Arabian Horse Association Names 2008 High-Point Horse
RELEASE: February 25, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Brian Sosby
The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) is proud to announce FF Irish Vodka+++//, owned by Collier McLeod of Augusta, GA, as its 2008 High-Point Horse. FF Irish Vodka, a 10-year-old, Anglo-Arabian ended the year with 487.5 points earned in working hunter, hunter hack, sport horse under saddle, dressage and in-hand classes.
McLeod, who also picked up the Youth Amateur Achievement Award for the year, rode “Guinness” to three national championships at Canadian Nationals and several Top 10s at both Youth Nationals and Sport Horse Nationals. McLeod had some help from a couple of women who are no strangers to the Achievement Awards program, Tracy Ratliff Lord and Cynthia Cubbage, both of whom rode last year’s winner, DA Durado++++//, also helped Guinness earn his 487.5 points. “The three of us go to shows together. I ride DA [Durado] too,” said McLeod. “Everyone works together as sort of a team effort.”
McLeod says she had her sights set on the Achievement Awards program when she bought Guinness in 2007. “I actually bought Guinness with the intention of putting in a really good show year before leaving for college. I was aiming for this award,” said McLeod.
With a background in hunter jumper, McLeod said hunter jumper and equitation come easily to her, but the success she and Guinness found in dressage came as a surprise. “The first time I did a dressage test was last year at Scottsdale. We started out at training level, of course, but Guinness was getting such good scores by mid-summer, we bumped up to first level.”
McLeod is not sure what the 2009 show season will hold for her and Guinness. “Once I decide where to go to college, I’ll decide if I can take him with me or possibly sell him—although we all want to see Tracy [Ratliff Lord] win the Amateur High-Point award so maybe I’ll keep him so she can ride him.”
The Top 10 point-earners from the Achievement Awards program receive an embroidered cooler from Schneider Saddlery. Guinness and McLeod will receive the cooler, along with a $1,500 gift certificate from Schneider Saddlery and a custom Dale Chavez belt buckle.