Hunt Seat Equitation

Lori Bucholz grabs her first hunt seat equitation world championship with Larks Happy Days.

Lori Bucholz and Larks Happy Days

Lori Bucholz and Larks Happy Days

American Quarter Horse Foundation ambassador and AQHA Director Lori Bucholz of Waterloo, Nebraska, accomplished the latest goal on her list: a hunt seat equitation win with her 2002 Rugged Lark son, Larks Happy Days, at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show.

The duo was first under all five judges.

“First of all, it was my trainer, (AQHA Professional Horseman) Lainie Deboer’s birthday,” Lori told the Journal on August 30. “She said it was the best birthday present ever. It was kind of the last check mark on her list. All of her horses have won a world championship in all of the classes that she rides in and that her clients ride in. So that (hunt seat equitation) was her last check mark.”

It was also a major check mark for Lori.

“We’ve won world championships in all of the other four events we show,” she explained. “But this equitation on the flat has always eluded us. So that was our last goal.”

Lori was first in the finals go order, but because it’s something you can’t change or control, she doesn’t let it bother her. But she was aware that she was making the first footprints in a tricky pattern that would set the stage for the entire finals class.

“My circle has to be perfect, because you’re really going to see that in this dirt,” she said. “I’m the first one in the dirt, like the figure skater being the first one on the ice. You have to have a perfect circle because they’re going to be able to tell.”

She appreciated the pattern because it allowed her to showcase her talented horse.

“It was a great pattern. I love that they emphasized to make the pattern your own. I have a big hunter horse, and in this lovely big ring, he can make the nice, big circles. It was really nice to be able to show off my horse’s movement and the fact that he is a hunter and a hunter mover. I could maybe show off my hunter equitation a little bit, too.”

Lori, who has a degree in marketing and public relations, and Fonzie have been successful partners for about seven years.

“I’m blessed. We’ve won here at the Select World six times. We’re dance partners. It happens when you have a horse that long and you just click. He’s wonderful.”

Fonzie is 11, and Lori will continue to show him “as long as he keeps telling me it’s OK and wants to.”

It’s been a busy Adequan Select World for Lori and Fonzie, with pleasure driving finals on August 30 and hunter hack finals immediately following her hunt seat equitation win. Plus, she had working hunter and equitation over fences finals on August 31, the last day of the show, and she’s in the running for the Farnam All-Around Amateur award.

“It’s a long three days for us,” she confessed. “After that, Fonzie gets to go home to Lainie’s and have a few months off.”

Larks Happy Days is a bay gelding out of Emma Big Leaguer by Im A Big Leaguer who Lori purchased from Rugged Lark owner and AQHA breeder Carol Harris of Ocala, Florida.

Lori and Fonzie are coached by AQHA Professional Horsemen Lainie DeBoer and Kevin and Melissa Dukes.

Fonzie carried Lori to her first Select world championship in 2009 in working hunter; the Select pleasure driving, hunter hack and equitation over fences championships in 2010; and the Select equitation over fences world championship in 2012.

“Its like a great big family reunion here,” she said of the Adequan Select World. “It’s wonderful. Everybody knows everybody. It’s a wonderful camaraderie, especially in the hunter classes. We’re all really happy for each other when we do well.”

She credits her husband, Rick, “who makes it all happen,” for her success in the show pen.

Stay tuned to the Adequan Select World coverage to see how Lori fares in the Farnam All-Around Amateur race.