November 2011--In the span of one afternoon, one horse and rider combo came out of the shadows to win the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
Lauren Eichstadt of Greenville, Pennsylvania, and Its My Lucky Detail, bred by Larry and Linda Whitaker of Rogers, Arkansas, earned 39 points competing in three classes to win the coveted title.
In addition to bragging rights, Lauren and Its My Lucky Detail will take home a Farnam All-Around Amateur prize package that includes $15,000, plus $1,000 in Farnam products, an embroidered fusion contour western blanket, courtesy of WeatherBeeta, a rose bouquet and a bronze by Lisa Perry.
For all of the success that they?ve had, this is undisputedly the highest achievement yet for Lauren and ?Lucky,? as the big 2001 bay gelding is affectionately called.
?I used to show in all-around western (classes) for years, and then I started showing hunters and I ended up fourth (in the all-around amateur race) without even thinking it was possible last year,? she recalls. ?Like, ?Oh, you're fourth!? Then I was like, ?Wow, I was fourth, maybe next year I could win it???
With all three of their finals classes November 11, it was right down the wire in the Farnam All-Around Amateur race for Lauren and Lucky. They placed third in amateur working hunter and amateur hunter hack and also won the reserve champion title in amateur equitation over fences.
?Once I had done well, I thought that I was competitive against the hunter people,? Lauren says, ?but I wasn?t sure how any of the western people had done.?
It was the duo?s third-place finish in amateur working hunter that sealed the deal, bumping Darcy Reeve of Garden City, Kansas, and A Certain Vino from the all-around win to second place.
It's been a successful year for the Eichstadt family and Lucky, by Last Detail and out of Run To Seattle by Seattle Song.
?He?s my sister?s horse, but I?ve been showing him for quite a few years,? Lauren says.
At the 2010 AQHA World Show, Lauren and Lucky were reserve in amateur working hunter and amateur hunter hack, which yielded their fourth place finish in the 2010 amateur all-around race.
Things really started to look up for the Eichstadts in August, when Lauren?s younger sister, Madison, and Lucky won working hunter at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
But it was a few weeks ago, at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, that Lauren herself really got on a roll a for the year.
?This year at the Congress I won the non-pro hunter classic and I won the amateur hunter hack,? she says. ?I usually don't have much Congress success, so I was hoping that it (wouldn?t) jinx my world show.?
There are a few things that Lauren, a pharmacy school student at the University of Findlay in Ohio, has learned this year that have helped her grow as a competitor.
?I just need to relax and let him do the thinking. He?s got a better track record than I do,? she admits.
Lauren and her family certainly appreciate what a fine equine athlete their gelding is.
?He?s very, very spoiled,? Lauren says. ?He came with his own party-sized bag of peanut bag M&Ms and has eaten through most of it.?
?He doesn't much of anything without getting any treats,? she adds.
?She didn't mention to you that he bows,? chimes in Lauren?s mom, Tammy.
And with that, Lauren whips out a peppermint candy. Not that she really needs it ? Lucky is more than happy to dip into a bow, almost as if he knew what Lauren was about to ask.
?He?s so much fun to show,? Lauren says wholeheartedly. ?He gives an awesome trip every time we go in the ring.
?He?s a 1-in-a-million type of horse.?
Farnam All-Around Amateur
First: Lauren Eichstadt of Greenville, Pennsylvania, riding Its My Lucky Detail
Second: Darcy Reeve of Garden City, Kansas, riding A Certain Vino
Third: Jessica Baird of Rockville, Indiana, riding Cool Movin Lady
Fourth: Daniel Carlson of Sheffield, Massachusetts, riding Are You Charlie
Fifth: Brittany Boyd of Corpus Christi, Texas, riding Dont Skip My Charms
Second place received a prize package of $5,000 plus $500 in Farnam products and a silver bowl. Third through fifth place received a prize package that included $1,500 plus $250 in Farnam products.
The AQHA Bank of America Amateur and FedEx Open World Championship Show is the world?s largest, single-breed world championship horse show and the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse owners and exhibitors around the world, who must qualify for the event by earning a predetermined number of points to compete in each of the 94 classes representing halter, English and western disciplines. The 3,572 entries at this year?s event represent competitors from 47 of the United States, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Venezuela.