Stephanie Anderson has shown horses in an array of disciplines throughout her life. From the roping pen, to reined cow horse, and western pleasure classes, the one thing that has been a constant in the horsewoman’s life is the fact that she couldn’t imagine being without horses. No matter what discipline she’s competing in, horses will, and always have been life, as Anderson knows it.
The horsewoman began showing at age 15 in local and 4-H shows. Later, in her high school years, Anderson met Linda Delk (Patron), and began showing at the AQHA level. At age 18, she won her first buckle in Western Pleasure, and hasn’t looked back since. Far from the slower-paced pleasure classes, Anderson kept horses in her life through the sport of Team Roping, which she did for many years, as well as Reined Cow horses in the 1980’s. Coincidentally enough, Anderson says her show career has “gone full-circle,” as she and Linda now show together again. Anderson’s current discipline of choice: AQHA Select and Level I Amateur Ranch Riding.
And undoubtedly so, over the years, she has had great success. Anderson began showing on the PCQHA circuit in the 1990’s in the Amateur Teaming Roping in the Heeling. Her horse at the time was Tuckers Lil Fancy, and the team earned an ROM as well as qualified and showed at the AQHA World Show in 1994. Additionally, they won the PCQHA year-end Amateur Heeling buckles in 1993 and 1994. Although this is Anderson’s first year in the Ranch Riding classes, she says it’s a good fit and it shows in the success she’s had. “…I am at a point in my life that my body does not want to make the hard runs down the arena anymore”, she shares, “Ranch Riding is an event that fits me.”
Anderson bought her current mount, Sol de Conquistador (aka Mickey) in January. A past NRHA money earner, Anderson describes the ten-year-old dark bay gelding as “very well trained and such a pleasure to be around.” She adds that she’s very grateful to Kathleen Cook for selling her a horse who has helped boost her confidence and aided in her becoming a more aggressive rider. While the newly formed pair spent their first few months just getting acquainted, they debuted at their first show, the Gold N Grand Spring show, with stellar success. “I had two main goals when I got back into the show pen after 23 years, do not fall off and most of all have fun,” Anderson says. They did both, very successfully, with several first-place finishes and an AQHA Select World Show qualification. Over the summer, the dynamic duo continued to compete at local AQHA shows as well as Select World. They ended up Select Ranch Riding Circuit champions at the Gold N Grand Summer Show, achieved a Ranch Riding ROM and are now qualified for the 2019 AQHA Select World Show.
Anderson loves everything about showing and owning horses, from the camaraderie and competition, to the bond she shares with her equine counterparts. “I have met so many wonderful people that share the same passion and goals that I do,” she says, “It has been really fun to reconnect as well as compete with many of my peers from the reined cowhorse days.” Additionally, Anderson feels fortunate to ride with her trainer, Sarah Faught of Sarah Faught Quarter horses in Galt, CA. “Sarah found Mickey for me and has guided me throughout my journey this year. I owe such a huge portion of our success to her, she is an amazing and patient trainer,” she adds.
Anderson also resides in Galt, CA, where she’s the long-time general manager of Ropers Sports News, the original team roping publication, based out of Lodi, CA. Anderson shares, “I was part of the innovation and production team of the richest one day team roping in the world, the Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping (BFI) for 35 years.” Outside of work and her horse hobby, she enjoys anything she can compete at, including playing pool, darts, or cards, but also enjoys things at a little slower pace such as swimming, playing with her dogs, and visiting friends. But the one thing that nothing else will ever compete with is her love for her horses. Anderson credits the animal and the bond they share with helping her to believe in herself, have confidence and patience, and to really trust. “I could not imagine life without a horse,” she says.