Ranch Pleasure

A work-off in the ranch pleasure finals pits friend against friend for the world championship.

Greyt Socks and Thomas Hicks

Greyt Socks and Thomas Hicks cross the logs on their way to winning gold August 28 at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)

The first ranch pleasure Select world championship class pitted friend against friend August 28 at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show.

After a preliminary go, 15 riders returned for the finals. After all 15 finished, the ring crew started in to pull the cones and logs from the arena.

“Hold up, boys,” said announcer Darren Moore. “We have a tie for the world championship.”

So, tied with a score of 230, Thomas Hicks of Hawley, Texas, and Kim Lindsey of Dickens, Texas, rode the ranch pleasure pattern again on Greyt Socks and Judys Ten, respectively.

Greyt Socks is a 2007 gray gelding by Greyt Whiz and out of Frosty Bo Socks by Mr Sorrel Bo. He was bred by the WT Waggoner Estate Ranch of Vernon, Texas, and Thomas was third on him at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show in the inaugural ranch pleasure world championship class. Thomas was sixth in amateur competition at the AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championship Show in March.

Judys Ten is a 2006 buckskin gelding by Ten O Sea and out of Crows Judy by Black Chick Gold. He was bred by Bill and Dana Smith of Spur, Texas. He has been shown extensively in Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges, and on August 25, he and Kim were crowned the Select world champions in working cow horse.

Both horses were bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders.

Thomas and Kim were ready. Their horses were ready. They rode again through the pattern, which called for sidepassing a log, crossing logs, changes of pace within the gaits and one flying lead change.

“I was going to try to go be smooth and have smooth transitions and fully extend my extensions,” Kim said. “Just really be clean and be sure and extend.”

Thomas had a similar plan.

“I had a break of gait in the first run in the preliminaries and still made the finals,” he said. “(AQHA Professional Horseman) Buddy Fisher told me that I had a good run except for the break of gait. I knew I just had to make a clean run and let (my horse) do his thing, and it worked out.

“(For my second run), I just wanted to make a clean run and not break gait, and not ask him for more than what he could do,” he added. “It could have been great either way, whether she won or I won, but we’re great friends and we work together a lot, and she’s a wonderful lady, and it wouldn’t have mattered which way we went.

“I thought, 'Well, you know, I’ve got second place won, so I’d just as well go for it.' ”

The scores were held again, and anticipation built as the awards were passed out. Finally, only Thomas and Kim were left on the wall, holding hands as the work-off scores were announced: Kim - 227.5. Thomas - 236.5. Darren strung out the suspense by adding that the reserve world champion was also the first-place Intermediate in the class. That's when Thomas and Kim knew who'd won the run-off.

Regardless, they both rode forward in a sort of race for the silver trophy.

"It was Thomas' idea," Kim said, laughing.

It’s Thomas' first world championship on a pretty special horse.

“He’s a horse we bought from the Waggoner Ranch for my wife, and she only got to ride the horse the first day we bought him, she later passed away from cancer,” Thomas said. “I was going to sell the horse, and I started riding him and decided I wanted to keep him. He’s a nice horse.”

“Ben,” named for original trainer Ben Baldus of the Waggoner Ranch who was among Thomas’ many well-wishers after the finals, also qualified for the Bank of America Amateur World Championship Show with Thomas.

“Actually, I didn’t know I couldn’t go to both!” Thomas said. “So I entered Select and sent my money in before I found out I couldn’t enter amateur. But I had qualified for open also, and I have a daughter who’s qualified for amateur, so I just decided to come to (Amarillo) and show in the open in Oklahoma and let her show in amateur.”

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.

Thomas and Kim say they both plan to return in 2014 for a rematch.

“Thomas is hard to beat, let me tell you,” Kim said with a laugh.