by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Kirsten Farris trots in on Lyles Al Lie to win hunter under saddle August 30 at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show in Amarillo. (Journal photo)
For the second year in a row, Kirsten Farris is world champion in hunter under saddle with Lyles Al Lie.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”
Kirsten rode in preliminaries August 29 and then the finals August 30 with the leggy gelding at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show.
“I’m shocked!” the Phoenix resident said. “It’s just hard because you put pressure on yourself after the first (world championship) and you think maybe that was enough. Maybe I shouldn’t expect it. And then to have him do it again felt amazing.”
The finals were a bit of a blur, Kristen said.
“It went a lot faster than I thought it would,” she said. “It felt good. It was just – there’s so much more energy out in the arena, and that’s the thing I forget about. There’s so much more energy, and you really have to ride every stride. It was like a blur today. It was fast. But it was a good blur!”
Lyles Al Lie is a 2006 sorrel gelding by Allocate Your Assets and out of Sheza Detail by Last Detail. He was bred by Katherine K. Tobin of Scottsdale, Arizona, Kirsten’s barnmate. Since the world championship in 2012, Kirsten and “Lyle Jr.’s” relationship has changed for the better, she said.
“I’m learning more about him and learning to trust him,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Journal. “This is our fourth year together, and it’s kinda like a marriage. It takes a while to get used to each other, and I think we’re really starting to gel after four years.”
She’s also learned more about his quirks, including his habit of blowing his breath out his nose while he canters.
“He normally sounds like a hunter,” she said, blowing her breath through her lips. “He just always goes ‘plugh.’ He’s 'Mr. Breather.' He’s very social, makes a lot of noise. That’s just his thing.”
Kirsten has owned “Lyle Jr.” since he was 3.
“He’s our family pet and a show horse second,” she said. “We love him to death.”
Kirsten, who owns Quarter Horse Show Entries, an online entry system for Quarter Horse shows, was thrilled that her parents were able to watch her victory in person this year. In 2012, they flew home early.
“It was so much better to have them here in person,” she said.
Kirsten wanted to thank AQHA Professional Horseman Deanna Searles of Scottsdale, Arizona, her trainer for the past 21 years.
“I was one of her first customers along with Kathy (Tobin) and Susie (Johns) when they started in 1992,” Kirsten said, tearing up a little. “(Deanna and Jim are) incredible people, and I have to thank them so much. Also, John, my boyfriend, and my mom and my dad.
“And my horse.”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the Adequan Select World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch Adequan Select World video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.