FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 22, 2011
Laura Wolsey and O Lordy++// Take Home Adult Amateur High Point and High Point HorseAurora, CO (February 22, 2011) - It makes sense that the Arabian Horse Association's Amateur of the Year would be the owner of the High Point Horse of the Year—it's happened before. Laura Wolsey of Langley, B.C. and her gelding O Lordy++// (The Firelord+/ x Hi Passion) were recently given the AHA annual honor. In 2010 however, the AHA High Point Horse was also named Equine Canada's High Point Horse for Breed Sport, the United States Equestrian Federation's (USEF) equivalent for breed affiliates. "This was a specific goal for me this year...I knew it would be hard because I only had one horse...needless to say it was really exciting to win both the Horse and Amateur awards," says Laura Wolsey.
Wolsey earned 580 points at 10 shows. Some of the year's highlights included three wins at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, a championship at Canadian Nationals and a championship at Sport Horse Nationals. Along the way, Wolsey hit five different regional shows traveling a total of about 11,000 miles to reach places like Monroe, Wash., Santa Barbara, Calif., and Scottsdale, Ariz. from her home in Langley, B.C.
The majority of the points Wolsey earned—532 to be exact—were earned on O Lordy or "Larry," her 2003 chestnut gelding. "My horse trainer, Brenda Driediger, saw the potential that Larry had and pushed me to reach my goals. Both my mom and I feel so lucky to not only have found an amazing horse but to also have formed a friendship with Carol Tedrick, Larry's breeder, and her daughter, Jayme," says Wolsey. Most of the other points Laura earned came from a purebred dressage horse named Unique Echo++ (Echo Magnifficoo x Psyches Gemstone), owned by friend Terri Sage.
As a full-time student, chasing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Wolsey juggles her passion for horses and showing with school using careful time management, but she's still forced to make some sacrifices for her education. "Attending all the shows has been somewhat manageable since most of the shows are in the summer...however it's getting more difficult to coordinate school with riding and showing and it was definitely upsetting to miss U.S. Nationals last year," says Wolsey. During show season, Larry is boarded over 45 minutes away from Wolsey's school, but she manages to get there three to four times per week and Driediger hops on once or twice a week as well.
"O Lordy is truly a gifted horse. Not only is he athletic and beautiful, but he's extremely intelligent," says Wolsey. "I believe his personality is what gives him an edge in the show ring. When it's time to show, he knows. It's the funniest thing and I actually have to laugh sometimes...Larry can also be a handful in the show ring. He sometimes gets too excited and it becomes all about him and what he wants to do, no matter what I say...That's what I love about him though; there is never a dull moment," says Wolsey.
Wolsey names her mom as her biggest supporter and fan, never missing a show, but is grateful for the support from the Driedigers and Tedricks as well. A "horse girl" at heart, Wolsey says, "riding and being around horses is what brings me true happiness."
With the Adult Amateur and High Point Horse prizes combined, Wolsey will receive a $3,000 gift certificate to Schneiders, two Montana Silversmith belt buckles, a screen printed briefcase, an embroidered cooler and recognition in Modern Arabian Horse.
The 2010 Top Ten point-earners in the adult amateur category were:
Horse Achievement Award 2010 High Point Top Ten standings:
AHA is a major equine association serving 26,000 members across North America. It registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses and administers approximately $3 million in annual prize money. AHA produces championship events, recognizes close to 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail info@ArabianHorses.org or visit ArabianHorses.org