It was a nail biter in the Senior Western Riding on Tuesday night at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The great stallion, Good I Will Be (Willy), owned by Sandra Morgan, scored an impressive 236.5 to tie Deanna Searles and Heza Radical Zip (Troy). With excitement and tension in the air, the placings were counted down until Searles and Berryhill were the last two standing. Finally, with much anticipation, it was revealed that Good I Will Be was named Reserve Champions and Searles and Troy took home the coveted Congress bronze championship trophy and were named 2012 Congress Senior Western Riding Champions.
Searles was 49th to go in the working order, and she said that Troy was really fun to show tonight. "They were playing really good music and the crowd was great," says Deanna, who along with her husband, Jim, train in Scottsdale, Arizona. "When Leonard and I were in the warm-up pen, I told him we were going to be first and second and we high-fived. It is great that is how it turned out, and we were the last two standing. It was pretty cool to bring home two bronzes for the Johns family."
Owners, Susie and Jeff Johns, were in the stands watching the class. "I am so proud of my little guy and Deanna!" Jeff Johns told GoHorseShow. "I'm pretty critical of my horses but I thought Deanna had an amazing go, and I'm so happy it worked out for us and we won the tie-breaker. Good I Will Be is a great horse and we would have been just as excited if we had gotten second. My stomach still hurts from how nervous I was sitting in the stands waiting for the results. Two great horses fighting it out--it was a great night!"
GoHorseShow also talked to Good I Will Be's breeding manager, Stephen Stephens and trainer, Leonard Berryhill after the class. (Pictured below-Leonard and Willy having a quiet moment after their class)
"We are so ecstatic how well he performed after he hasn't been in training for over seven months and Leonard has only had him back for three weeks. He looked beautiful in the pen and the crowd roared after he finished," says, Stephens who was in the stands with Morgan watching the class.
Leonard adds,"I had a nice go--it wasn't perfect because I had one glitch when he stubbed his toe on one of his cross over changes. It was a lot of fun though. Wish we had a run off but they don't do that at the Congress. We haven't had a whole lot of riding time, and it is a testament of how great a horse he is. He loves the spotlight and when the lights come on--he is ready to show. He gave his all, and we will hopefully be even better at the World Show."
Watch for Willy at the World Show in the Senior Western Riding and
Jeff and Susie Johns and Troy next week at the Congress in the amateur
Click here to view Good I Will Be's ad in the Congress issue of GoMag
Click here to view Heza Radical Zip and Susie and Jeff John's ad in GoMag.