It was 237 days ago today that I was crowned the 2014 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen! There was no better way to start off my day than with a 4am wakeup call to head down to East Sparta, Ohio for the annual OQHA/ Tri-County Trail Ride! Last year I attended the OQHA trail ride as Ohio Queen and I was honored that Todd Salome asked me to return again this year! I spent a majority of the two hour drive in the pouring down rain. I was so concerned that the weather would hurt the outcome of this trail ride, but it did not! Appropriately, Ohio not only holds the largest single breed horse show in the world (AAQHC), but it also puts on one of the largest trail rides in the country, ranking in the top three each year! It was an absolute blast to see many of the people that I had befriended last year on the trail ride. I want to thank Bear Creek KOA for allowing me to rent a horse for the day because the beautiful, rocky trails are definitely not suitable for my four year old western pleasure horse! Fittingly, my mount for the day was a buckskin mare named Blondie. As many know, buckskins hold a special place in my heart as I spent much of my youth career showing my all-around buckskin mare.
We were all blessed as the sun came out just in time for the start of the ride. Even though I have been in the show arena since age two, today was only my third ever trail ride! It turned out to be a gorgeous four hour ride with a nice lunch halfway through. Blondie was a champ for me and took me through all the mud and over the trees that had fallen from a recent storm. I enjoyed getting to chat with everyone on the trail ride including my parents, a few of the Ohio Amateurs, and the 2015 OQHA Queen, Miss Megan Perry! While a large group of us spent the morning out on the trails, many stayed back to compete in the Jim Wells Memorial Trail Challenge. The numbers were up this year for the trail challenge and I believe this may have been the largest trail challenge yet for OQHA!
Back at the campground, the evening started out with mingling and bidding on some great silent auction items. It was great meeting so many new people and talking with them about my role as Congress Queen. The crowd greeted me with applause and I had the honor of introducing Miss Megan Perry as the 2015 OQHA Queen. After a long day on the trails, everyone indulged in the home cooked meal and delicious desserts. The great announcer, Joe Coalter, was back at the trail ride this year and he did an awesome job auctioning off items including Congress packages and a Wenger work saddle. Thank you, Joe, for keeping the audience entertained for the entire evening even when it meant poking fun of me! After dinner, I drew tickets for the lucky winners of a variety of very nice donated items. I was privileged to end the night presenting awards to all of the trail challenge winners! A special thank you to Todd Salome, Cynthia Bauman and everyone at Tri-County trails for having me at their trail ride!