by Jody ReynoldsThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A Chanceof Blueskies and Meghan O'Malley
First to go in the November 13 amateur hunter hack finals at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, Meghan O’Malley trusted her horse, A Chanceof Blueskies, to tell her what kind of night they would have.
“She tells you when she’s going to win,” Meghan explained of “Lucy.” “Riding her in the schooling area, you can just feel that. It’s Lucy. It’s crazy, but I felt that tonight. That’s honestly why I thought, she can do this again. There’s no reason why she can’t.”
Lucy was right. They scooped up another world championship in a stacked class of talent.
“There were a lot of great horses in there,” she recalled. “I went first in the class, so after I came out from my fences, I schooled a little bit to get ready for the rail work. I heard that people had had some good fences. I felt pretty confident, but you keep that in the back of your mind. It’s a tough group of horses, an absolutely deep competition.”
Lucy won her first world championship in amateur hunter hack in 2009, and “She’s won at least one every year since. I can’t believe it. All horse show, I’ve been telling myself, there are younger horses. She’s 11 this year. There are younger horses with fresher legs that the judges haven’t seen. It’s good to know they still appreciate Lucy as much as we do.”
Meghan said Lucy is always consistent and dependable.
“That speaks volumes for (AQHA Professional Horseman) Lainie’s (DeBoer) program. I attribute that to her. The horse is a big part of it, but Lainie makes sure she’s always ready for this. This (the World Show) is the thing that I like. My horse loves it here. I always say that when we go in that ring, it’s like a zen moment. I block everything out, and she just does it. If it weren’t for Lainie keeping her where she needs to be, neither of us would still be doing this.”
Meghan said going first in the finals presented a little challenge, even though she had experience to draw on:
“When I won in 2010, I went first,” she remembered. “I thought, ‘What are the odds I’d draw first twice! OK, I won it once going first, it didn’t hurt me that time, so I’m not going to let it bother me.’
“My big concern is my horse whinnies a lot,” she laughed. “Usually she does it in the chute when we’re waiting to go. When there are a couple horses in the chute in front of us waiting to go, she’ll let one loose. I was worried walking down there because it wasn’t coming out. I kept thinking, she does not realize what’s about to happen. So I stopped about halfway down. The gate guy said, 'Keep it moving!' I wanted just a second! But she didn’t talk! She went and did her fences without whinnying. She didn’t make a peep tonight. I think this is the first one ever. Maybe she’s more mature now!”
Meghan is excited to watch Lucy’s two babies grow. They’re both 2 and by Allocate Your Assets.
And she looks forward to finding out what Lucy still has left to give.
“I know she has a lot more years left in her,” she said. “The horses in the class tonight are very different from the horses in the class when she won in 2009. I can’t help but think, how many more times am I going to be this lucky? How blessed I am to have this happen this many times.”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the AQHA World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch AQHA World Show video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.