Hillary Roberts of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Whatscookngoodlookin win the 2013 youth world championship in western pleasure.
by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Hillary Roberts of Edmond, Oklahoma, “couldn’t be happier” with her bay mare Whatscookngoodlookin – she carried Hillary to the western pleasure world championship at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
“(It’s) pretty surreal right now, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” Hillary told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “It’s what I’ve always dreamt of doing. It’s unreal. I’m pretty happy.”
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Hillary had a definite strategy going into the finals: “I tried to show a little off the rail because she’s so slow with her legs, and I wanted to showcase that. I was really happy with my prelims … I was super-happy with it; she couldn’t have been any better for me.”
Hillary and her parents, Blair and Susan Roberts, bought “Candy” in the fall of 2011. A 2008 mare by A Good Machine and out of A Cooki For Certain by Certain Potential, she was bred by E-Z Farms Inc. of Lebanon, Tennessee. Her accomplishments include winning the 2012 reserve world championship in junior western pleasure and more than $80,000 in National Snaffle Bit Association earnings.
This is the first world championship for Hillary and Candy both.
“My first show was when I was 8,” Hillary said. “I’ve been riding since I was little, tiny. My mom used to do barrels and poles, and then she did the pleasure. She taught me how to ride and got me into it.”
Hillary also rides in all-around classes and in reining. She qualified for the 2013 Ford Youth World finals in horsemanship and trail on Chrome On My Zipper.
“I had pretty good rides,” she said. “I ended up a finalist in both classes. And I was happy with how that went, also. I couldn’t have really had a better (Ford Youth World).”
She added, “I started out with the all-around horses, that was what I liked as little kid ... showmanship, horsemanship, trail … and when my mom started showing pleasure horses with (AQHA Professional Horseman) Rusty (Green), I started riding her mare a little bit … then we found this mare. Since then, I’ve loved it.”
Hillary said that western pleasure is “more challenging than a lot of people might think.
“You’ve got a lot to think about,” she continued. “In the horsemanship, you’re too busy to be thinking. (in the pleasure) you are sitting there, and you’ve got so much to be thinking about with your horse’s legs, how you look, where the people are in the pen, and how to best show off your horse. It’s a lot more challenging, I think, than it seems to be.”
Hillary and Candy’s next stop will probably be the Reichert Celebration in September; she can’t make the National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship Show because her classes are starting at Texas Christian University. She plans to qualify for the 2014 Ford Youth World in her last year of youth eligibility.
She had several people to credit for her world championship win.
“I’d like to thank my parents, first of all, for getting me into this and for supporting me throughout. And Rusty and Katie (Green) for being there and teaching me so much.
And (AQHA Professional Horsemen) Butch and Patti Campbell, my all-around trainers, they got me into all of this, and they taught me how to be a horseman. I really respect them. And all my friends who have supported me and been there for me. It’s been a great year.
“I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m so excited.”