Berry has been showing her current mount, Mac In Time, for the past four years in the all-around events and says that he is truly a gift from God. Pictured here with all twelve of her 2012 PHBA Championship ribbons.
Twenty-two year-old Alicia Berry of Brandon, Mississippi has come a long way from when she first started showing horses. Berry recalls a time in 2000 when she showed a 23 year-old barrel horse, in a pleasure class on the wrong lead with a leopard designed saddle! With an incredible 38 PHBA World Championships under her belt, she has certainly improved from her humble beginnings to make her mark on the national level.
Berry has been showing her current mount, Mac In Time, for the past four years in the all-around events and says that he is truly a gift from God. "He is my best friend. Everyone laughs and makes fun of how close I am with my animals," Alicia reveals to GoHorseShow. "I have Mac and Charley, my Boxer, and they are everything to me. I always joke that Mac and Charley come first and second and the boyfriend comes third, and when he understands and accepts that then he's definitely a keeper," she says laughing.
Alicia continues, "Mac's main nickname is Pig. Anywhere from Little Pig, Piglet, to Piggy. He definitely doesn't miss any meals. He is round and plumpy and I love him that way. He is an amazing animal. I love showing him. He is so smart and he can be so intense and on edge, and I can get so intense, so I've had to really work and find a happy medium to get him to ease his mind and relax showing."
The current nursing school student had an amazing PHBA World Show this year. The duo won 12 World Championships and the Amateur Golden Horse--including wins in the Amateur Horsemanship, Showmanship, Western Riding, Western Pleasure, Equitation, Ranch Horse, Senior Western Riding and Ranch Horse. They also were the NSBA Champions in Amateur and Senior Western Riding and Amateur Western Pleasure.
Alicia says that she really feels at home at the PHBA shows. "I love the atmosphere and the people. I started in the Palomino Association and ever since the first show everyone was so welcoming and nice to my family and me. I've made so many life long friendships and have meet so many wonderful people through the years. It's truly a family organization," she says.
Berry mentions that she credits her parents, including her stepfather, better known as, "Grumpy" and her trainer Don Martin for helping her pursue her passion. Her stepfather bought her first horse in 1998, when she was eight years-old.
"So, when my stepfather starts complaining or giving me a hard time about me and horses and horse shows, I tell him he started this madness and honestly, he wouldn't have it any other way," Berry exclaims.
In 2001, she received her first palomino horse, Look Who's Exciting (Squirt) and that is all she has had ever since. Berry says Squirt lived up to his name.
"At my first palomino show with him in Montgomery, Alabama, he reared up and flipped over on me after an English class. When he got up he stepped on my calf and I had to go to the hospital. The worst part about the whole experience was they had to cut off all my clothes, including my boots," Berry recalls. "But I was already hooked and had a passion for horses so that didn't slow me down one bit. I went through five more horses that had their vices and gave me a hard time, but I'm thankful for them because they didn't make it easy for me. They taught me how to ride and they made me the rider I am today."
Berry has been under the guidance of Martin since 2001. "He has taught me everything I know, and he has become a part of my family. I am so thankful for all his time and patience and just everything he has done for me," Berry fondly says about her trainer.
The 22 year-old also says that winning the Congress and AQHA World Show is on her bucket list. Alicia says she also enjoys the challenge of showing at the AQHA shows.
"I have gotten more competitive in them over the last five years," Berry states. "I love showing at them. It's a whole new ball game, new faces, and harder competition. It keeps me working hard and helps me not get comfortable. I'm always pushing myself and trying to improve and make me and my horse better. I've met many wonderful people there too but PHBA will always be my home."
The multiple PHBA World Champion says that she would like to thank God for making all of this possible for her.
"For allowing me to own such amazing animals and being apart of an amazing organization. I owe all the Glory to him. I would like to thank my amazing parents for helping make all this possible and allowing me to show and do what I'm most passionate for and love," she says. "They have taught me so much. They have taught me to be strong, to dream big, to have faith, to never give up, and that I can do anything with Christ by my side."
Great article Alicia! I used to own Bar Lady Time, Mac's dam and I showed her at all of the mid-west PHBA shows I could. I also rode her to two PHBA Youth World Championships in Western Pleasure. Recently, my dad was able to track her down and we have her back on our farm.
It would be great to talk sometime!
Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, especially those you have achieved with Mac!