HARRODSBURG¿— Ashley Wilson’s Christmas surprise has helped her have a winning summer.
The Evansville, Ind., woman, who rides for DeLovely Farms out of Rockport, Ind., was given A Travelin’ Man as a gift this past Christmas. She began training with him February at the farm owned by Raymond and Lillian Shively of Danville, and has practically owned the competition this summer.
“It was a big surprise. He’s a lot of fun and I’ve been having fun showing him,”¿Wilson said.
She has shown him five times, taking home three first, including a win Wednesday in the ladies three-gaited class at the Mercer County Fair &¿Horse Show.
“We’ve been doing pretty good together,”¿she said.
A Travelin’ Man already had an impressive resume before Wilson began riding him.
He won the world championship from ages 2-6 in various classes before Wilson began riding him this year. At ages 2 and 3, he won in fine harness. At age 4, the horse won the junior world title, then won at age 5 in the juvenile class. Last year he won a world title in a harness class.
Trainer Todd Miles said that is very unusual. But A Travelin’ Man and Wilson form the perfect team.
“Sometimes a colt that shows at 2 or 3 years old peaks out early. But he’s a seasoned campaigner for as young as he is, and she’s a seasoned veteran, I think. I wouldn’t trade her for anybody,”¿Miles said. “She’s got a lot of experience and she knows what she’s supposed to do. And she’s got a lot of showmanship and ringmanship, she knows when to maneuver in the ring.
“And he’s just a great horse. They just go together pretty well. He’s one of the 10 most special horses I’ve ever been around.”
Wilson already was familiar with the horse, which made it an even better gift. And it put a little pressure on her to keep that winning tradition going.
“I was nervous, but my trainer’s great and he does an amazing job, but I let stuff get ot my head a little bit,”¿she said. “But he’s only been beaten I think twice in his career. So he’s amazing.”
Right now, Wilson only rides this horse.
“My sister had three or four horses (she shows), and some people have more. It’s fun having more, but I’ll take what I can get,”¿she said.
Wilson said she’s not sure if she will show A Travelin’ Man again on Saturday. But this will definitely be the last show before the World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair next month in a bid for another title.
“He’ll still be in practice and we’ll just practice,” she said.
Mercer County Fair &¿Horse Show
At Mercer County Fairgrounds,
(Horses listed with owner and exhibitor, if different)
UPHA¿Chalenge Cup — 1. Soli Deo Glori, Calico Farm, Callie Smith.
Ladies Three-Gaited — 1. A Travelin’ Man, Steven Chancellor, Ashley Wilson; 2. Kalarama’s Blue Mac, Williams Family Trust, jacqueline Beck; 3. Handsome Heir, Amy Rock.
Adult Five Gaited Pleasure — 1. One More Kiss, High Hickey Farms, Kristen Stivers; 2. Jewell Fire, Stanley Jozwiak, Barbara Joswiak; 3. Callaway’s Wind Chill, Jennifer and Steven McGowan, Jennifer McGowan.
13-under ASB Three Gaited Show Pleasure — 1. Thunder Gone Wild, Rainbow Pricess famrs, Eleanor Forbes-Rainbolt; 2. High Times Encore, Brannon Stables, Zoe Brannon.
Amateur Roadster to Bike — 1. Man’s Man, Milward Dedman; 2. Bunker Buster, David Crockett; 3. Little Richard, Shane Sallee.
Junior Exhibitor Cuntry Pleasure — 1. Cheetah’s Admiral, Stephanie and Charlie Morrison, Raegan Morrison; 2. I’m Southern, Susan Harris, Tyler Devore; 3. Kalamara’s Witness, Why Not Farm, Macey Joan Miles.
Junior Park Pleasure — 1. Double Black Diamond, Joellen Fisher Blount, Kelly Self; 2. Callaway’s Love Me, James Hartley, Lance Williamson; 3. Ninja Warrior, A.E. Nelson, Billy Jarrell.
UPHA Walk and Trot¿10-under — 1. Miss Mheiry Mac, Terri Chancellor, Remi Adams; 2. Loaded Weapon, Holly Reed, Kelsey Martin; 3. Jayna Crisp, Elise Crisp, Jayne Crisp.
Open Hunt Seat Pleasure WTC¿Open — 1. Shakespeare In Love, Karen Thompson.
Junior Roadster Pony — 1. Heartland Star Stepper, Barabara Simpson, Sandy Currier; 2. Regals’ Monarch, Golden Creek Farm, Tom Lowry; 3. Craycroft Romulos, Dr. Mark Hyatt and Larry Meyer, Larry Meyer.
ASB¿Show Pleasure Driving — 1. Chosen Man, SGF¿Winning Ways Farm, Sheri Frankel; 2. I’m the Prince Peace, Ellen Watkins; 3. Rosie Dollface, Granite Hill Stable, Kristin Solien.
Amateur Three-Gaited — 1. With Style and Grace, Robert and Kim Grom, Tara Grom; 2. He’s a Jim Dandy, Bullet Concrete Materials, Julieanna Rafferty.
Adult Three Gaited Show Pleasure, Adult — 1. Breathe, Alex Noble; 2. The Mansion, Annike Bruggeworth; 3. Captain Kangaroo, Burlington Saddlebreds, Cyndi Simmons.
ASB¿Western Pleasure — 1. Samuel Charles, Chelsea Ruxer; 2. Prince in the Park, Joellen Fisher Blount; 3. The Power of One, Double D Ranch, Dave Lopez.
Saddle and Bridle Pleasure Medallion — 1. Cloverleaf Turner Jake, Debra Hurst, Walters, Taylor Walters; 2. King Eddie, DeLovely Farm, Caroline Rainbolt-Forbes.
Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited — 1. I’m McDreamy, Steven E. Chancellor, Hunter Chancellor; 2. Unforgettable Kiss, Bill Lenberger, Shelby Eriksen; 3. Kiss Me Goodnight, Merrell Moselli, Emily Hop.
ASB¿Country Pleasure Driving —1. The Bay Princess, Deb Rateri.
Roadster to Wagon — 1. Raising the Bar, Glenn Werry Jr, Mark Turner; 2. Matt T. Up, David Crockett; 3. Capture My Magic, Pam Roush, Danny Bugg.
Ladies Five Gaited — 1. Montano, Crabtree Farms, Deborah Visser; 2. Catamaran, Laurel Nelson, Kelly Self; 3. Bluebonnett’s Challenger, Maryta Montgomery.
Master’s Five Gaited —¿Callaway’s No More Mr. Nice Guy, Bruce Williams; 2. SJ¿Space Buccaneer, Joeellen Fisher Blount.