Resplendent with jaw-dropping beauty, the elegant show horses dazzled like fashion models on a catwalk as they waited their turn to strut before judges at the Northwest USDF Championships.
Warmbloods and sport horses of all breeds and backgrounds were positively intimidating to behold, says Paula Graham Stobart.
“You could just tell by looking at them, these horses are in full-time training, and are very, very fancy and well-trained. And definitely not Thoroughbreds.”
Well, there was one Thoroughbred there. Her Thoroughbred.
Wapato Gold, nicknamed Wapo, a less statuesque, 15.2 hand ex-racehorse more than made up for his lack of height Sept. 21st and 22nd at the Junior Young Rider Training Level event, when he entered the ring in monsoon rains and socked it to 20 non-Thoroughbred competitors.
Wapo and Stobart’s 17-year-old daughter Cassidy wiped the field with all those glamorous horses so thoroughly that at the end of their test, when they halted at X, the judge remarked that it looked like the horse and rider were having a phenomenal time out there.
“When Cassidy and Wapo’s time slot came for her test, it started to pour, and it wasn’t going to stop. But the thing about Cassidy and Wapo is that they train outdoors in rain all the time. It doesn’t faze them,” Stobart says. “So with the weather, we thought we might have an advantage.”
And they did. The adorable Thoroughbred and rider won the championship against all those fancy horses!
“From the moment he entered the arena, he never missed a step,” she says. “He was on his mark. He was paying attention. And he never tried to avoid the water; there was nine inches of water in the corners!”
Other horses were not so agreeable. One bucked and was “horrible, nasty” and at the end of the stormy show, both judges, hands down, gave the highest score to little Wapato Gold and Cassidy Stobart.
And as if it couldn’t get better, the pair was also given the High Point Thoroughbred Award!
“This competition was huge!” she says, noting that she swelled with pride when
Cassidy and Wapo posed for her to snap their picture in the winner’s circle, while all those statuesque beauties were being loaded into trailers and going home.