by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Seventeen horses made it back to the finals in senior reining November 10 at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.
By the time Shawn Flarida rode into the arena on Whizkey N Diamonds, 17th in the draw, Star For The Chicks was leading with a 221.
Riding Pattern 9, Shawn ran into the arena for the first stop.
“The first stop was awesome,” Shawn said. “The turn to the right was really, really good, the turn to the left maybe not quite as quick as to the right. He just got his feet tangled up there a little bit. The circles were just outstanding. The small slow was so pretty then there were two large fast. The lead change from the large fast to the small slow, he was going so fast, he changed leads and came back almost like he shut it off. The other two circles were good, and then he just ran and stopped.”
That was good enough for a score of 228.5 and the world championship for Rhodes River Ranch of Arlington, Washington, which owns the 2006 buckskin stallion.
“Whizkey’s” best asset is his mind, Shawn said. The dramatic transition from fast to slow was partly training, but also the horse’s trainability.
Whizkey is by Topsail Whiz and out of Princess In Diamonds by Shining Spark. He was bred by Cristin Schuetz of Edmond, Oklahoma.
“I’ve been around him since he was a 2-year-old,” Shawn said. “He’s been nothing but wonderful to me in his career. Just like tonight, he didn’t let me down. He was good as gold. Great-minded horse.. You can teach him to do about anything. His brain is just phenomenal.”
Whizkey has $205,865 in National Reining Horse Association earnings, and now that he’s a world champion, his future might be in the breeding barn, Shawn said.
“I hope they let me be involved and get to show him a few more times,” he said.
Shawn Flarida rides Whizkey N Diamonds to the senior reining world championship for Rhodes River Ranch. (Journal photo)