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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Amateur Aged Geldings

He's done it again.

Vernon Habighorst and RPL My Te Cheerful win amateur aged geldings

Vernon Habighorst and RPL My Te Cheerful win the 2012 amateur aged geldings world championship. (Journal photo)

Multiple halter world champion RPL My Te Cheerful, aka “Henry,” is back in the hands of Vernon Habighorst of Phoenix, and he’s taken Vern back to a world championship trophy. The two won the 2012 amateur aged geldings world championship November 7.

Vern and Rita Habighorst sold the gelding to Josh Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois, in 2011, and then bought the horse back at the first of this year.

“We shouldn’t have let him go in the first place,” Vern said with a laugh in his Journal Winning Run interview. “This is Henry’s 14th world championship, and he’s (just) 8 years old.”

The Habighorsts “didn’t show him that much” this year, and didn’t take Henry to the All American Quarter Horse Congress. “He didn’t really need to (be hauled),” Rita said. “We saved him (for the World Show).”

Their granddaughter, Monica Hamm, showed Henry to the 2012 youth aged geldings world championship in August at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

Actually, several members of the Habighorst family have led Henry to world championships or Congress wins, including Monica and her sister, Kaylee, as well as Vern and Rita’s son, Jeff, and his wife, Wendy.

AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Parker will show the horse in the open during FedEx Open Week, and the Habighorsts plan to continue showing Henry in 2013.

Vern never thinks he’s got a sure win, even with Henry.

“You always hope, but you never know for sure,” he said. “I’m not like Monica where she says she’s confident.”

According to Vern, “sometimes (Henry) wants to nibble a little bit (in the pen), but I don’t like to put the (lip) chain in their mouths, because it looks poorly to me. I just don’t like it.”

He added: “It’s nice to be here.” Vern and Rita have been coming to the World Show Trade Show with their Blue Ribbon Custom Tack booth since 1982.

“I don’t think there’s been any other halter horse that has won that many world championships,” he said. “I don’t know that for sure, but I’m pretty sure.”

Hmm… the Journal is on the hunt to find out.

 Editor's Note - It's true! An AQHA database query confirms that Vern is correct, this is RPL My Te Cheerful's 14th halter world championship, all divisions combined, and it is more halter titles than any other horse. Next in line? Sheza Perfect Clu with nine championships, all divisions combined.