It took Samantha Chiodo seven years to make the AQHYA Showmanship finals, but her persistence has finally paid off! Chiodo and her mare, Im A Natural Detail took home the gold trophy in her their final showmanship class together. After the show, the mare will have a new home with Amateur competitor Jakob Glenn Garner of Atlanta, Georgia.
Chiodo and her talented mare had three firsts, a second, and a third and placed an impressive 15 points higher than her closer competitor. This duo has been Congress Champions in the Showmanship three times and Reserve once but never seemed to have luck at the Youth World.
"I was really happy with my go and I thought it was a great pattern that flowed really well," Chiodo told GoHorseShow. "I was also happy that I was last in the working order in the finals because that was exactly where I wanted to be."
The challenging pattern featured trotting a figure eight, two different turns, a back up, and set up. "I had never trotted a figure eight in a pattern before, but I liked that part of the pattern as well as the fact that they didn't have many cones so you could work the pattern to your benefit and if you have a larger horse, you had more room to maneuver."
Her trainer, Beckey Schooler of Delta, Ohio was also really proud of the team. "I've helped Sam for eight years, and they have worked so hard, and I'm glad it ended the way it did," she says. "I thought her run was incredible and her running looked so smooth and beautiful. It was our goal this year for her to make the finals, and it is wonderful that she ends up going out on top."
Chiodo adds, "It has been an adventure working with Beckey. She put me in my place when I first starting training with her when I was around eleven or twelve," Sam says laughing. "Some people may think she is harsh, but she just gets to the point and knows her stuff."
The University of South Carolina Equestrian Team sophomore also says she will miss her mare and that her win is bittersweet since this will be her last show. "She is a little bit of a diva, and she likes to stick her upper lip at everything when she thinks something smells funny or if she doesn't like something. She has a funny and quirky personality, and I will miss her very much."
This duo still has the hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation preliminaries tomorrow, but she says she will probably celebrate by going to dinner and eating a crazy dessert with all her friends and family. She would like to thank her trainer Beckey, and her parents for all their support throughout her youth career.