Maddison Worthe in the USAHome sweet home. What an amazing trip, I am definitely having America Withdrawals. After all the competing, waiting and fundraising the time had finally come to join the rest of Team Australia in Sydney and set off for the World Youth Games in Texas. After 18 long flying hours we finally landed in Dallas.
Next day we went to Ernest Wilson’s ranch, this was so good and his horses were amazing. Ernest is a Member of the American Paint Horse Hall of Fame, and is very involved in assisting the youth members of the association. We were very fortunate to have a horseman of his standing in the sport allow us to use his training facility and horses. I then found out I was drawn in the Showmanship event for the Youth Teams Tournament and I would be using his horse Willionaire. This was the horse Ernest’s daughter rode in her youth and won more than $100,000 in scholarships to put her through college. He is a beautiful 17.2hh paint gelding, the tallest horse I had ever ridden.
Each day we drove out to Earnest’s ranch and he would give us lots of tips and let us run through our pattern while he critiqued it.
Ernest was so knowledgeable and genuine and it was a privilege to be able to train with him. We also visited the ranch of Jeanie Young. Jeannie is also very involved in the youth there, and has judged at our National Show here in Tamworth. We rode some awesome horses and again ran through some patterns which she really helped us with. We were very lucky to have these people assist us, many thanks must go to our Team Managers for arranging this.
Finally we got to go to the show! The “Will Rogers Arena” and facilities are amazing and far ahead of anything we have here in Australia, with underground stables, multiple training rings and show arenas, covering 105 acres! The Youth Team Tournament is held before the World Games, and usually is only open to teams from the different US states. Thanks to Ernest sponsoring us and allowing us to use his horses, we were the only International Team to be invited to compete. Ernest bought in the horses we were using from his ranch and we spent a day washing, banding and exercising them to get them ready. My showmanship was the largest class I had ever competed in, and featured some amazing horses. Unfortunately I did not place, but Willionaire and I had an awesome run and I could not have asked for any more from him, considering our limited time together, and the American competitors using their own horses. To compete in that environment was a memory I will never forget.
At the World Show, Team Australia had an adopting barn, which was White Harvest Farms, from Montana, which was awesome! Karen Banister, the owner and trainer, helped us immensely! She let us ride her horses throughout the week before we competed, which kept us in the saddle thinking. They were a very hard working barn, and each day we worked their horses in 100 degree heat (38 degrees Celsius), twice a day, and they did everything we asked of them.
World Show finally arrived, we had a meeting with all the other teams and we drew our horses for the Youth World Show. For my trail class I drew the horse called Good N Rite a palomino mare owned by Christien Show Horses. That was about five days before I competed, and during that time I could only watch him being trained, and could not ride or work him.
Trail day had come and I was ready to show so we headed down to the barn to meet up with my horse. Our Team Managers and I headed up to the practice arena with the trainer and we had a 30 minute practice before walking the course. My trail course was huge, it had more than 52 poles but it was a really good pattern with some good obstacles. The field of horses drawn for the trail was really competitive and it was filled with very good horses. I went out third in the draw to compete and we got around the trail course but she was an extremely ring smart horse. I ended up placing sixth in my class which is still a great achievement and something I am very proud of. As I become an Amateur this season, this was my last ride as a Youth Member, and I will never forget that it was in the World Show, in Texas USA, on July 4.
After the show closed up we continued to do some serious shopping and sight seeing around Texas which was a blast and put us way over my suitcase limit.
The 21 days sadly came to an end and it was time to pack up and head home to Australia. I had an amazing time in Texas and I am very grateful to have been a part of the 2014 PHAA Youth Team, Team Australia ended up coming home as overall fourth. We made so many new friends over there, a massive thank you to Ernest Wilson, Jeanie Young, Karen and the girls from White Harvest Farms, the APHA and the PHAA, all of our supporters with us and at home, all those who helped me raise my funds, my mum and dad for everything they have done- I could not of done it without you and our team managers Lee and Dave for all their encouragement and support and for making this whole trip possible, ensuring we had the best experience.
I had the time of my life and finally checked that goal off the top of my list, so thankyou so much.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.