November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Amateur Showmanship at Halter

Daniel Carlson and Are You Charlie win their first showmanship world championship.

Daniel Carlson of Sheffield, Massachusetts, was a little worried coming into the showmanship finals November 7, with his mare, Are You Charlie, aka “Emily.”

“I had a rough warm up last night, I was all nervous and I kept doing the pattern wrong,” he said. “I’d do the first 270 (degree turn), crossover, cross back and then start jogging away. I had (AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Spagnola) very nervous.

“We came out very early this morning and practiced a couple more times. I had finally slept on it and remembered the pattern.”

The finals pattern for the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show incorporated several tough elements including a back, a right quarter turn and another back, to then turn and be lined up with the judge.

“The toughest part (of this pattern), I think any pattern like this, would be getting lined up with the judge …. It can be very difficult even for a seasoned showmanshipper.”

Daniel ended up feeling good about the pattern he and Emily put down. When they finally walked out of the Jim Norick Arena, they were the new world champions. Tony Anderman of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, and Goodness Im Green took the reserve.

It’s been a good World Show so far for Daniel: “I’ve managed to place in all my classes so far except for one, and it was my own mistake."

Daniel said he's "laid low" for him, this show season.

“I’ve been (year-end high-point) all-around (amateur) and reserve all-around in the past, and this year I laid low,” he said. “I’m in the process of building a house and that’s eaten up a lot of my time this summer and spring. I managed to get out to some really big shows and get my name out there… it was a good show season. I did a lot less shows than I’m used to doing compared to when you’re going for the all-around. But I was very happy with it.”

Daniel and Emily (Dont Skip Charlie-Are You Zipped by Zippo Pine Bar; bred by Joe and Suzy Jeane) have been longtime partners. They won their first world championship in 2006, showing as amateurs in junior trail. Since then they have earned multiple awards, World Show top-10s, high-points, and world championships including the 2009 high-point all-around amateur.

“Emily gets to do whatever she wants to do back at the barn,” Daniel said with a smile. “She’s probably one of the most spoiled horses. She gets to wander around the barn when no one’s around. She doesn’t get in trouble.

“Back at my house I turn her out … for six hours a day at least, out in the pasture. She gets to go in and out of the barn, into her stall, unlike being left in a turnout pen. A little spoiled, but she deserves it.

Daniel bought Emily when the 2001 mare was a yearling.

“We’ve made a great team right from the beginning,” he said. “I worked on breaking her out, getting help from trainers and she seemed to always like to be in the show world and liked to work. She hated being left at home; she was kind of a show horse from the beginning. Today if you leave her at home to take another horse somewhere, she gets all angry in the stall and digs it up. She’ll jog out to the trailer every time I’m ready to go to a show.”

He added: “I want to thank Gene and (AQHA Professional Horseman) Gretchen Mathes for helping me here. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them. And my mom and family, my wife (Christina) cheering me on at home."
Are You Charlie and Daniel Carlson

Daniel Carlson and Are You Charlie are the 2012 showmanship world champions. (Journal photo)