Competing with horses as a youth exhibitor can be both exhilarating and disappointing for those showing. In the youth divisions, the competition can be very tough with the vast majority having their hearts set on the coveted title of World Champion.
Just like hundreds of other youth riders across the country Sarah Finkel, from Walnut Creek, California, dreams of getting that AQHYA World Championship Show invitation in the mail and taking claim to a title of her own.
As a junior in high school Finkel only has a couple chances left to compete at the world show. Which made it that much more devastating when her show mount got injured last summer. Needing a good amount of rest and care Finkel thought she would have to forgo competing this show season or buy a new horse.
In true equine community style a friend from the barn she rides at worked out a lease so that Finkel would have a horse to show this year.
Finkel is currently leasing and showing a sorrel AQHA gelding registered as So So Good. This 1999 gelding, barn name Taco, was sired by As Good As It Gets out of Speck Of Mist. He is an expert in the trail pen and enjoys competing in it even after being shown for over ten years.
Not only a pronounced show horse but one with a great personality and a big heart which makes him so loveable and unforgettable.
The gelding’s owner Suzanne Dehmel bought this accomplished horse in 2014 for her daughter Gina Hitchman to finish out her youth showing career with. In 2015, Hitchman and Taco rode their way to an AQHYA Reserve World Championship in Trail. But Hitchman was heading off to college in North Carolina they needed to decide what to do with her horse. Should they sell him? Should they retire him?
Hitchman and Finkel are friends and both ride under the guidance of David and Cheryl Busick, of Busick Quarter Horses. Knowing Finkel’s riding abilities and how well she cared for her own horse the family decided to go in a different direction, and lease their horse to this young lady who was without a horse to show for the season.
Completely elated Finkel began her lease in September of 2016. She spent the fall and winter working with the Busick’s and Taco on riding and perfecting pattern classes. Their first show together was the AQHA Congress where the team placed 8th in the Novice Youth 14-18 Trail.
Come the first of the year the team was clicking and ready to go show! With the congress show and a local show under their belt, they headed to the Silver Dollar Circuit, where they won under two judges and placed second under the remaining judge in the Youth 14-18 Trail. From there it was off to the Arizona Sun Circuit, where they won Circuit Champion in the Level 1 Youth Trail and Reserve Circuit Champion in the 14-18 Youth Horsemanship and Trail.
In just those two major shows this duo qualified for world in the Level 3 Youth Trail and the Level 2 Youth Horsemanship!
This major accomplishment is a first for Finkel, she has not nationally qualified before, she has qualified through the state team though. She has her sights on earning a AQHYA World Champion title but will not stress if it is not in the cards for 2017 she will continue to keep working towards her goal.
“I’m going for a globe! It’s been my dream to get first place at the youth world, amateur world or select world, however long it takes!” said Finkel.
Once the lease is completed Dehmel and her daughter will retire So So Good after a very successful life-long career.
So So Good truly lives up to his name. Qualifying for AQHA World Championship Shows in Open, Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth in everything from Trail to Showmanship and not only that but placing in the top ten several times. Earning multiple Superior titles, Register of Merits and over $8,000 in NSBA lifetime earnings.