2011 Youth World
by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
John Ryon Foster of Weikert, Pennsylvania, looked a little shocked August 13 as he walked out of the Jim Norick Arena after the heeling finals.
He had just scored his first world championship at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. Not to mention he’d had a pretty good day even before that win.
“I did pretty good,” the 14-year-old said. “I was ninth in the heading and seventh in the heeling, too.”
John Ryon trains with Robbie Schroder of Gainesville, Texas, and Robbie’s son, Ryan – a former Ford Youth World roping champion himself – was John Ryon’s header.
Ryan had a few hints for John Ryon before they went in the arena.
“He said make sure I wait out on the corner and let the steer get handled, and then come around and rope him,” John Ryon told the Journal.
That advice paid off, as John Ryon and Smart Fancy Cutter scored a 216.5 with the judges.
John Ryon bought the mare about three years ago, he said, and they became a team after a year of riding together.
“Her name is 'Rock Star,' ” John Ryon said.
Smart Fancy Cutter is a 2002 sorrel mare by Smart Peppy Cutter and out of Miss Show N Town by Dyke N Raleigh. She was bred by D.G. and C.A. Lawyley of Red Bluff, California.
“I try to ride her every week, a couple of times a week,” John Ryon said. “Heeling’s pretty tough but it’s really fun. Heading’s also tough, but it’s not quite as good as heeling.
“When you rope two feet, it’s a really good feeling.”
John Ryon Foster heels on Smart Fancy Cutter at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)