by Tara ChristiansenThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Buddy Laney leads Jack and Vicki Shawver's Intoxicating to the aged geldings world championship. (Journa photo)
Jack and Vicki Shawver had nothing to fear, but for some reason, they were particularly nervous during aged geldings at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.
Of course, their horse, Intoxikating, was up against the nation’s leading aged geldings, including 14-time AQHA world champion RPL My Te Cheerful and 2012 All American Quarter Horse Congress amateur grand champion geldin Won And Only Fella. But on November 16, Intoxikating pulled through yet again for the Shawvers, yielding another world show trophy to tote home to Olney, Illinois.
“Buddy Laney had faith in him that he could do it,” Vicki said of the Cherryville, North Carolina, AQHA Professional Horseman who led their 6-year-old gelding to the open win. Vicki and Jack were believers, too – they purchased “Toxi” as a 2-year-old from his breeder, the late Randy Wilson of Ball Ground, Georgia, and it’s been history ever since. A reserve world championship in 3-year-old geldings back in 2009 was followed up with a win at the 2011 Adequan Select World Championship in aged geldings with Jack at the shank. This year, Vicki took her first spin in the show pen, qualified Toxi in one show and defended her husband’s title at the 2012 Adequan Select World. Back in Oklahoma City, Jack captured the reserve world championship during the 2012 Bank of America Amateur Week, placing behind Vernon Habighorst and RPL My Te Cheerful.
“I think today, of all the times, today was the most nerve-racking,” Vicki said, describing the sensation of watching their favorite gelding show.
“I don’t know why, but it was,” Jack agreed.
“Buddy shows him so well; he just knows the horse and he’s shown him this year and last year,” Vicki added. “He really knows how to show him to make him look his best.”
When he’s not in the open pen, Vicki and Jack are the ones making sure Toxi – by A Phenomenal Cue and out of My Image Is Obvious by Image Of Kid – looks his best.
“He stays at our house and Buddy will tell me through email or text messages or at a show, (and tell me) what I need to be doing to get him fit,” Vicki explained.
“We send him a picture once in a while. We say, ‘How’s he look?’,” Jack chimed in.
“And he’ll tell us that way: what things we need to do or change on him,” Vicki continued. “(Buddy’s) shown him all year long for us at shows; whenever we’ve been at the shows, he’s helped us out. We could never have done it without him.”
Jack and Vicki are done fitting Toxi for this year; they said they’ll pick back up in February.
“He’s going to be turned out for a while and (we’ll) let him be a horse,” Vicki said. “He needs to be let down and have some fun time.”
The Shawvers' trip to the 2012 AQHA World Show was nothing short of successful. In addition to Intoxikating’s wins, Jack led Under Cover Secret to the amateur yearling geldings world championship and AQHA Professional Horseman Luke Castle of Wayne, Oklahoma, led the yearling to the reserve world championship. With regard to Intoxikating’s year of success, Jack and Vicki agree that it’s taken them by surprise.
“It’s been awesome; I just can’t believe it,” Vicki said. And to that, Jack added, “It really is – it couldn’t have happened to a better horse.”
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