by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Sharon Lee Kuebker, Kerri A. Longtine and Matt Longtine pen three in good time to take the AQHA world title.
“It never gets old!” Three voices said that together – husband and wife Matt and Kerri Longtine of Christine, North Dakota, and their friend, Sharon Kuebker of Gurnee, Illinois.
The three veteran amateur team penners and ranch sorters were fresh off another hard-earned world championship – the 2013 amateur team penning at the AQHA World Championship Show. Together and on separate teams, the three riders have several open and amateur team penning world and reserve world championships between them. Sharon just won the 2013 Select world championship in the class.
“We’ll keep it coming!” Kerri said.
“We’ve ridden a lot together over the years, probably for 10 years as a team,” Matt said. “We kind of know what the other is going to be doing.”
“Sharon is a traveler and she likes to come up north where it’s cold,” Kerri explained. “She comes up to visit us and we ride a lot together throughout the year.”
They had a solid prelims go behind them for the finals, finishing third with three cattle penned in just 37.967. For the November 12 finals, they just hoped for a good run and that the cattle would set up them. Twelfth in the go, they penned three cattle in 42.903, giving them a combined six cattle penned in 80.870 and the world championship.
What keeps them coming back?
“The competition,” Sharon said quickly, and Matt added, “The best competition in the world.”
“The cattle are great, the money is great, the atmosphere, everything is great,” Kerri said. “It’s so much fun.”
Kerri was riding her longtime mount, So Tight She Squeaks (1997 mare, Squeak Toy-Sassy Playgirl Ann by Freckles Playboy).
“I bought her at the (National Cutting Horse Association) Futurity sale in Fort Worth several years ago as a 4-year-old,” Kerri said. “She’s 16 now and she’s been here 12 years – it’s about time she’s finally collected on something! She’s gotten a lot of top-10s, but no world championships.”
Sharon was on her buckskin mare, Docs High Tek Tivio (1997, Tops Quick Image-Miss Jameen Doc by Hotrodders Miracle). Sharon rode her to the 2005 open team penning world championship, “but this is her first win in the amateur.” A two-time United States Team Penning Association-AQHA regional horse of the year, Sharon’s owned her since the mare was 3.
Matt rode Pastels Smart Lena, a 2006 mare (Pastels Smart Lena-Yellow Rose Vandal by Count Vandal) – the Longtines have had her for about three years, “and she’s been (at the World Show) every year,” Matt said. “A neat little mare.”
“(A good team penning horse) is real quick and responsive,” Matt added. “They just want to go where you want to go. It takes a while to get one like that.”
Sharon works from 3:30 p.m. to midnight as a mechanic, on aerial lift equipment. She says “it’s nice to keep my feet closer to the ground” with the horses. She’s done that for 25 years. (The Journal featured Sharon in the October issue.)
Matt and Kerri own a flooring installation business. Kerri works from home, handling their business’ scheduling, books, etc., and is a stay-at-home mom for their 11-month-old daughter, Ashlyn.
“It’s her first show,” Kerri said, “so she was our lucky charm.”
But celebrating has to wait for now: Ranch sorting is up next for the three … they all made the finals.
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 atwww.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.