November 25, 2009 -- The 2009 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championship Show came to a close in Oklahoma City, Okla., November 21, following 16 full days of competition. As the dust settled in Jim Norick State Fair Arena, 100 world champion trophies had been distributed among 3,464 entries, which came from 46 states, six Canadian provinces, Brazil, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Exhibitors and owners competed for more than $2.7 million in cash and awards.
Among the world champions, many other star exhibitors and horses were recognized with special awards. The Featherlite All-Around Amateur was again a highly contested race with 72 horse-and-rider pairs vying for the title. When Bank of America Amateur week concluded November 13, Jessica Johnson of Pickerington, Ohio, and her horse Royality In Blue emerged the winners.
Johnson and Royality In Blue earned 58 points, competing in five classes. They won world championships in hunt seat equitation and equitation over fences. They also won a reserve world championship in hunter hack and had top-10 finishes in working hunter and pleasure driving. Featherlite presents the All-Around Amateur winner with a $25,000 voucher for a Featherlite custom award trailer. The All-Around Amateur also receives a WeatherBeeta embroidered blanket, specially commissioned bronze by Lisa Perry and a rose bouquet.
Coming in reserve for the All-Around Amateur title and taking home $2,500 was Elizabeth Borders of Wichita Falls, Texas, and her horse Finely Principled. Rounding out the top five were Meghan O'Malley, Medina, Ohio, and A Chanceof Blueskies, third; Sharnai Thompson, Cornelius, North Carolina, and Sleepin In The Rain, fourth; and Stefanie Pullin, Conroe, Texas, and Suddenly A Good Time, fifth. Third- through fifth-place finishers each received $1,000 from AQHA.
During FedEx Open week, the most prestigious title is the Featherlite Superhorse award. This year's contest had 54 contenders, but by the end of the week, one horse stood out among the rest. The Krymsun Kruzer owned by Gerri Leigh Pratt of Winston-Salem, N.C., took the Superhorse win by a landslide, earning 48.5 points.
The Krymsun Kruzer competed in seven classes. He won a world championship in junior working hunter, a reserve world championship in junior hunter hack, third place in junior pleasure driving, fourth in junior hunter under saddle and fifth in performance halter stallions. For owning the Featherlite Superhorse, Pratt received a $25,000 voucher for a Featherlite custom award trailer, a WeatherBeeta embroidered blanket, a bronze by Lisa Perry and a rose bouquet.
Several other horses competing in open classes received special recognition at the show for being named Most Valuable Horse (MVH). The MVH award goes to the horse earning the most points in six divisions. Each MVH winner receives a $5,000 check from AQHA. Below are the MVH winners for 2009.
- Speed (barrel racing, pole bending): Gotta Another Gear, owned by Doug Smith, Ward, Ark.
- Timed (team penning, ranch sorting): Playin With Oaks Leo, owned by Jordan Lesh, Perry, Okla.
- Western (western pleasure, western riding, trail) : Vital Signs Are Good, owned by Joe and Karen Moran, Laguna Hills, Calif.
- English (hunter under saddle, hunter hack, working hunter, pleasure driving, jumping): The Krymsun Kruzer, owned by Gerri Leigh Pratt, Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Roping (heading, heeling, tie-down): Chex This Dually, owned by Donald Tisdall, Castle Rock, Colo.
- Pattern/Cow (cutting, reining, working cow horse): Luckys Starlight, owned by Joan Cain, Vero Beach, Fla.
Top owners of American Quarter Horses competing at the World Show also were commended for their achievements. Each year, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce recognizes the leading owner at the show. This year's winner for the sixth year in a row was Rita Crundwell of Dixon, Ill. Crundwell had 38 entries at the show, and took home seven world championships and five reserve world championships along with 11 top-10 finishes. For being named the Oklahoma City Leading Owner, Crundwell received a specially commissioned bronze presented by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
The reserve leading owner was Dr. Gigi Wood Davis of Savannah, Tenn. Her horses earned two world championships, four reserve world championships and 17 top-10 finishes. The American Quarter Horse Journal presented her with a commemorative silver cup.
For complete coverage from the World Show, including results and interviews with the champions and award winners, visit www.aqha.com.