2015 AQHYA World Show

July 31-August 8, 2015
Oklahoma City

2012 Youth World


Big trot and a big win for Samantha Chiodo

The 15 young men and women coming into the August 7 showmanship finals had already attained a huge accomplishment – out of 196 entries, they’d also made it through a tough semi-finals round.

But Samantha Chiodo of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, felt she and her bay mare, Im A Natural Detail, were prepared.

“Coming into the finals I was thinking that I had a pretty good chance because of all the trotting (in the pattern),” she said. “That’s my best thing with my horse because she’s so pretty, and she’s a big hunt-seater so she just floats.”

With no markers but a start cone and two judges to set up for, the pattern called for a trot figure 8, with the center lined up with both judges.

“The challenging part was, when you came around (after the last circle in the figure 8) you had to stop, back and then turn and be straight to the next judge, and if you didn’t make your mark you wouldn’t be straight,” Samantha said. “I think that was the toughest part.

“What I do (for that kind of maneuver) is I find a spot on the (arena) wall and stare at it, and I go straight to it, I don’t veer either way.”

Last in the go, Samantha had plenty of time to think. She ended up walking out of the arena last, carrying the gold trophy. It was her first youth world championship in seven years of showing at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said, “there aren’t any words (to describe the feeling).”
Samantha has had Im A Natural Detail, aka “Midge,” for about four years.

“She came with the nickname Annie,” she said, “and now we call her ‘Midge,’ because when we got her she was kind of small for a hunt seat horse.

“We started out just doing the English events and slowly put the showmanship on her. It’s been a ride!”

Winning the youth showmanship is especially gratifying for Samantha: “It’s my favorite class. I think there’s so much style to it and there’s so much to judge and you can make it look so cool.”

Samantha is a student at the University of South Carolina, where she rides on the Gamecocks’ National Collegiate Equestrian Association team.

“The difference (between AQHYA and NCEA competitions) is (competitors) ride the same horse (in NCEA), and we do the same pattern, and you’re up against someone on the other team. So it’s pretty fair because you’re riding the same horse doing the same thing. That’s the major difference.”

But Samantha’s 2012 Ford Youth World experience is not over, and her crowd of connections in Oklahoma City has plenty more to cheer her on in – she still has hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation prelims with Midge.

“There’s too many people to thank!” for this win, Samantha said, “my trainer, Becky Schooler; my whole team, my parents especially (Kim and Don), all my friends, everyone.”

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Champion in Showmanship Samantha Chiodo and Im A Natural Detail

Samantha Chiodo of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and Im A Natural Detail win the 2012 youth world championship in showmanship. (Journal photo)