2011 Youth World
by Holly ClanahanThe American Quarter Horse Journal
There was some quick-change action August 9 at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. Theresa Moran had qualified all of her three horses for the finals in western riding, and there were bridles to change, outfits to switch, and spurs to either leave on or take off.
“It was a little busy, but I got through it,” Theresa told the Journal. “It was exciting, a little hectic.”
But when she walked out of the Jim Norick Arena carrying the world championship trophy – as well as a third-place trophy and a ninth-place awards package – it was more than worth it. For her championship ride, Theresa was on board Vital Signs Are Good, an 11-year-old red roan mare who’s no stranger to the spotlight. “Lucy” has earned 10 previous amateur and open world championships in western riding and western pleasure, but this was her first with Theresa.
“I’ve always been third,” said Theresa, a 19-year-old from Laguna Hills, California. “I broke the barrier.”
Theresa’s parents, Joe and Karen Moran, bought the mare at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in 2009, surprising their daughter.
“My dad called me and told me he bought her, and I was like, ‘Are you joking?’ ”
She knew of the mare’s previous successes and said that to ride her was “a little surreal.”
Joe and Karen, as well as Theresa's sisters Shelby and Kelly, are her biggest supporters, and she also credits AQHA Professional Horsemen Charlie Cole, Jason Martin and Beth Case of High Point Performance Horses.
Theresa placed third on Chip Van Winkle, a 1995 Chips Hot Chocolate gelding she calls “Michael.”
“He’s an angel – sometimes,” Theresa said, laughing. “And then ‘Diva,’ I love her, too.” That’s Show Diva, a 10-year-old daughter of Good Version whom Theresa placed ninth with.
“They’re all great … the little herd,” Theresa said.
It was her goal to qualify for the finals with all three horses, and she was amazed when that came to fruition.
Lucy was her second horse to ride in the finals, and Theresa said “I just kind of wanted to get it over with, but it was really good. I just stayed calm and consistent, and she was perfect, as always.”
Vital Signs Are Good was bred by Kristin Rinkenberger and is by Zippos Mr Good Bar and out of Vitalism, by An Awesome Mister.
Theresa, who will compete as an amateur next year, plans to have at least one more year showing Lucy. And in the meantime, “we’ve been breeding her, so we’ll keep on getting more babies. We have one (by Lazy Loper) that was just born in May. It’s exciting.”
Theresa Moran and Vital Signs Are Good win the 2011 youth world championship in western riding.