The final, and my favorite Level 1 Championship show, has come to a close. I got to see all my usual friends and catch up with so many amazing people. I got to see Nick Nixon for a day while he worked the gate as a volunteer with NCQHA. It was also really nice to hear Eric’s usual voice calling to people to “GET IN THE PEN!” lol! He doesn’t really say stuff like that. I am the only one who is chronically late enough every show to ALWAYS be yelling to “hold the gate!” for me.
The weather cleared up for this show too! I actually showed at this show last year, which was a funny experience for me, but it had rained every day except the first day and it was not a very fun experience.
The Martinganza earlier in the year had brought me closer to Reaghan Griffin (Instagram famous as @equestrianbliss) and her super cool red gelding Elliot. She came up early to the horse show and was spending all that time by herself- so I spent lots of time with her. I got to watch her ride some and enjoyed meeting her dog, Nemo. Rea is such a great girl and I know she will go far. **UPDATE here: later she got her letter in the mail qualifying her for the AQHA World Show, SOOO proud of her. **
There was a moment at this show, I’m not sure if it was being in such a familiar place, or being with familiar people (which is so unusual while you’re on the road) … but there was a moment at this show when I teared up. I looked up into the bleachers and my mom was there clapping for me as the announced “Amy Brown the All American Congress Queen…” nobody takes notice of this moment, but it really is unlike anything you’ve ever felt. And I know how much this year, small in the scheme of my whole life, but so huge in impact... I know how much this year means.
After countless “how many horses are in this class?”-es and “what time is lunch?”-es this show was really sad for me having to let go all the people I had spent so much time with over the course of the last month. All the AQHA employees that made all three Level 1 Championships special for every exhibitor and person attending… I felt like I was part of their team after dinners with them and long hours spent looking over the rail. I can’t thank them all enough for including me in everything, and making me feel truly special.
In February 2019, Sarah Beth Felker was crowned the years SCQHA Queen, and she grew up with a love of showing Quarter Horses. Sarah Beth currently attends St. Andrews University working towards a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Equine studies, and she competes on her school’s IHSA Western and Hunt Seat teams. In her free time, Sarah Beth volunteers at the Ride Like a Knight therapeutic riding facility at her school where she assists children with developmental and physical disabilities through equine related activities and therapies.