GoHorseShow would like to offer our condolences to youth exhibitor, Erin Gillette of Palos Verdes Estates, California, who lost her beloved equine partner, Radical By Choice, better known as Joey. The 12 year-old sorrel gelding broke his shoulder in a freakish accident when he was being lunged in the round pen at his trainers, Doug and Stacy Huls' facility, located in Phoenix, Arizona.
We talked to Erin, who was obviously heartbroken and distraught about his unexpected passing. The duo are two-time Congress Champions in the Western Riding and Horsemanship and two-time Congress Reserve All-Around Youth Champions. The team also placed Top 10 in the Horsemanship at the AQHYA World Show two years in a row and was poised to be a contender again this year.
"He was such a special horse," Erin told GoHorseShow. "He was always so sweet, willing and in a good mood. He always wanted to please and was happy to see me no matter what."
Gillette says that her favorite memories was winning the Congress and placing Top 10 at the World Show. "We had worked so hard for so long that I was happy to see our hard work finally pay off," Erin recalls.
Radical By Choice was a 2000 sorrel gelding by Radical Rodder and out of Choicetta Barreta, who is also the dam of the great pleasure horse, Big N Rich.
"We raised and trained him and gave him the name, Joey, because his personality reminded us of Joey on the television show, Friends," Sheri Kern states. "We are so saddened by the news and send our condolences to the Gillettes and the Huls."
Radical By Choice was bred by Robert and Ann Perry of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Joey helped several exhibitors reach the winner's circle including Taylor Gillette, Erin Gillette, Suzanne Randolph, and Erika Karle.
The AQHA Performance Champion, seven-time superior horse and multiple Top 10 World Show placer amassed over 1579 points in eight different events.
Joey's trainer, Doug Huls, said that Joey was a low maintenance carefree horse that loved his job. "He was an incredible horse, and the easiest horse I ever had the opportunity to ride," Huls said. "He will be greatly missed."
We had to put Amelia's black gelding, Emmitt, down last fall, after a change in the weather caused him to colic. He was 20 yrs old. Some of you might remember him as The Devil Did It. He was a great halter horse, and Amelia showed him for eight years. It was devastating. Our prayers go out to Erin and all.