OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – On August 9, Ann Elizabeth Tebow and her American Quarter Horse, Vinny, won the 2016 World Championship in ranch riding.
"…If you work hard and keep going you can accomplish anything and your dreams can come true," Tebow said.
Tebow, who is 18 years old and a recent graduate of Piedmont High School, and her 8-year-old gray gelding took part in ranch riding prelims during the Built Ford Tough American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Championship Show at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. The Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse exhibitors ages 18 and under around the world. The show features more than 2,180 entries from the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom with exhibitors competing for 35 world championships.
"The ranch riding class was developed to showcase the ranching heritage of the American Quarter Horse. It includes different maneuvers a horse would use on a ranch on any given day. They have to do a certain pattern in the arena and be scored on the different elements of that pattern," said Sarah Davisson of the AQHA.
Just a year ago Tebow and Vinny began to find success together and qualified for the 2015 finals of the ranch riding. This summer, the Oklahoma teen was with Team USA for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup in Australia. Now with a 2016 World Championship under her belt, Tebow and Vinny will head to Texas A&M University to attend the biomedical sciences program and compete on the equestrian team.
"People don't realize how they have their own personalities. They're just like people because everyone's different and they each have their own little quirks. It took us a long time to get on the same page… He's too smart for his own good, which is really cool in a horse," Tebow said.
"Not only does she show and compete on the world level, her leadership skills are amazing. She's also a great role model to the youth coming up in the Association," Davisson said.
The Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show continues through August 13 and brings in more than $10.3 million in revenue for the area.