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November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Amateur Pole Bending

Amanda Padgett weaves her dad's mares to the amateur pole bending gold and bronze.

Scotty Padgett’s mare might be getting older by equine standards, but you wouldn’t have known it on November 5, 2012, at the AQHA World Championship Show.

Piloted by Scotty’s daughter, Amanda Padgett, 15-year-old Miss June Meyers blazed through the amateur pole bending finals for a score of 20.378 and the world championship title.

“She's consistent,” said Amanda, of Battletown, Kentucky. “She’ll give me a solid run every time. I normally don’t worry about knocking a pole because she stays clean most of the time."

Amanda’s success didn’t stop there. She also showed her dad’s sorrel mare Shez So Fine to the amateur pole bending third-place title. Both mares are home raised.

“I was out of breath!” Amanda said about riding two horses in the amateur pole bending finals. "I had a drag between them. I ran the first horse (Shez So Fine) and she was sitting first when I came out. I tried to catch my breath. I walked around, cleared my head. I sent my second horse (Miss June Meyers) in, and I knew she was consistent and I trusted her. I asked her for everything she had. We got out clean.”

Amanda has been riding Miss June Meyers, or “Baby,” since she was 8 years old. With her dad’s guidance, she learned to ride barrels and poles competitively and has seen many AQHA World Show successes, including a reserve in 2010 and a world championship in 2011.

“I’m addicted,” Amanda said of speed events. “I’m never getting out of it.”

The November 5 pole bending crowd was loud and supportive, in part because the competitors consider themselves friends.

“We’re all pretty much family,” Amanda said. “We travel the same places, same shows. Everybody here is pretty much who we run against at the house. We’re competitors, but we’re also family.”

Miss June Meyers and Amanda Padgett

Amanda Padgett of Battletown, Kentucky, and Miss June Meyers run clean for the amateur pole bending world championship.