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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Jumping

Tasha Lodwig earns her first world championship as an adult with her old youth partner, Mr Al Capone.

It took 10 years, but Tasha Lodwig made it back to the world championship circle – on the same horse, even.

In 2002, Tasha was a youth with a 4-year-old sorrel gelding she had owned for a year when she won a world championship in hunter hack and was third in equitation over fences.

At the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show, that same sorrel gelding – now a mature 14 – carried her to the open jumping world championship.

“It feels great,” Tasha said. “I don’t feel like it has hit me yet. But it feels good. I still have that adrenaline rush. It’s good. It feels awesome.”

Tasha’s long-term equine partner, Mr Al Capone, is a 1992 gelding by RR Slo Slippin Story and out of Times Are Tough (TB) by Olden Times. He was bred by Brenda Forrest of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

“He is a showboat, but I love him,” she said. “He is very sensitive. I’ve been told I’m the only one who can really ride him, because he’s very temperamental. He has a heart of gold. I trust him and he trusts me, and it works out.”

In addition to Tasha’s youth world championship with him, she was reserve world champion in open jumping in 2010 with him. With another horse, Its Only Petty Cash, Tasha was a youth world champion in equitation over fences in 2001 and in hunter hack in 2000.

“I’ve been showing since I was a little girl,” she said. “Quarter Horse people are like my family away from home. That’s why I came back. I stopped riding for a while after I was a youth, but I missed the people more than anything, and that’s why I came back. They are my family, and they were all here tonight, so that makes me really happy.”

“The family” got to see Tasha jump a clean round in the first go-round, which she says she approached like an equitation over fences pattern. The jumpoff, of course, was a little more raucous.

“It went well,” she said. “I just take it jump by jump out there. It went well. Everything and every distance that I saw, he gave me, and it was right there and it was smooth. I had no difficulty with it whatsoever.

“I had a plan and I executed it. And it worked out.”

Tasha was up against some heavy competition.

Navier Stokes, the 2010 amateur jumping world champion, placed second with AQHA Professional Horseman Alfred Hewitt in the irons.

Dr Hollywood DVM, the 2003 world champion in open jumping, placed third with longtime rider Virginia Hames in the irons.

Fourth place went to PRF Hitchn Fora Ride, the 2011, 2008 and 2007 world champion in open jumping, with AQHA Professional Horseman Hilary Carrel in the irons.

And fifth place went to Prince Dell Te Fire, the 2004 youth world champion in jumping with Amara Packwood in the irons.

“I’ve been showing since I was 8, so I felt pretty confident,” Tasha said. “I’m very competitive, just like everyone else out here, but I wanted to go in and do my best.”
Mr Al Capone and Tasha Lodwig

Tasha Lodwig takes a victory lap on Mr Al Capone after winning open jumping at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)