2011 Youth World
by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
The 2011 youth yearling mares class lined up early August 6. Thirteen-year-old Riley Rivers of Amite, Louisiana, led his dad, Ritchie’s, mare, Cool Smokin Lady. The young man is an experienced exhibitor – for the last three years, he’ has gone home from the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show with reserve world championships – in 3-year-old geldings in 2008, aged geldings in 2009, and 2-year-old geldings in 2010.
But Riley walked out this year with the gold trophy.
“We had 13 horses in there, and it goes pretty quick that way,” Riley said. “It was a lot of fun. The mare acted good; she wasn’t real nervous or anything else. It went great.”
Riley comes from a longtime Quarter Horse background. His dad and his Uncle John grew up with horses and showing. Now the whole Rivers family shows including Riley’s mom, Ganelle, and sister, Sydney. They have horses at home in Louisiana and keep their halter horses with AQHA Professional Horseman Luke and Abbi Castle in Wayne, Oklahoma.
“It’s fun watching your kids show no matter what they do,” Ganelle told the Journal after the class. “But it’s so much more enjoyable when they win; it’s just icing on the cake.”
“I want to thank my dad and mom, Uncle John, Mr. Luke and Ms. Abbi and their whole family,” Riley said.
How does it feel to walk out with the world championship and not the reserve?
“A lot better!” he said, adding with a smile: “I’m going to Cattleman’s.”
Riley Rivers of Amite, Louisiana, showed Cool Smokin Lady to the 2011 AQHYA world championship in yearling mares.