Savannah Pelley and War Lena Grand take tight turns to the world championship.
by Jody ReynoldsThe American Quarter Horse Journal
You’ve heard of “my dog ate my homework.” But for a horse kid, “my dog ate my ribbon” is much more serious.
It happened to Savanna Pelley of Conway, Arkansas, several years ago. And she’s been bound and determined to replace that local horse show ribbon with something better – a world championship ribbon.
She met her goal August 6, winning a world championship in stake race with her 1997 sorrel gelding War Lena Grand.
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“I’m so shocked right now,” she told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “I came out and was like, ‘I hope I get third or fourth or something.’ I had no clue I’d get this high.”
This is Savannah’s third year to show at the Youth World, all three years with “007.”
“He has two “0s” on his chest and a “7” on his hind end, and we call him 007,” she said. “He turned 16 this year, so he’s one year older than me. I love him so much.”
007 has been top 10 at the Ford Youth World many years in stake race and pole bending.
Savannah, a high school sophomore, competes with 007 in stake race, barrels and poles. When she’s not riding, she enjoys golfing. She one day hopes to become a marine biologist.
She attributes her stake race win to many things:
“Always practicing and making sure you know what you’re doing,” she said. “Going in there and keeping calm and collected. I’d love to thank my mom and dad, Karen and Hunter Pelley, for getting me here, and the support of my friends and family. They’ve been a great help to me.”
She also thanks her trainer, Doug Smith of Ward, Arkansas.
She’s headed home to find the perfect place in her bedroom for her shiny new gold trophy. And she'll finally hang that new ribbon to spite the dog.