Region 10 Novice Youth Winner Mae Santore
Mae Santore, age 11, is a home-schooled sixth grader from Orlando, Fla. Her family operates Devonwood Farm, a boarding facility with about 40 horses on the property. They own about 20 horses, most of which are lesson horses, but a few that they show. Mae successfully showed at the AQHA Regional Experience in Perry, Ga., this year.
Tell us about your horse.
The Hollywood Flash is his registered name, but we just call him "Hollywood." He's a 12-year-old, 15.2-hand palomino gelding who's pretty stocky and well muscled. He's easy to work with in training most of the time, and though he likes his space in his stall, once he's out, he's very friendly. I show him in hunters, hunter hack, equitation over fences, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, showmanship, trail, horsemanship, reining and working cow horse. He's a little better in the English events than the western, and probably at his best in the over-fences classes.
What has been your most memorable moment in the saddle?
Winning two world championships at the Palomino (PHBA) World Show in Tulsa, Okla., this year with Hollywood. We won the novice youth hunter under saddle championship and the 13-and-under youth ranch horse class, which is sort of a combination of a trail class and a reining class. We also won a reserve world championship in 13-and-under youth road hack, which is a hunt seat class that asks for an extended trot and canter, and a hand gallop.
Do you ride with a trainer?
I started riding at age three with my mom, but when we got Hollywood a year and a half ago, I started training with Price Morgan. He's based in Daytona, Fla., about an hour away, but comes to our stable about once a week to give lessons, and meets us at the horse shows. His team of people is really nice and helpful, and Price has taught me all about showing at AQHA shows. He's very fun, and I always learn a lot from him.
Tell us about your Regional Experience win.
We showed in many classes, including hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, hunter hack, hunter over fences, horsemanship, showmanship, trail, and even barrel racing and pole bending. We ended up winning the novice youth high point title, and a saddle as an award. This was the first time I've won a saddle, and I'm really excited about it! They awarded belt buckles to individual class winners, and these were my first buckle awards, too. We had so much fun!
Region 10 Newcomer Micky Pearch
Ida Dale "Micky" Pearch of Jacksonville, Fla., is still showing strong at age 75 with wholehearted support from her husband, Hugh. This great-grandmother has been involved with many equine disciplines since age 40, including successfully showing Palominos, jumping Thoroughbreds, and breeding and winning with Quarter Horse and Appaloosa racehorses. Despite crippling rheumatoid arthritis throughout her body and a twice-broken back, she's delighted to now be showing at AQHA shows, and attended this year's Regional Experience in Perry, Ga.
Tell us about your horse.
Spark Of Impulse, or "Hot Shot," is a five-year-old, 15.1-hand palomino gelding, double registered with the AQHA and PHBA. He's attractive, clean legged, and a pretty mover. He was gelded at age three, and used to nip a little bit, but he's mellowing nicely with time. He'd never been shown prior to my buying him in February of this year, but he's a lovely show horse already. I have limited use of my hands because of my arthritis, and Hot Shot is very patient and understanding with me. I tend to get nervous, but he doesn't and takes excellent care of me. That's very special and I feel so blessed.
What rider/clinician do you most admire and why?
Definitely my trainer Duayne Williams of Precision Ranch in Monticello, Fla. He keeps Hot Shot for me, and has made him into a reliable and successful show horse. He's so encouraging and gracious with me, too. Because of my physical limitations, I can't saddle, band or clip my horse by myself anymore, among a few other things, and Duayne's so helpful with the whole process. To me, the three most important things in a trainer are honesty, humor and patience, and especially so when working with older people. This young man has all three qualities and talent with horses.
What was your most memorable Regional Experience moment?
Definitely the novice amateur western pleasure class. It was so big (31 entries), they split it into two groups. I was thrilled to make the final cut, and to be able to ride again for the final judging was incredible. When they announced the results, backward from tenth to first to really build anticipation, we placed third! This was only Hot Shot's fifth show ever, and the third show in which we loped! We went right back into the ring for the select amateur western pleasure class, and we placed second in that one.
Will you continue to show? Will you be back at Regional Experience?
I'll continue showing until I physically can't do it anymore, and want to try horsemanship and trail with Hot Shot. I love the AQHA shows, and am having a very good time with the Quarter Horse people. I intend to attend the Regional Experience next year and any other year I'm able! In all my years of showing, I've never seen anything as beautifully run as this Regional Experience. There wasn't a glitch, and the staff made me feel so comfortable from the very first moment on the show grounds.