Cheekys

We would like to warmly welcome Cheekys as a brand new sponsor of the Congress Queen Contest. "A brand that loves a real country girl", they are a great match for our queens with the perfect combination of glitz and country. Keep and eye out for their designs in the Queen Booth at the 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress.

Check them out at CheekysBrand.com

Coughlin Auto

Coughlin Automotive is the Official Truck Sponsor of the All American Quarter Horse Congress and has over 25 years of history with the event! The success of their London, Ohio dealership stems from years of experience. Tom Coughlin began his career in the car business in 1983 selling used cars in Columbus for Krieger Ford. By 1987, he was fortunate enough to become a partner in a central Ohio dealership. Tom built the foundation for his success here, learning every aspect of day-to-day operations in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry.

Since then, Tom has bought into and successfully operated several central Ohio dealerships with his brothers, Mike and Al. The London dealership, purchased in 1996, exemplifies this success. Tom and his expert team of professionals concentrate on the needs of their clients.

“At the end of the day, we focus on the big picture and exceeding our client’s expectations to drive long-term business relationships. We are focused on providing extraordinary customer service so that clients continue to come back to Coughlin Automotive based on their previous experiences.” says Coughlin.

 

There is certainly proof in this statement. With over 6,000 General Motor dealerships, Coughlin Automotive was the only dealership in the United States to have been awarded not only one, but two Mark of Excellence Awards in the same year. The proof is in the facts, as these awards are given based on customer satisfaction and customer retention. Heiner Steffan, District Sales Manager for Chevrolet of Central Ohio says, “Coughlin Auto is quite unique compared to many other dealerships. They truly deliver the highest levels of customer service through their outstanding sales and service personnel. The Coughlin Family has been instrumental to the automotive industry here in central Ohio.”

 

Although Tom certainly has a passion for his business, his true passion is his family. He has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 34 years. They have 3 children, Erica, Nick and Lindsey. They also have two grandchildren, Ava and Scott, as well as one on the way to be born this December. The Coughlin Family has a true love for horses and the horse industry, as well. Three generations of the Coughlin family have now achieved Congress Championships.

 

“I began showing horses as a kid. My oldest daughter, Erica, started showing at the ripe age of seven years old. She was very involved with 4-H and went to the Ohio State Fair Championships six times in three different disciplines. Each time she showed, she was blessed to walk away with a championship at the state level. From that point forward, I think we were hooked,” said Coughlin.

 

Fast-forward twenty years later and Erica’s daughter, Ava Lynn Coughlin is now dominating the show pen under the guidance of their same trainer that sparked their passion for horses back in the early 1990’s. Randy and Shelly Wilson have already coached Ava to two Congress Championships and a Reserve Congress Championship. Did we mention she is only 11 years old? Ava will be showing her new horse, Time is Lopin By, in the 11 and under western pleasure and 13 and under novice youth western pleasure this year at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.

 

“We are horse people and it is something my family and I have greatly enjoyed. My daughter, Lindsey, is a Reserve Youth World Champion and Congress Champion. My wife, Debbie, has been fortunate enough to win several Congress Championships and a World Championship, as well.”

 

While the women of the family were involved with horses, Tom’s son, Nick spent his time learning the automobile and real estate business with his father. Today, the two of them are business partners in many ventures making them quite the dynamic father-son duo. As a salesman with Coughlin Auto, Nick was awarded top honors this year as he was ranked #3 Salesman in the State of Ohio by General Motors. “I am extremely proud of Nick and his involvement with the family business. As my only son, I am so impressed by all he has accomplished in his life already. He works so hard for it! He is truly all I could have ever hoped for to carry on my name,” says Coughlin.

 

In addition to selling trucks and cars, Coughlin Automotive offers a wide selection of Shadow Trailers. They sell an all-aluminum quality product, which is manufactured in Ocala, Florida. The owner of Shadow Trailers, Larry Pruitt keeps on the cutting edge of the trailer industry with his innovative designs and quality products. “We firmly believe in selling quality to our clients. Shadow Trailers has been a great addition to our automotive business, as well.”

Coughlin Automotive offers amazing deals all year long, but during the All American Quarter Horse Congress, you have the opportunity to choose from over 300 units located right on the fairgrounds. “We bring over 12 million dollars of inventory to Congress with our trucks and trailers. This allows our customers to come shop our deals without having to ever leave the horse show. We are horse people selling to horse people. Ease of doing business and providing extraordinary service is our motto!”

 

Coughlin Automotive can be located on 17th Avenue throughout the duration of Congress. They deliver trucks and trailers all over the country from their London, Ohio based dealership. Their success is a product of a great team of dedicated employees and loyal customers. Be sure to stop by and see the Coughlin Team throughout Congress. In addition, Coughlin Automotive proudly sponsors the PBR, Coughlin 2 year Old Western Pleasure Class, The Boot and Buckeyes Gala and of course, the All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen Contest.

The Queen Committee would like to sincerely thank Tom Coughlin and Coughlin Automotive for their support of the Queen Contest. The newly crowned 2015 Congress Queen will drive off in a brand-new 2016 Chevy Cruze generously donated by Coughlin Automotive. Black in color, the car of course has PINK accents! Stop by the Queen Booth inside Congress Hall to see the car on display!

Rhinestone Lipgloss

Rhinestone Lipgloss

The All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen Contest is thrilled to introduce our newest sponsor, Rhinestone Lipgloss! Though our queens are true cowgirls at heart, there is no denying they love their “bling.” Rhinestone Lipgloss will ensure our Congress Queen shines throughout her reign wearing customized accessories embellished in Swarovski crystals. Please read the feature below to get to know Sarah Pyles, owner of Rhinestone Lipgloss. 

1.) Tell us more about the Rhinestone Lipgloss brand and your unique products.

“Rhinestone Lipgloss started on a kitchen table in Wapakoneta, Ohio in October of 2014. After carrying the flag at a rodeo and nearly tearing my earlobes off from wearing such heavyweight earrings at a dead run, I began looking high and low for earrings that were heavy on bling, but light on one's earlobe. And here we are today with our unique brand and solution, Rhinestone Lipgloss. My mother Cindy and I began hand-setting our own Swarovski earrings that were packed with stones, but even at 4" long still only weighed less than half an ounce each.”

2.)What is your background? 

“I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Mandarin Chinese - I never dreamed I would be making a living tooling leather and setting Swarovskis. I am so grateful for what I do and the tremendous growth we have seen since starting the company.”

3.)Where can one view the Rhinestone Lipgloss creations?

“We were featured in the May (Bill Paxton) issue of "Cowboys and Indians" magazine and have designed earrings for Miss Rodeo Australia, Miss Rodeo(s): Nebraska, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi (who went on to stun us all at the WEG with her "Let It Go" freestyle pattern!); along with Miss Ohio and Miss Outstanding Teen Ohio, both of whom went on to compete at their respective Miss America Pageants. We have leather and Swarovski bracelets in England, a belt in New South Wales, and leather/Swarovski creations in 17 states! Our leatherwork has become rather popular, as well. We hand tool and embellish (with Swarovski stones, of course!) headstalls, breastcollars, belts, bronc halters and dog collars. Our leather clientele includes Mr. Brett Walters and his "Showtime for Gun" reining stallion, Miss Amberley Snyder (affectionately known as the "wheelchair cowgirl," as she is paralyzed from a rollover accident, but continues to run barrels and competed at The American this year), various WPRA and local cowgirls. Check us out on Facebook to see our custom designs, as well!”

4.)What other items do you embellish at Rhinestone Lipgloss? 

“We also embellish boots, hats, clothing- nearly anything that needs a facelift! All of our work is guaranteed…after all, it is for cowgirls and needs to be tough. Should one ever lose a stone or damage an earring, just send it back and we will repair it for free.”

5.)What is next for Rhinestone Lipgloss?

“We are working with the Josey Ranch, owned by Martha and RE Josey in Texas to carry our earrings. Additionally, we have partnered with a bridal shop in Northwest Ohio to carry our earrings, as well as offer a customized option to design/build your own. Our presence is really growing in the wedding, prom and pageant markets. The past nine months have been so exciting and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us. We are thrilled to be sponsoring the Congress Queen Contest and look forward to featuring our items in the Congress “Couture for the Cure” Style Show on Saturday, October 17th inside Congress Hall.”

[ Photo Features Custom Designed Congress Queen Belt and Earrings by Rhinestone Lipgloss ]

Berry Fit Company

Berry Fit Sponsor Spotlight

Berry Fit Company

Something a lot of people look forward to every year is to see the coveted new queen’s outfit. The custom design is created each year by none other than Berry Fit, the official wardrobe provider of our All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. With unique colors, textures, and patterns, each new outfit is better than the last, and never ceases to amaze us all. We are ever grateful to owner, Carolyn Berry and designer, Polly Vandall for the beautiful and unique work in which they continue to outfit the Queen. We were lucky enough to catch up with Carolyn and Polly to learn a little more about our wonderful sponsor.

Giving us an inside look at Berry Fit, Carolyn shared some background information on her company. 
Berry Fit has been in business for over 30 years now. Polly added that it has been interesting watching the horse show world couture evolve over that time frame! From minimal decoration, to solid sequins, to extremely detailed stoned up, airbrushed pieces of art. 

They make over 150 outfits each year, each one uniquely different. Their production team can handle three outfits each week and are always busy.

The inspiration for the designs comes from a variety of ways; however, as with true designers, it comes right out of their head and from “doodling” or playing with colors and lines. Polly shared that she gets her inspiration from very odd places and odd times. “When you have a creative brain, it comes in waves and it flows very naturally. Many times an idea comes from something that has nothing to do with clothes or the horse industry at all. No matter what the design, I always have ‘shape’ in the background as my canvas. Enhancing and hiding is the name of the game.”

Regarding trends, Carolyn says that the trends are reflective of street-wear trends in a modified way. Just watching the classes suggests new ideas for collars and hemlines and frankly it most often just “feels” like the time is right to try something else. Polly agreed that trends are pretty simple to pick up on because that is what she is always watching. Some are major and others are subtle. And some, she says with a laugh, “I totally won't do”. More so than just following or creating trends, though, Polly likes to think of it as change, and always offering personal attention and staying unique.

Carolyn explained, “I like to think that we don’t ‘sell’ show clothes, but rather that we help a client express their personality in a garment that will also perform a needed function if desired. For example, most women want to look taller and thinner. Through talking with a client and watching her, I am able to see her personality and from experience, I am able to suggest attractive designs and complimentary color combinations for her”. Very similarly, Polly works with many clients to get to know their personalities. It is important to know how conservative or how bold they will go. All of this is done while keeping in mind their coloring, the horse, and remembering that the overall picture is most important. Sometimes clients come with ideas in mind and leave it to her to roll with, and other times they have no ideas and leave it all in her hands. 

We can tell that the ladies of Berry Fit are passionate about the beautiful outfits they craft for the Queen. Polly shared, “The Queen's outfit always takes some thought. She needs to be clean, comfortable, and stunning. She makes a statement! She has an entirely different look than an exhibitor. I love the combination of the skirt as it gives me a larger canvas”. Carolyn added that it is sometimes difficult designing for the queen, but fun to have the freedom to do what they want without parameters to follow. 

As for projects, they always have some going that are exciting to see come into being. Berry Fit Company is currently working on a new program: “Berry Fit for Life”. In this program, Berry Fit will “buy” back a garment (new or consigned) if returned to us within 2 years of purchase. The trade in from that outfit can be used as credit toward a new one (new or consigned). Details will soon be on their website and Facebook page. 

Thank you to both Carolyn Berry and Polly Vandall of Berry Fit Company for sharing all of this with us. We cannot wait to see the show-stopping design you will have this year!

LaGrange Leather

LaGrange Leather Sponsor Spotlight

 

LaGrange Leather

The All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen Contest is very fortunate to have so many generous sponsors who donate their products and their time not only to our contestants, but also to our philanthropic efforts. Yesterday, we offered a first look at the “Wings of the Journey 2015” boot, designed and donated by Babs Bryant of Lagrange Leather which will be raffled off by Congress Queen Contestants. Not only does Babs donate a raffle boot, but each year, Lagrange donates a special limited-edition boot to be auctioned off at the Congress on the night of the Masters. The raffle ticket sales raise upward of $15,000 and it isn’t unusual for the auction boot to bring in more than $25,000 each year. All of the proceeds are donated to Nellie's Catwalk for Kids (NC4K), a Columbus, OH based Charity for kids and teens with cancer.

We want to tell you more about the lady behind these beautiful boots, and Babs was kind enough to share with us some information about all that goes into LaGrange Leather, and more specifically, her journey which inspired this year’s boot. Here is what she said:

“Lagrange Leather has been in business for over 45 years and started out as the original name Moontan Leather. Each year, I design around 70 to over 100 new styles and color combinations. Normal production for the year is around 3000 plus. From the fit to the design, it is totally a Lagrange Leather original. Countless hours are spent just on the right color combinations, and many unique techniques are utilized to create the looks. We use the best leathers and exotics available. Several of the techniques that we use to create the vintage look are very special to the industry. As far as where I get many of my ideas; I start early in the year watching what is really popping in color from the Paris runways. My total favorites to follow are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi. Since I was a very little girl, my grandmother taught me the importance of a great pair of shoes. Footwear, in her opinion, was purchased first; then the outfit to match. I live and breathe all types of footwear, but love my boots and what it brings to my clients. I want my clients to feel like they are purchasing a fantastic cool boot for a reasonable price.

This is the 8th Edition of the Cancer Awareness boot that I design especially for the All American Quarter Horse Congress. This year is especially important; I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. From the moment that I heard ‘you have cancer’, my life changed forever. I can honestly say that I was not scared; I felt that I had no right. Working with Shorty Koger over the years, and the Shirley Bowman Nutrition Program at the Stevens Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, I felt I had a connection with cancer, along with the Nellie's Catwalk For Kids in Columbus, OH. Meeting and seeing the kids that the money (from both tickets sales via the All American Congress Queen Contestants and Lagrange boot sale donation) would help, and hearing what the parents and the kids would tell me at congress when I would meet them, made me know that cancer touches so deep in so many ways.

The journey starts once you hear the words "YOU HAVE CANCER". It doesn't matter what kind. It’s cancer, it’s scary, and it’s ongoing for the rest of your life if you live. It touches everyone around you on different levels and everyone handles it differently. I would say that everyone else has a harder time that me because from the beginning I have been in control of my cancer team who will save my life. I see the fear when my friends go with me to chemo. I see the concern in my husband’s eyes. But, when I started the journey, I just said to myself, ‘this is it, lets rock this and get this war going on’. I don't have time to be sick; I want to help others, so I think this was what I was thinking: the journey begins and it’s up to me to beat it.

I believe in a positive attitude and have had one throughout; it’s the way I roll. I have only four more chemo treatments, and at this point, things are looking very promising considering only 24% of all women that are diagnosed with ovarian cancer live. For the rest of my life I will have to be monitored with various tests to make sure that the cancer has not returned.

This year I have not made a firm decision on the quantity of the limited edition. I also have a Turquoise one in the works for Ovarian Cancer that will be introduced at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. 100% of the profits from the Wings of the Journey will go to benefit Nellie's Catwalk For Kids.”

Thank you to the entire team at Lagrange Leather for your generosity. Please keep Babs in your prayers, as well as all of those that this boot represents.