Farm Talk


March 2, 2010

Lifelong love of horses pays off

Ashley Huntington, 16, of Nowata County Oklahoma, can’t remember when she didn’t like horses. Now she is channeling that liking into a very successful career in showing, a project started when her parents, Julie and David Huntington, decided since her older brother Justin had a dedicated involvement in sports, Ashley should have the same chance to devote herself to something she truly loved rather than spend her life just cheering him on. Since that love had always been horses the decision was made to allow her to follow her heart and show horses.

“When Justin was in the first grade, he’s three years older than Ashley, he always wanted to ride as soon as he got off the school bus, his grandpa had bought him a pure white quarter horse named Padre, so Ashley and I would have him saddled and ready,” Julie said. “I would let her ride back and forth between our house and her grandma’s. One day we couldn’t find her. We were looking all over and here she came riding across the pasture bareback on Padre with just a halter on. She had gone down, caught him, led him to a rock corner post and climbed on.”

Her showing career started with the horse show that is held in conjunction with the Nowata County Free Fair each September, but starting in 2005, when she was 11, it quickly progressed into competitions against other youth from across the country.

She currently has two horses she is showing, Dynamic Rider, born in 2001 and called Riata, and Mr. Sudden Pleasure or Woody, who will be three March 13. As a two-year-old, Woody recently won the Bridleless Western Pleasure sweepstakes at the American Paint Horse Associations’ 2009 Fall World Championship Paint Horse Show in Ft. Worth, Texas. In this event, Jeffery Gibbs, trainer, rode the horse. The horse won seventh in the world in the non-pro western pleasure class, one of the two events Ashley competes in on him. The other is showmanship.

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