In an industry full of beautiful
and successful people, there are a lot of candidates to choose from in this year's
Hottie Poll. You’d think that
would make my job easy, right? Keeping
that in mind, it makes a reporter’s job ten times harder to narrow down a final list with so many amazing individuals and couples.
There are many variables in
determining a hottie, but it’s not an exact science. Many of you were kind enough to directly or indirectly steer
me toward the finalists, so essentially this ends up being more of a People’s
Choice Awards. Qualities our readers were seeking included success in and out
of the horse show arena, personality, charm, wit, attention to detail, swagger,
fitness, work ethic, and even sexy voices. They say a person’s smile is a window to their soul, so that
was the quality most important to me.
In the end what separated many of these winners from the rest of the
pack this year – a unique ability to overcome personal tragedy.
There are many more of you out
there deserving of a nod, including last year’s winners who all are still
smoking hot. In the hottie poll
almost anything goes, except that again this year my fellow youth are off limits since none of
us need that kind of pressure. Oh yeah, and GoHorseShow.com employees are not eligible! If you or your favorite hottie didn’t make
the list this year – don’t worry – I’m still comin’ for ya! Remember, my work
here is never done!
How cool is this - my fabulous sponsor, Tammy at All That Show Clothing, has offered to give each hottie a $50 gift certificate to her store. Tammy has something for everyone and hey, even a hottie needs help looking good! Thanks Tammy!!!
In the name of
fun, let’s have a drum roll please for this year’s winners! P.S. Special thanks to the significant others who helped a lot
with the poll and were GREAT sports!
DAN & DARLENE TREIN
hoofing around on the pavement for 3 weeks at Congress, I have to admit I was
feeling tired. Well, I was quickly
revived after arriving at the camp of Ken and Barbie couple, Dan and Darlene
Trein. Wait a minute; didn’t
Barbie and Ken win last year?
Actually that was Candy and Bret Parish, Darlene’s daughter. What can I say; the apple doesn’t fall
far from the tree.
Dan and Darlene made my day. Those two are a blast, and I can see
why they have such a long-term client base including the infamous Dalton
Girls! Dan admits that the best
part of their 15-year marriage has been being able to work together. The teamwork and the way we have our
program has been successful.
Darlene, (my favorite cheerleader), adds sincerely “And we love to go to
work every day”. I want some of
what they are taking! I am still
laughing and blushing about how they keep their love alive. Darlene said matter of factly – “We
have board meetings”! Do they know
I’m still a youth – LOL!
There were a million things I
didn’t know about Dan and Dar including that they are bull riding
fanatics. I’m talking over the
top. Spouting facts about
PBR faster than I could take notes, this Miss Rodeo Ohio USA is going to get my
education about rodeo from these two before considering the national pageants.
Dar says lovingly, that Dan is an avid tennis and boxing fan, plus gadget
guru. Dan squirms – “She has me a
little overrated – I’m a good gadget shopper.” Dar is a self-described tripper and spiller. Dan adds– she’s a dropper. Darlene is surprisingly a pack rat Dan
confides. Once she carries stuff
off, you might have a hard time finding it again. Always finishing each other’s sentences was my favorite
thing about this adorable couple.
Very much in love, Dan says everyday is so much fun with her that the
little points like leaving bridles in the aisle way are not important. After 15 years of marriage he proudly
admits – she is finally picking them up.
DAWN & BRIAN BAKER
hours following her Master’s win, who is hotter than Dawn Baker, and her
equally talented husband, Brian? The
fresh-faced couple, who are part of the Piper Family dynasty, seem to have it
all. With a barn full of
world-class horses, an adorable son Bradley, and an obvious love for each other
and what they do, who isn’t cheering for them?
has always been one of my idols and role model as I continue to chase her
elusive youth show records in hunter under saddle. With one year to go in my youth career, I can attest that
she has set the bar very high!
Growing up on a small farm in Missouri, Brian did not discover his
passion for horses until college surprisingly. The science of how anatomy relates to the balance and
control of a pleasure horse appealed to him which sent him on a journey that
included working for prestigious trainers, including Gil Galyean. The rest is history.
of my favorite mysteries is how their romance actually started. Dawn’s Mom, Heidi told me last year
that she spotted the handsome Brian at the Tom Powers Futurity where she knew
he was destined to be the right one for her daughter. Dawn recalls that friends informed her that she had a
“secret admirer.” After a bashful
Brian showed up in the Piper aisle with the excuse of needing liniment for a
horse, Dawn was smitten. No
matter how it happened in the end, fate was kind to both, and they have earned
their rightful spot on our Hottie Poll!
KIM & CURTIS REYNOLDS
Avid basketball fans, the name
“Final Four Farm” came to fruition as a result of Kim’s Mom working at
legendary basketball school, UConn.
It’s a big deal, Kim explains.
As the parents of a beautiful daughter, Cassie, I couldn’t help but ask
if there was a basketball player in their future. “She’s pretty athletic Kim admits,” while Curtis is
heard in the background giving a resounding “YES”! This group is competitive all right.
When the couple first met in at
the Youth World, Kim thought he was “hot”, and Curtis said “ditto.” Though they didn’t start dating until
the following year at the Gold Coast, this hottie couple sealed the deal with
their wedding in 1999. Though they
admit that family life with jobs in the horse industry is hard, Kim’s parents
help make the travel schedule easier for this successful couple by helping with
Cassie. We wouldn’t be able to do
it otherwise, Kim explains. “It
tears you up every day, but it is what you have to do – make a living.” The end
result is well worth it after all.
They describe in unison that being parents is “awesome.”
When I asked about their favorite
qualities about each other, Kim laughed and said “You are asking me after three
weeks at the Congress what my favorite quality about him is????” In her sexy and raspy voice, she added,
“I don’t know how to say it, but he is totally supportive of me and all he
wants me to do is win.” Super
proud Curtis repaid the compliment by saying “She’s a great business woman and
excellent showman.” She
acknowledged that the senior hunter under saddle win for her at Congress was
the most meaningful to date. The
modest Curtis had trouble recalling his favorite win, but Kim helped him out by
saying her favorite win for him was the trail in Arizona out of over 100
head. “Far deeper than any place
else she explained, so it meant the most.” Curtis added that winning all six days in such deep water
with all of the variables of trail was in fact very “meaningful.” Look for more good things to come from
this hottie twosome!
KAREN & TY HORNICK
As an incurable romantic, it was my pleasant
surprise to learn that Karen Hornick describes her husband Ty as a “romancer”
who loves to bring her flowers!
Every girl out there wants to find one of those! To add insult to injury for the
rest of you guys in our biz, Karen goes on to explain that his personality and
the way he treats her are the biggest attraction. “He acts as if I walk on water,” she says with pride and
amazement. What attracted Ty
to Karen is the fact that she always smiles, which is certainly her trademark
in the industry. No matter how
busy her days seem to be, or how hectic, the girl always smiles. That is refreshing.
After meeting through riding together at the shows,
Karen and Ty became successful business partners forming a training dynasty
that never seems to stop producing winners. Their union has also produced an adorable son, Brandon who
is the focus of their life outside the show pen where they enjoy attending
football games and spending time together. In a seemingly perfect marriage, does anything bug the pair
about the other? For Ty, Karen
gets up waayyyy too early, and he can’t stand for the house to be dirty. For Karen, Ty has a habit of liking to
shop at truck stops while traveling which takes way too much time.
And back to that training dynasty where their most
famous student is the infamous Vino.
(He’s entitled to a one-word name like Madonna)! The black gelding is a legend in
his own time, but Hornick’s give credit to Bruce Vickery for discovering him
and are grateful that the Reeve’s selected them for his pleasure career. When asked how the couple decides who
shows and trains which horses. Simple,
they flip a coin. Now that’s
KALEENA & JOSH WEAKLY
They just don’t get any
hotter than the amateur couple of Kaleena and Josh Weakly. With a portfolio of
horse show wins between them bigger than the Barker Implement dealership that
Josh owns and runs, you’d think this successful show couple would turn
pro. Not so fast. Kaleena explains
that they have never considered not being amateurs. For her especially, she can’t imagine
not competing in the pattern classes like showmanship and horsemanship.
After meeting at a
Gordyville show in 2002, Kaleena adds that the rest is history. With busy
careers outside the show pen, including Kaleena’s graphic arts business, they
work hard and play hard. Playing
is typically a horseshow, though on a rare weekend off, they enjoy going out on
their boat, taking vacations and visiting with friends.
Growing up showing horses
was a natural for this husband and wife.
Thankfully, the Weakly and Katz families support the couples’ interest
in horses since both of their mothers showed when they were younger. Competition is obviously a generational
thing here, and though they acknowledge that friendly competition exists
between them, they both want each other to succeed. Special wins for Kaleena include winning the Senior Western
Riding on Sonnys Count Te Zip in 2002.
Can you imagine that her first Congress win was an open class? Josh's favorite win was in 2007 when he
won his first World Championship with a yearling gelding named One Silent Kopy
who scored impressive back-to-back in the amateur and open yearling geldings! As amateur couples go – can’t touch this.
Rebekah Kaz’s brother Kyle will
always be the great “first love of my life,” so it is no wonder that his
beautiful sister would be the number one hottie at this year’s Congress. With a smoldering hot look complimented
by those icy blue eyes, I needed to know her tips on always looking so put
together. The secret’s out ladies,
so take some notes!
1. Starched jeans 2. Merle
Norman foundation 3. A headband 4. H2O mascara 5. Hermes perfume
is amazing about Rebekah – she makes everything look easy. After effortlessly winning the 2007
Youth World Championship in Hunter Under Saddle on Cool Assets, a/k/a Nemo, this
beauty actually shared her secret strategy to me for showing that I still use
to this day. Sorry though, that is
something I’ll have to keep secret!
is easy for this over achiever who handily manages school and showing through a
conscientious effort of time management, and maintaining a detailed schedule. With a modern day confidence, one
might be surprised to learn that like me, Rebekah loves coloring books. Crazy, huh? Ms. Kaz
is an avid kick boxer, who is obsessed with sugar-free Rockstar, and is
oddly good at Sudoku. Who knew
that this fearless champion was scared of 'Hexus' on the movie FernGully? (I’m pretty sure her hot “major” model
bf, “Bananas” will be there to save her.
That guy takes six pack to a new level cowboys, and I don’t mean
beer). Unlike most of our hotties,
dating someone in the industry is not necessarily a priority for Rebekah. “As long as they want the relationship
to work, they will accept the fact that showing requires a lot of time apart -
which in turn requires trust. Trust is a big foundation in any relationship.
It's a lot of give-and-take but you learn how to make the most of the time that
you have together.”
just keeps turning out the hotties as fast as McDonald’s turns out fries. Don’t look for this hottie in the fast
food line however. She keeps her
rockin hot figure in shape through conscientious portion control and a diet
that a friend describes as “water, coffee, beer!” Maggie is quick to correct her friend
that she does add an occasional carrot!
Shockingly, this incredibly fit beauty, doesn’t exercise other than a
nightly walk with her dog. OK
girls, run out and buy a dog! A
schedule fanatic, Maggie cherishes vacation time and is equally at home hitting
the slopes or on the beach.
savvy business woman in her family’s successful trucking business, Maggie’s
says matter of factly that her skills are put to use “in areas where the
company needs improvement”. How
does she get along in a male dominated business? “Sometimes you have to be, well, a little - bitchy” she
admits. Quite the contrary, I found her both warm
and charming. Though her work is
challenging, Maggie confides that she is driven in all areas of her life by an
OCD personality. Her work ethic led
this beauty to a top-10 at the World last year in showmanship with her
mare. “Though it’s not my biggest
perceived win, it was clearly the most important to me,” Maggie explains.
What do she look for in a
man? “Oh, no. My picker is always broken, but they’ve
got to be cute.” Spoken like a
pro! “Seriously, there’s more to
it than that. They have to love
family. In the case of my family,
you can’t show fear since I have three brothers and a huge extended family.” Spotted recently on the arm of a 2009
hottie, I’m pretty confident that this refreshingly honest and amazing catch is
equally comfortable on her own two feet.
I caught Katie Thropp fresh off her 2010
Congress win in Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle. Describing
her “ideal” man, blonde beauty, Katie let the cat out of the bag when
she explained what she looks for in a boyfriend. “Funny, outgoing, motivated, hardworking, and very good
looking! He has a nice butt.” That “He” would be longtime love, Erik Martin,
a fellow hottie. Pretty sure
the two of them are destined for a future spot on the “couples” poll.
stereotypical blonde here though folks, this winner is preparing to be the
future CEO of her family’s gas and oil business. And family means everything to Katie. After losing her beloved brother in an
untimely motorcycle accident, Katie has a remarkable outlook. “Every day is a blessing, and you
should try to do your best and think of the people you love.” Do her best she does.
has expertly juggled halter horses, hunters, and currently the under
saddle. Though she doesn’t really
have a favorite class, her passion is jumping. While noting that winning Rookie and High Point awards were
really cool, she defines that her Congress HUS win might be the favorite! Surprisingly, her favorite ride
occurred after she was thrown off her hunter which nearly broke her back, then
climbed back on to win the 3’6” hunter division! Now that’s spirit!
Her All-American beauty looks effortless, though she admits that she
stays in shape by posting all day in the 110 degree Florida heat. Florida anyone?
consider my future college plans, I got some sound advice from our next hottie
who is also a fellow Ohio native and aspiring journalist. A history and
journalism student at Ohio University, Margaret takes her college courses
online in order to balance showing and education. Traditional college lasted exactly two days for Margaret and
she freely admits that attending regular college was a “HUGE miscalculation” on
longtime fixture in the pleasure pen, this reserve Congress champion winner is
the longtime girlfriend of last year’s hottie winner Ross Wetherell. Though their relationship is often long
distance, she offers a lot of great tips on how it works. “Putting someone else first at an age
when you are still discovering yourself is challenging, but essential,”
Margaret explains. “You have to
talk a lot and be honest all the time.
Most people out of the industry don’t understand why you paid all that
money for five minutes and often don’t even get your name called out. It is a distinct industry where if you
aren’t in it, and you don’t love it, it is really hard to understand.” Well said!
redeeming quality about this physical beauty actually comes from within. Margaret is the kind of person who
would never lose a Miss Congeniality contest. I’ve never seen her without a smile, or when she
doesn’t offer a kind word.
Reluctant to talk about herself, she is known for routinely turning the
conversation around in a remarkable and selfless manner that is rare today. Ross is a lucky guy!
I had several favorite interviews
during this year’s hottie campaign, and Nancy was one of them. As I sat down with her at Congress, she
was STUNNED to learn that I was there to interview her to talk about her
nomination on the hottie poll. A force in the shown pen, Nancy thought
I was logically there to talk about her big Amateur Western Pleasure win! I had to assure this modest beauty that
she was a winner all the way around.
With her handsome son in tow, the
single Mom describes her joy in chasing her “man” around at little league
baseball games while accompanied by her dutiful parents Susan and Stanley Scott. Family is everything to Nancy. After the unexpected loss of her late
husband, Brad, whom she has described as the “love of her life,” I know that I
speak for everyone in our industry in calling this stoic woman remarkable. When asked what she looks for in a man
– she immediately points to Luke. “He’s
the spitting image of his Dad, and a blessing to me. We talk to his Dad at
night during prayer time which brings us both comfort,” and brought tears to my
A remarkable business woman who
is a well known magnate in the horse trailer industry, Nancy asked how I could
ever want to interview her after she tried to burn down my parent’s motor home
in Florida! After finding giant
mysterious burn holes smoldering in our plastic welcome mats in Venice one
year, the only explanation we could figure was that the damage was done by
aliens. That alien proved to be
Nancy’s giant and imposing stainless steel trailer which was reflecting the hot
sun like a laser beam on our rugs.
After talking about all the “serious stuff,” Nancy’s sense of humor solidified
her place on the hottie poll.
Hottie couples are coming up. Here are the guys – you know this is my
SCOTT WEISS In the end, Scott was the winner,
but it wasn’t without a horse race.
You might be surprised to learn that it was actually his Mom and Dad who
helped secure the win! I ran into
the charming couple at Jay and Kristy Starnes’ stalls where their son is employed
as an assistant trainer. The
unsuspecting parents had no idea as they proudly described Scott, that their
testimonial would actually seal the deal for their son.
As Scott’s friend, I can report
that his best and worst qualities are one if the same – the guy is a
workaholic. A natural hottie with
classic good looks, I couldn’t help but admire that Scott’s level of fitness
just keeps improving. His secret
to looking great is attributed to “work, work, work – nonstop”. No complaints here Jay and Kristy! Scott never breaks his trademark smile
as he describes his long days! “There
is a lot of pressure,” he explains.” “I couldn’t ask for more, or be happier. To learn from
the best will hopefully allow me to be up there someday.”
Reputation is important to Scott,
as he blushes but says unapologetically that he does not want to be known as a
ladies’ man. When asked why he
thinks he is a good catch, he says that he’ll “stick with one girl when I find
a good one.” (Let’s hear it
All the while he’s not sure
how a relationship will fit into his hectic travel and work schedule. “If they (potential girlfriends) aren’t
in the training part of the horse business, they don’t always understand,” Scott explains. “If they are into it, then they understand a lot better. Getting to spend time together is the
hardest part.” With an enviable
job in a great horse dynasty, this guy is quite a catch. Good luck ladies, the line forms at the
rear - LOL!
JOEY WENGER You know the old saying, “You had
me at hello”? In this case, JR
Wenger, known to his friends as “Joey”, had me a Hola! When I popped into his saddle shop at
Congress, the Marc Anthony look-alike was on the phone speaking Spanish with a
vendor. If I can steal a line from country singer Blaine Larsen, I don’t know what he said,
but I sure liked the way that he said it!
This hardworking and successful
saddle making entrepreneur is both fascinating and complex. Winning the novice youth pleasure at
the Congress in the early 90’s was just the beginning of what has been an
illustrious show career. After
accumulating a string of top-10 wins in pleasure under Carl Yamber, Joey
diversified and won himself a world champion buckle in roping. Did I also mention the highly
competitive Wenger is a martial arts devotee with aspirations of becoming a
After purchasing one of his
training saddles at Congress, I am a convert for both his work and charm. He shudders at answering
questions about himself, because “I don't like to brag.” I had to push really hard to find out
what would make this modest cowboy a great catch. “To me, relationships are the most important thing. I would walk away from everything in
the whole business for the right relationship tomorrow.” His vision for the future? Traveling, showing and working
alongside that special “someone.” There’s a lucky brunette out there somewhere!
TATE OAKLEY A self admitted ladies man, I was
pleasantly surprised to find an older and wiser Tate Oakley at Congress. Born into horse show royalty, this
hottie seems to have his feet firmly on the ground. “Has Rusty been kicking you into gear,” I asked? “YEP, I don’t do anything but work, ride
and go to bed.” And it
agrees with him. Tate looks
incredible. (His boss is
none other than last year’s hottie, Rusty Green).
Known to be very particular, he
notes that his “attention to detail” is what makes him a great catch. “I pay attention to the small likes and
dislikes, and I always try to treat someone the way I would want to be treated.
You have to realize just how hard
this (the biz) is sometimes. You
can’t always spend a lot of time with each other going up and down the
road.” High maintenance girls need
not apply (that takes me out of the running – LOL!) “I want somebody who is forgiving, but willing to go above
and beyond to be happy. I don’t
want somebody who will always be … difficult to deal with.”
As far as his current position
with Rusty and Katie Green, Tate describes his job as “Awesome!!! I couldn’t ask for any better place to
be. I couldn’t go anywhere else
and be on such a great group of horses.”
(Amen!) “We just had one of
the most amazing Congress’s that anyone could ask for.” A world champion pleasure horse
champion himself, I am pretty sure Tate’s pulling his own weight.
ERIK MARTIN Pretty much anyone who shows pleasure horses,
knows Erik Martin. Part of the
Haylo Farms winning team, Erik looks great both on and off a horse. As shallow as it may sound, the guy is
what many of us envision as a stereotypical horse show hottie. Coming off a great season with a Tom
Powers win and Limited rider title, I asked Erik what makes him a great catch
which seemed to be the question
that made every cowboy bristle and blush! Looking at the ground, Erik says sheepishly, “I
dunno. I am sweet and charming –
or try to be anyway.” Backing up
with embarassment, he adds, “Most of the time I may not be (sweet and
charming). I ride horses and am
fun to be around. A good
When asked what he looks for in a
girlfriend, Erik describes “Funny, talkative, pretty. Uh, obviously pretty”.
“My girlfriend”, he exclaims!
That’s what I am looking for!”
(That would be fellow hottie, Katie Thropp.) With ambition and a plan, Erik hopes to get his own
business eventually, “with a family and a life.” Erik’s favorite things to do when not showing are roping and
snowboarding. All the while,
looking good, of course!
CHANCE WORTH When I asked what made Chance Worth
a good catch, he gave me a wrong answer! Imagine that! He thoughtfully described that
“Some say my smile, others say my personality. I guess that’s for somebody else to answer.” Let me answer this one ladies! When the guy opens his mouth, that
incredible southern accent could melt an iceberg. I’m pretty sure his drawl is what is causing global warming!
A past President of PHBA Youth,
this hottie got a world class start on pleasure horses at Donnie
Dickerson’s. Adding to his horse
show resume was a position at Bruce Walquist's where Chance worked and kept
riding pleasure. Currently, this
quietly confident hottie, is riding and selling two year olds and concentrating
on a few senior horses. His goal is
ambitious – to win the Congress Masters and Reichert Two’s one day.
What do he look for in a
girl? “Personality and how well I
get along with them. If I get
along with them good, that’s all that matters to me. If we have a good time doing small things and big things and
everything in between - that’s all I look for.” On that note, Chance redeemed
himself from earlier. Good