by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
A Certain Vino and Karen Hornick
He did it again. On November 23, western pleasure wonder horse A Certain Vino took the senior western pleasure world championship at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, the last night of the show.
That brings “Vino’s” total to seven open western pleasure world championships in a row, according to his longtime trainer Karen Hornick of Jamestown, Ohio, and the AQHA database.
And that’s in addition to three youth western pleasure world championships in a row, and now three in a row in the amateur, all with owner Lee Reeve’s daughter, Darcy. (Darcy also won the 2011 amateur western riding on him.)
“He was ready (tonight),” Karen told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “He had his game face on; you can tell when you warm him up. We’ve been a team for such a long time now, it’s like you just know every step he’s going to take and where he needs to be.”
Karen said he’s a “true show horse,” even when the weather gets nasty as it did the last few days of the 2013 World Show.
“The weather doesn’t seem to affect him,” she said. “You can stay consistent in your riding. We’ve shown him outside before at the Tom Powers (Futurity), and you’ll have rain and not get to do as much, but he’ll still show. He really likes to show."
To anyone wondering what it’s like to ride Vino, Karen offered this description: “He’s just so smooth. He lets you sit up there and be a showman, and put your hand out there.
“He just knows. When you put that hand down and feed him the reins, he’ll hunt the bridle and be there every step for you. He’s truly a show horse.”
By Certain Potential and out of Dotevita by Zippo Jack Bar, the 2003 dark brown gelding was bred by Tim and Lou Petty of Ocala, Florida. From Garden City, Kansas, the Reeves first bought him in December 2005, after the gelding had won the first Equine Sports Medicine 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure Stakes in addition to winning the reserve world championship in 2-year-old snaffle bit western pleasure.
As for the plans for him next year, "we don’t know; we don’t think ahead that far,” Lee said. “He seems to have more time off all the time.”
“He goes home for the winter and we really don’t show him a whole lot,” Karen said. “We do some of the bigger shows and just take care of him. Hopefully, he’ll last forever.”
The Journal asked Lee, Darcy and Karen to speak for Vino for a few questions, and here’s what they said:
In his free time, what does he like to do?
“Eat!” Karen said. “He loves to eat. He’d be big as a house if you turned him loose and let him do what he wanted to do.”
Darcy added, “He does that thing when he’s eating and you walk into his stall, he eats faster and doesn’t let you grab him.”
“He’s like, ‘No, no, wait, let me finish this bite!’ ” Karen said. “And he likes to dip his hay, and we let him. He knows what’s best. We let him dip the hay all the time.”
What is his least favorite thing to do?
“A cold bath,” Karen said. “Not that he’s afraid of a wash rack, but he hates cold water. And every time you go to spray that water on him, he takes his left leg up like he’s dipping it in a cold bath.”
If he were going to go on a vacation, where would he go?
“Hollywood,” Darcy said. “He thinks he’s a superstar and wants to be up there with them.”
“He does! He’s a showman,” Karen added with a laugh.
If were a famous person, who would he be?
“We’ve always said he’s like (NFL New England Patriots’ quarterback) Tom Brady,” Darcy said. “Very attractive; very athletic; knows he’s good; gets the job done and loves the attention.”
For the record, Lee wanted to add this thanks:
“We’d sure like to thank the judges,” he said, “for recognizing him through all these years. And, of course, all the competition we’ve had. They’ve been just right there.
“Believe me, we know that he has to be prepared just right or they will pick you off. We don’t take anything for granted. There are so many horses now that are all right together.”
“It was a good class tonight,” Karen said.
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