Maness is horsemanship champion

Used with permission of The Dalhart Texan

by Nathan French

Shadlynn Maness will be a science teacher at Dalhart Junior High this year. She is an experienced teacher and taught at Allyn Finch Intermediate School for four years. However, Shadlynn possesses much more than the knack for teaching. Shadlynn is a natural born “horse-woman.” She states that she “doesn't remember ever NOT riding horses.”

She grew up with horses and said that family vacations included pulling a horse trailer.

Shadlynn's love for horses has remained strong over time. She began showing animals in the 2 nd grade, riding English at 11, and jumping at 14. English riding is a style of horsemanship that differs from western style both in the rider's position on the saddle, and also in riding style.

She still competes in English riding shows during the summer and on weekends when she isn't teaching.

Shadlynn won the ABRA World Championship in Open Hunter Hack and Amateur Hunter Hack. Sounds impressive, but if you are like me you have no idea what she won. Until my interview with Maness, I was unsure if she won a hunting contest or a hacking competition.

In actuality, Hunter Hack is not a competition for seasoned hunters that smoke, but an English riding class where the contestant and horse must perform two jumps and work on the “rail” at a walk, trot, and then canter while being judged.

Maness and her eight-year-old, sixteen-hand tall, buckskin Quarter Horse, Esperanza De Cinco (Hope of the 5 th for those who are not linguistically talented), placed 1 st under four out of five judges (something that is rare) in both classes to win the World Championship titles in both Hunter Hack classes.

She was awarded with two Montana Silversmith Belt Buckles and the prestigious title of “world champion.”

Maness credits her success to support from her husband, Seth Maness; her riding pals, Kristen Hembree and Paula Everett; her parents, Charles and Rogene Heugatter of Guymon , Oklahoma ; and her trainer, Katrina Taylor.

Maness stated “without their support, prayers, and pep talks I would have been unable to accomplish all that I have.”

Hard work is also a big part of Shadlynn's success. She spends a great amount of time training her horse, and has recently purchased a new two-year-old colt, Zach, that she is training to be her future competition horse. Her future goal is to compete in the American Quarter Horse Association jumping competitions with her new horse. Training consists of riding her horse three to four times a week, and going to lessons once a month in Amarillo with her trainer.

Experience plays a big part in Shadlynn's success. She began competing in 4-H competitions at an early age and advanced to competition in Youth World.

When questioned on what gave her the initiative to compete and influenced her the most, Maness said, “I am a product of 4-H and that experience has allowed me to excel in competitions such as these.”

With the new title of ABRA World Champion Maness is an example of excellent horsemanship and what can be accomplished with shear determination and unwavering dedication.

Doe and Wayne Tooley are Maness' grandparents, and she is the daughter-in-law of Kenneth and Janese Maness.

Boise City News
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