To a thirteen year old walking into a horse show in Will Rogers Coliseum is a huge place with bright lights and a lot of noise. To Haley Sims it was her place to shine and shine she did. It was the beginning of a new horse show year and she made the best of it.
Haley and her horse Cowboy will show in over twenty horse shows this calendar year. Some local shows will be smaller and some regional and classic shows will be as large as the Fort Worth Stock Show, but none will be as intimidating as Will Rogers.
Cowboy is a Pony of America (POA) breed and is as protective of his rider as any horse could be. He doesn’t act up or get nervous he simple steps into the arena and does what he has been taught to do. But the difference maker is this thirteen year old little woman who does what she loves best and that is to be on horseback. She loves it so much that she travels every weekend from Denton where she lives and goes to school to Tyler where Cowboy lives. That’s right her parents drive her every weekend to Tyler for her to exercise and train her horse. But the result is worth every mile.
In the first event of the POA Fort Worth Stock Show horse show, Haley was awarded second in the Halter class along with Reserve Grand Champion in Halter. Her next class was Horsemanship and she took a very respectful third place. She gained the respectful from the standpoint that this was her first class in 2014 with an older age group. Being thirteen she moved into the thirteen to eighteen age group. This means competing with kids that are older and with more experience. But didn’t stop her or slow her down.
In the next class which was Trail she took first place. She then moved on to Senior Western Pleasure. In this class the term Senior is for the age of the horse. In this case it meant horses that are five years or older. In Senior Western Pleasure she took first place.
Next came Reining and again Haley and Cowboy rose to the occasion and took first place against her older competitors. She completed the day with three first place ribbons, one second, one Reserve Grand Champion and one third. It was a highly respectful day for this nervous gal from Denton. “I was quite nervous about the older age group, which was harder than I had imagined. Plus I was nervous about being at the Fort Worth Stock Show and in the huge coliseum” said Haley after her triumphant day. She added that “Fort Worth was so large and in that big arena it seemed like there was more pressure.”
When asked what was next on her schedule, she stated that she would be competing at least twenty horse shows this year and that she wanted to continue to do them for as long as she could. Sounds to be like the Equestrian teams of A&M, TCU and the like better take notice of this prospect early and start courting her early.