Region 9 Novice Youth Winner Logan Venus
Logan Venus of Hattiesburg, Miss., recently turned 13 and has been showing successfully in the youth and novice youth divisions in 2006. An eighth grader at Presbyterian Christian School, she took time in August to show one of her family's Quarter Horses at the AQHA Regional Experience in Jackson, Miss.
Tell us about your horse.
Sugar Bars Zip, or "Woody," is an 8-year-old, 15.3-hand sorrel gelding. He has a great attitude and is willing to do just about anything. We bought him in February of this year when my other horse had an injury. Woody was at our trainer's barn, and about to be put up for sale, so we tried him out and bought him. He's particularly good in horsemanship, but also in showmanship, trail, English equitation and hunter under saddle, so he's very versatile.
What has been your most memorable moment in the saddle?
Winning the novice youth horsemanship, English equitation and hunter under saddle at the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show in Jackson, Mississippi back in February after owning Woody only about a week.
Do you ride with a trainer?
Yes, I ride with Tom McBeath in Union, Miss., and Woody is in training with him. His facility is about two hours from my home, and I go almost every weekend. Tom is very patient, and if I do something wrong, he explains what I did and how to fix it. He works really closely with us at shows, and holds early-morning training sessions on show days. He's always calm, cool and relaxed at shows, and that helps me stay calm.
Tell us about your Regional Experience win.
I rode in many classes, all on Saturday and Sunday during the Regional Experience. On Saturday, I showed in trail, two showmanship classes and two horsemanship classes. Then Sunday, we showed in the English flat classes, equitation and hunter under saddle. We won both our showmanship classes, both our horsemanship classes and both equitation classes, and ended up as the Novice Youth All Around high point winner.
Would you recommend the Regional Experience to other show riders? To newcomers? Will you be back next year?
I would recommend it! It was so much fun. We had really long days, but it was a great time. They had great people working the show, it was very organized, and the prizes were awesome. They had contests, clinics and other activities for newcomers. The trail clinic I saw would be very useful to new show riders. I attended the first Regional Experience in 2005, and again this year, and hope to attend next year!
Region 9 Newcomer Mikayla Meyer
Seven-year-old Mikayla Meyer is a fresh face at AQHA shows this year. Based in Gramercy, La., her family owns several horses, including four Quarter Horses they show at halter. Though she weighs barely more than 50 pounds, Mikayla skillfully handles a 1,600-pound gelding in her halter classes. A second grader at Riverside Academy, she's well spoken and enthusiastic about a bright future with horses. She attended this year's Regional Experience in Jackson, Miss.
Tell us about your horse.
His name is La Favers Cool Boy, but we call him "Chip." He's nine years old, 16.1 hands, and sorrel. He's sweet and kind, and my best buddy. I've been working with him since I was five years old, and started showing him in halter classes at AQHA shows this year. My sister Taylor is nine years old, and she shows Chip in halter, too. He's been to the AQHA World Show and the Congress, and has won lots of points in halter classes.
What rider/clinician do you most admire and why?
I admire my trainer Nita Thomas because she helps me practice showing halter horses at home, and helps me at horse shows, too. She also works with my older sister Taylor. We have to do chores like cleaning stalls and feeding horses, and we're also learning how to groom and take care of halter horses. I also admire my family for their work with horses and for helping me. My dad and mom help at shows by holding horses, helping groom them, and getting our outfits together. And I admire Taylor because I can learn just by watching her.
Why do you ride Quarter Horses? What are your favorite characteristics of the breed?
My family has five Quarter Horses. We show four of them in halter classes. Quarter Horses are sweet, kind, and pretty!
What was your most memorable Regional Experience moment?
Showing Chip in the youth geldings 3 and over halter class. He was acting up a little bit and that made me nervous, but I got him under control and we placed fifth out of 18. I was so happy after the class, and my family was so happy that they hugged me so hard I almost couldn't breathe! I also showed in a leadline class with Gentry Picket and her horse Wranglers Cool Snip, and I won a medal in that class.
Do you want to show more? Will you be back at Regional Experience?
Yes! I want to keep on showing halter horses, and learn to train and ride. We had fun at the Regional Experience horse show and the cookoff on Saturday night, and I would love to go back.