By Olivia Norton
OKLAHOMA CITY-The American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show, held in Oklahoma City each year, could be considered a pinnacle event in the horse showing industry, complete with all the glitz and glamor a show of this magnitude would be expected to include. Luckily for senior animal science major Katie Fox, from Chino Hills, Ca., this wasn’t her first time stepping into the pressure of a world title atmosphere.
Fox’s record in the show ring is decorated with numerous titles and championships including the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show amateur performance halter mare title.
“I’ve won world titles in the All-Around at the Buckskin World show, the NSBA World title in the youth and novice youth western riding in 2008, and first place at the AQHA Youth World Show in 2010 with my performance mare,” Fox recalled. “But bringing home a World Title from the AQHA World Championship was a goal I have always kept in the back of my mind.”
The event calling Fox back to the AQHA World this year was performance halter mares. In this class, horses are evaluated on conformation, outward appearance, balance, muscling and overall quality. The horse maintaining the best combination of each element through a performance mindset is crowned the winner.
The first time Fox and her performance halter mare A Classic Edition, nicknamed Cassie, took to the show ring in 2010, they not only won both the AQHA Youth World and AQHA Congress performance mare titles but won them unanimously on each judge’s card.
This year, however, marked Cassie’s last trip around the ring as a halter competitor before enjoying retirement. At the end of this season, the Fox Family planned to bring Cassie home to carry her own foal.
“Because I knew it was Cassie’s last year, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.” Fox said. “Since this would be her fifth world title, she deserved to go out on top.”
When Fox and Cassie took the ring for the final time, they shared the arena with 23 of the most elite halter mares in the country. After an hour and a half of deliberation, the pair surfaced in first place on three of the five judges’ cards.
“When the judges placing were called, I knew we had done well,” Fox said. “But when the last judge called out my name in first place, the whole crowd started cheering and that was so awesome to experience.”
Fox returns to Aggieland with new goals in mind. As a member of the Texas A&M rodeo team, she seeks to continuously make a name for herself in all aspects of the horse industry, one world title at a time.
Olivia Norton is a sophomore Animal Science major from Texarkana, Texas.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.