around contender again this year, she doesn’t focus on that race.
“I’ve been in the All-Around contention a couple of times,” she said. “It’s never anything that I try for. I think it’s great, and if you get in there it’s awesome, especially if you’re a fence person because most of us only have three classes to go off of. Whereas some of the people more into the all-around have a showmanship and show more across the board. If I’m in there, great. If not, that’s OK, too.”
Meghan plans to continue showing Lucy.
“We’ll be back,” she said. “I love showing here. I love showing AQHA. I love the people, the horses. I think her days in the open are over. I think we’re going to focus more on me. As always, I’d like to get better in the equitation over fences.”
Lucy also has two embryo weanlings by Allocate Your Assets to look forward to.
“I love them dearly,” she beamed. “They’re just like their mom.”
Here's an interesting tidbit from Meghan:
“Lucy lives in Minnesota, and I live in Virginia. I fly there occasionally and take lessons with Lanie and meet up with them at horse shows. This is actually my third horse show this year. We went to two in the spring to get qualified. I haven’t been to a horse show since June. It’s taken this long for me to get in horse show mode, but Lucy got here and was like, ‘I’m ready.’”
Meghan is helping Lanie with tonight’s Huntfield AQHA Derby Series party.
“We’ll do most of our celebrating there, which is fine because I’ll be surrounded by all of my friends,” she said.
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