by Alexis BennettThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Larks Big Leaguer and AQHA Professional Horseman Lainie DeBoer
AQHA Professional Horseman Lainie DeBoer came with an arsenal of talent to the 2013 AQHA world show.
Lainie competed on three different horses in the senior working hunter class, but ultimately she and Larks Big Leaguer had the chemistry to claim the world title.
This is her third year to win this class, and she was just as excited this year.
“I’m tickled,” Lainie laughed.
She said that the consistency attests to her skill as a horsewoman. This is not only a three-peat win in this course, but an 11th world championship title total.
“It’s really validating of my hard work. I work day-in and day-out. I live it, sleep it and breathe it, so it’s just validation that all of my work is good work. I’m consistent.”
She has been competing in English riding events since she was a young girl, and switched to Quarter Horses in 1993, where she has competed ever since.
Her experience at the AQHA World Show is intense with so many horses competing head-to-head in the same class.
“Mentally, you have to be in the game to deal with it. I usually go over a plan beforehand, usually the night before, and have a mental talk with myself. I think about how I’m going to approach the course, I think about the horses. I put it in my head so I can click to that when I get on that horse.”
This strategy has paid off.
And, although she has so much experience, Lainie says that “Kermit,” is very special.
Larks Big Leaguer, a 12-year-old gelding owned by the Hull family of Ligonier, Indiana, is by Rugged Lark and out of Emma Big Leaguer by Im A Big Leaguer.
“He is perfect. He’s a Rugged Lark, which is neat for me. I love the Rugged Larks, they’re great hunters.”
He comes from an impressive pedigree, and is also quite the performance horse in his own right.
“He just has a ton of personality, he’s the neatest horse. He’s a winner for sure.”
This is Kermit’s second world championship in open senior working hunter. He also has a youth reserve world championship in equitation over fences, several high-point and superior awards in working hunter, hunter hack and equitation over fences, an AQHA champion award and many other accolades.
His owner, Kelsea Hull, will be showing him in amateur equitation over fences and working hunter later at this year’s world show.
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