Carlie Massie, Virginia QHA

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The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is known for: its initiative to preserve the legacy and pure excellence of the breed it embodies; its installation and cultivation of dreams amidst a horse and rider; and members who all bear great pride and devotion to the American Quarter Horse and Quarter Horse industry. Subsequently, the state membership associations encompass the individuals who promote and construct the foundation of today’s Quarter Horse I ndustry. As a devoted equestrian who has been engulfed in the Quarter Horse industry since birth, I am truly proud to not only be a member of AQHA, but even more, the Virginia Quarter Horse Association (VQHA). I am confident that my experiences in showing through AQHA and within Quarter Horse industry are in favor toward my credibility as the VQHA Queen and the increase in recognition and positive reputation of VQHA. Being raised on a working Quarter Horse and M iniature Hereford Cattle farm in Barhamsville, VA, it was inevitable that I would share the passion and appreciation for Quarter Horses with my family. My early equine career consisted of riding my mother’s retired show horses at the age of four, to the n hitting the show pen four years later by the age of eight. From the raw creation of my show career, I have been ambitious toward acquiring knowledge of all structures of the industry, therefore, enabling me to be competitive in numerous events and having become one of the top all - around competitors on the East Coast. I have experience in showmanship, halter, horsemanship, western pleasure, trail, western riding, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, reining, and jumping. Alongside my event experience , I have training experiences ranging from starting foals to keeping my show horses at home; as such, I was responsible for keeping them show - ready. Aside from show and training experience, personally raising, owning, starting, and housing numerous AQHA Quarter Horses, has immensely broadened my knowledge base. As the VQHA Queen, I am not only representing VQHA members of a broad discipline range, but also the Quarter Horse owners who, like me, are devoted to the success and health of their athlete. I am very fortunate in that I have lived on a working farm my entire life, thus being born with the love for animals and the Quarter Horse industry. My grandparents would breed Quarter Horses, to then send the foals to my mom and me to break, show, and sell. I began starting foals when I was 12 years old and have enjoyed watching many of them flourish into their show careers. Being born into the Quarter Horse industry with a mother that has shown horses all of her life and of whom rode for years with Alex Ross, my mother has always taught me the ins and outs of properly caring for, riding, showing, and maintaining show horses. At five years old, I officially owned my first horse given to me by my grandfather. Three ye ars later, I took the horse to my first horse show and AQHA show; this was the moment I knew I wanted to be an all - around competitor. The desire to be an all - around competitor started when I was waiting for my halter class, as I noticed the other exhibitor s practicing patterns. I asked my mother what they were doing, and she briefly explained “showmanship”. I immediately thought, “I can do that; it’s just like halter but with a bigger pattern”, so I entered in the Youth Showmanship class. Later , I was waiti ng for my western pleasure class and saw the other competitors, again, practicing some form of pattern. I again asked my mother what they were doing, and she then explained “horsemanship”. I thought to myself, “I can do that; it is like what I do at home a nd just like the western pleasure but with a pattern”. Nonetheless, I entered into the Youth Horsemanship. A week or so later, I received an unexpected certificate from AQHA stating that I had won the Reserve Youth All - Around title at the show. Aside from, little did I know then, both the showmanship and horsemanship being far different from the halter and the western pleasure, the show ignited my desire and aspiration to learn and show multiple events. Continuing to show and maintain my show horse s on my own and with my mother, it was not until 2007 when I pursued a new , more competitive horse, HoboDee By Flashy To, from who became my first trainer, Larry Little. I achieved many milestones and awards while riding with Mr. Little. At the e nd of 2010, I decided to keep my show horses at home to maintain and show on my own , while still keeping in touch with Mr. Little for light assistance, guidance, and the before - show touch - ups . 23