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Region Two: September 21

The AQHA Region Two Championship was a great debut for one newcomer to AQHA shows and her makeover halter gelding.

By Christine Hamilton
The American Quarter Horse Journal
September 23, 2013

Rockstar Elusion and his owner Ryane Bakke of Grenora, North Dakota, and AQHA Professional Horseman Jenna Mickelson.

Rockstar Elusion and his owner Ryane Bakke of Grenora, North Dakota, and AQHA Professional Horseman Jenna Mickelson.

A little more than a year ago, all Ryane Bakke of Grenora, North Dakota, wanted to do was get rid of 2007 gelding Rockstar Elusion, aka “Bevis.”

But now she wouldn’t trade him for anything.

And, a little more than a year ago, Ryane had never thought about showing AQHA, but now she’s at the 2013 AQHA Region Two Championship showing in halter, ranch pleasure and horsemanship.

“A friend of mine in Texas got (Bevis) on a trade (as a 4-year-old),” Ryane told the Journal. “(Some people came to me) interested in purchasing a horse, and I recommended this horse.”

Pretty and correct, the gelding was by Elusive Kid and out of Miss Fancy Five Star by Five Star Mister, Conclusive-bred on both sides of his pedigree.

“They brought him to Montana and did not get along with him,” Ryane continued. “Ten months later, I purchased him because… they were very unhappy with him.

Plain and simple, the gelding had become a bad bully. Ryane rode him and worked on his ground manners in the round pen for a month, and then sent him in May 2012 to AQHA Professional Horseman Jenna Mickelson of East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

“She said, ‘I am not keeping this horse, fix him and get rid of him,’” Jenna recalled. “Two weeks into (having him) I called her and said, ‘You’re going to laugh, but he’s really coming around. I really like this horse. Every day is better.’”

“And then she asked if she could take him to Medora (North Dakota) on a trail ride!” Ryane continued. “He was the most broke thing she had!”

In September, Jenna threw Bevis in the trailer when she had an empty spot and showed him in green trail, halter and ranch pleasure. He ended up going to three shows in 2012, and earned a point in green trail.

Since starting back to showing in March 2013, he’s earned points in halter, performance halter geldings, green trail and ranch horse pleasure on the way to earning halter and performance Registers of Merit and an open AQHA Champion award. And he’s qualified for the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show in open and amateur performance halter geldings and ranch pleasure.

“I sent him to Jenna to sell, and here we are a year later having fun!” Ryane said.

“He loves people,” Jenna says. “He’s a hugger… and he loves to show, he really, really does. And he loves to do anything. He’ll try anything with you.”

His biggest challenge now is “forward motion,” she says with a laugh, “Staying awake.”

Ryane shrugs her shoulders as to the reason for his change, saying: “He was a spoiled brat. I don’t think he’d had any consistency, and he didn’t know what the ‘rules’ were. (Jenna and I) are both very big on ground manners. We are both pretty strict.”

The gelding’s amazing turnaround made Ryane think about showing Bevis, too. She came to the Region Two because she wanted to ride him in the trail and ranch pleasure clinics with AQHA Professional Horseman and Team Wrangler Extreme Team Member Marty Simper. And she wanted experience at a bigger show – she’s hauling him to the World Show in November, in performance halter geldings.

For now, Bevis and Jenna are going for the Region Two open all-around title.

“I don’t know that we’ll get it, but we’re trying,” Jenna said. “He did barrels, poles, western riding, reining, ranch pleasure, and he’ll do English and trail.”

Ryane grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma, and her family had race horses. Though she’d never shown, she’s ridden all her life. “I’ve raced barrels and ridden English in Florida and worked with Arabians in Arizona. I’ve shown open shows… if I can ride it, I will try it,” she said.

She and her husband, Brent, farm and ranch in North Dakota. They’ve been married 18 years and have a son and a daughter.

She and Bevis are currently leading the standings for Justin Rookie-of-the-Year, 31 and over: “All we do is try and sometimes we bomb and sometimes we do good!”

So far, they are going home with two Region Two Championship buckles for wins in open and amateur performance halter geldings.

“My horses, they have to do it all,” she said with a laugh. “I like to try too many things.”