SmartPaker Jamie and I started out the month of October with a trip to Las Vegas where we attended the 2013 SmartPak AQHA West Novice Championship Show. This was my second time attending an AQHA event and since AQHA Select was so fresh in my mind from last month, I felt familiar with the classes and the atmosphere. As a former hunter/jumper turned event rider, this is much different scene for me. But, I’m starting to understand the difference between Western Riding and Western Pleasure – yes, there really is a big difference!
The SmartPak West Novice Championship is the premier event for American Quarter Horse Novice exhibitors who need to qualify for this event nationally or through a state or provincial affiliate to compete in classes representing halter, English and western disciplines. There were more than 1,450 riders from the United States and Canada that competed for top honors at this event.
The week was full of educational events like the Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics, where professionals demonstrated how they would approach patterns and traditional “flat” classes and there was a great exhibitor party that included a candy and ice cream bar – how cool is that?!
As title sponsors of the 2013 West AQHA Novice Championship, Jamie and I helped present the awards for each class. Being able to give awards to some of our very own SmartPak customers who had supplement programs for their horses was so great. Getting a chance to be up close and personal, even for only a brief moment to say “cheese” for a picture and give them a quick pat was most definitely a highlight for me. Congratulations to all the Novice Show Qualifiers!