Region 3 Amateur Winner Katie Pidgeon
Katie Pidgeon, 24, comes from a family of Quarter Horse enthusiasts--they breed, raise and show their own horses and currently keep 10 at their home in Salem, Iowa. Katie, a recent graduate of Drake University, has been busy showing this year with much success. She made the journey to this year's Regional Experience in St. Paul, Minn., and won the Amateur All Around championship with one of her family's homebred mares.
Tell us about your horse.
I rode Ialwaysgetluckywithu, my 4-year-old, 15.1-hand, sorrel mare. We call her "Martha" and I started showing her seriously last year. She's already a great all-around show horse--very good in the trail, showmanship, horsemanship and pleasure classes. We bred and raised her, and she's always been easy to work with and learns so fast. She always tries her best, and gives 100 percent at whatever she does.
What has been your most memorable moment in the saddle?
There's no particular moment I can single out, but I like to look back on my journey from 4H and the novice youth division, and all the progress I've made since then. I love learning, challenging myself and making myself better.
Do you ride with a trainer?
Martha's in training with Joni and Craig Nelson in Long Grove, Iowa, and I ride in lessons with them at least twice a week. Joni usually works with me on the pattern-class training such as trail, showmanship and horsemanship, and Craig is great with pleasure training, so they complement each other well. We attend shows once or twice a month during show season.
Tell us about your Regional Experience win.
We showed in trail, showmanship, horsemanship, pleasure, and halter to win the Amateur All Around championship. There were all levels of competition, from exhibitors just starting out to some very serious competitors. It was a nice atmosphere with exhibitors acting very friendly and helpful toward each other. I've never been to the AQHA World Show, so it was fun to take part in a championship format show with so many special details.
Would you recommend the Regional Experience to other show riders? To newcomers? Will you be back next year?
Definitely--it more than met my expectations as a show rider. It was lots of fun, with good competition, wonderful prizes, and many activities beyond the show itself. Plus, it's a great way to meet other people from your AQHA region. Newcomers will be welcomed and inspired. In addition to being able to watch clinics, they can learn so much just by watching the horse show. I learned a lot just watching the disciplines like cow horse, reining, jumping and pleasure driving that I don't get to see at other horse shows. I look forward to attending again.