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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

2-Year-Old Western Pleasure

Back-to-back wins for Jay Starnes and foals of Vital Signs Are Good.

For AQHA Professional Horseman Jay Starnes of Summerton, North Carolina, the 2-year-old snaffle bit western pleasure finals at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show were a flashback to the 2011 finals.

Once again, he won the class world championship on a foal out of the legendary multiple world champion mare Vital Signs Are Good, aka “Lucy.”

In 2011, Jay rode VS Check My Pulse, a 2009 red roan mare by One Hot Krymsun owned by Jane Humes of Fort Dodge, Iowa, bred by Kristen Galyean of Claremore, Oklahoma.

And this year, he was on VS Flatline, aka “Kobe,” a 2010 bay roan colt by Lazy Loper, also bred by Kristen Galyean and owned by the Glover Galyean Partnership of Bixby, Oklahoma.

“He was very good,” Jay said in his Journal Winning Run interview after the class. “He’s really a fun horse to show. He just did everything I wanted him to do.

“He’s actually been a pretty easy horse (to train), and he’s pretty easy to show,” he continued. “He doesn’t take a lot of work, and that gets me more than anything. You don’t have to ride him very much, so you end up sitting around all day waiting to show and it is a little nerve-wracking.”

The stallion has been shown three times in 2012.

“I started showing him at the Reichert (Celebration) and I was second (in the Equine Sports Medicine 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure Challenge),” Jay said. “I won the open stakes at the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress, and Kristen won the non-pro, and we came here.”

He added: “It’s always exciting (to win at the World Show). And both of them were out of Lucy. She’s been good to me! It’s always exciting.”

Kristen (Glover) Galyean was on hand for the win; she owned and showed Lucy successfully for several years before selling her to Joe and Karen Moran of Laguna Hills, California, in 2009.

“(This win) is awesome,” Kristen said. “It’s bittersweet because I don’t own Lucy any more but it’s cool to have a piece of her through ‘Waylon,’ (VS Code Red, Lucy’s 2007 stallion by Blazing Hot) and now Kobe. It’s really special to me, and I’ll always keep them and cherish them.”

Kristen said when Kobe was a foal “he was into whatever he could get into. He loves people and he’s always wanting to be right there with people. You’d walk out into the pasture, and he’d be right with you wanting attention. He’s cool, he’s real laid back.”

The plans are to continue showing him. Kristen said she has had people ask her about breeding to Kobe in 2013, but she’s going to wait, “show him one more year and let him grow up.” She’ll show in amateur, and Jay will show him in open.

“We’ll play it by ear,” she added. “He definitely looks like he could be a great western rider as far as his natural lift and his mind. I think he will be a great one. But we’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.”

Lucy herself has had a great World Show so far, winning the senior western riding world championship with AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Martin. She has two 2007 sons showing here: Kristen’s VS Code Red, aka “Waylon,” and VS Code Blue, by RL Best Of Sudden, owned by Donna Biddulph of Oliver, British Columbia. Both of her sons made the junior western pleasure finals November 17.

Kristen goes to visit Lucy whenever she can.

“I love Lucy,” she said. “It’s emotional every time I go see her. I haven’t gone over there (to the Highpoint Performance Horses stalls) yet today; I’m waiting until later. I miss her.

“I told Jason when she won the senior western riding, I said, we need to get a picture of her and her boys. We’re going to try to do that before the end of the day.”

It’s something else for one mare and her family to do so well at the World Show.

“The best-of-the-best are here, so you better bring your A-game,” Kristen said. “It’s do-or-die. Every time you win here it’s special, because it’s very hard to win here."

VS Flatline and AQHA Professional Horseman Jackie "Jay" Starnes

AQHA Professional Horseman Jay Starnes and VS Flatline win the 2012 AQHA world championship in 2-year-old snaffle bit western pleasure. (Journal photo)