people know Select Amateur Katherine Tobin as an AQHA World Champion exhibitor as well as the owner of leading hunter
under saddle stallion, Allocate Your Assets. What you may not know about this incredibly classy and down-to-earth Arizona native is that, “She
is the biggest animal lover,” says her younger sister, and horse show teammate,
Susie Johns. “She is always taking in puppies and strays because she can't say
Susie has a deep admiration for her older sister's love of animals and says
that her sister's motto is, 'Horses and dogs are like potato chips--you can't
just have one!'
treasure the bonding time I have with her due to our continued involvement with
showing horses," says Susie, who idolized her sister growing up. "She
is always so positive and supportive of my boys and me and our success in the show
arena. I'm glad she still lets her little sister tag along."
little girls, these two sisters have grown up around horses. They were born and
raised in Prescott, Arizona where their grandfather, father, and now their
brother own a ranch. Their father, Robert Kieckhefer, was a former AQHA
President who had race horses--both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds trained by
Bobby Baffert. At age eight, Tobin showed at a horse show that
her father started in the mid 40's in Arizona.
traveled a lot of weekends around the state of Arizona, showing our
horses," Tobin recalls. "The horses we had made us good riders because
they were handfuls in the show pen. Those were the days before lunging. We had
to get on and ride them down, but there weren't enough hours in the day to ride
them down completely. Needless to say, our goes were more like rodeos at
times." (Pictured left Susie and Kathy)
told GoHorseshow that horses bring her a lot of joy since riding helps clear
her mind from all of life's pressures.
is fun from a people perspective, which means I enjoy all my horse show
friends," Kathy states. "I'm not driven by anything more than having
a good ride. I am not concerned how others are doing in the arena as I just try
to focus on my horse. I just want to enjoy it. We all want to win, but I just
strive to do the best I can and let the judges sort it out from there."
sisters train with Jim and Deanna Searles of Scottsdale, Arizona, and they have
nothing but praise for their longtime trainers who today are more like family members than anything else.
I love about Jim and Deanna is their incredible dedication to family, friends
and horses. They have the most honesty, patience, and spiritual beliefs of
anyone I know. I am just amazed that people as good as they are still exist in
the world today," Tobin says. "All our horses are happy, so much so,
that if we mention in front of a horse that we are considering selling them, it
seems like that horse comes up lame and most of the time it is inconclusive
why. It happens so often that we just laugh and vow not to mention the 'S' word
in front of any horse for sale. Apparently, the horses don't want to leave the
Searles’ barn either."
says that her goals these days are simple--to qualify for the Select World Show
and for her horses to get qualified for the Open World. Her sister, Susie, agrees and says that at
this point in their show careers, they just want to have fun.
it rains at the shows or the shows runs too late, we don't show. We go to the
fun shows and make sure there is plenty of time to go to dinner and drink some
wine and have fun. In the past we have shown in the rain, in dust bowls, and
stayed up all night getting ready to show--we no longer want to do that
anymore," Johns says. "When I was little, I definitely learned to be
a good loser because Kathy had the better horses and I ended up with the ponies
that wanted to buck me off. But these days we both have great stock and we have
both been blessed with showing some amazing horses."
recalls one memorable moment that happened one year at the Congress. "We had
stall curtains going across a long stretch of wall, so there were several
overlapping curtain sections.
While I was talking, I leaned against the curtained wall and the next
thing I know-- I'm lying on our dressing room floor," Kathy remembers.
"The one spot where the opening was for the dressing room was the spot I
chose to lean against. We all laughed until we cried. We are bad--we laugh
first and ask if you are okay after."
says that her favorite wins so far in the show pen have been with Just Burning
Money at the Congress in the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle; New Lark In Town at
Select World in the Trail; and she says her biggest thrill was when she won the
high point in the nation in the Amateur Western Riding with Flashy Attraction.
has an impressive lineup for the 2013 show season. Her newest addition, IE Copy
(pictured left), won the Senior Hunter Under Saddle at the 2012 All-American
Quarter Horse Congress with Nancy Sue Ryan aboard. Tobin purchased IE Copy
(Copy) through the Crundwell online sale in September. She also shows The Best
Cookie in the Select Amateur Western Pleasure and Horsemanship, and More
Radical in Trail and Western Riding.
is very, very sweet and willing to please," says Tobin, when she starts
talking about all her horses' personalities. "He loves just to do his
job—he is very patient and forgiving. The Best Cookie (Elvis) is very
particular. He likes everything just so. He does not like to make a mistake. He
is a perfectionist and expects us humans to be perfect too when we ride him.
More Radical (Rodney) is very sweet and likes doing his jobs but he, too, likes
to be ridden perfectly. He is forgiving though. All of them are very intelligent,
and kind. I love them all!"
Click here to view her ad in the February issue of GoMag.