Photo credit: K C Montgomery
Lauren Eichstadt of Greenville, Pennsylvania, took home over $15,000 in prizes as the 2011 Farnam All-Around Amateur at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
Eichstadt, showing Its My Lucky Detail, was one of 64 contenders for the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association Bank of America Amateur World Championship Show, held November 5-19 at the Oklahoma City State Fair Park.
Eichstadt and Its My Lucky Detail competed in three classes and earned 39 points. They placed third in amateur working hunter and amateur hunter hack, and were reserve champion in amateur equitation over fences. “I really had no idea. It was amazing. I really wasn’t sure I had won the all-around, but when I came out of the ring someone was waiting for me,” Eichstadt said.
A year earlier, Eichstadt showed the same horse in the worlds, placing second in working hunter and third in hunter hack to finish fourth in the All-Around points placing. This year she qualified for the worlds with points from shows primarily in New York and Kentucky.
Twenty-one-year-old Eichstadt is currently living in Findlay, Ohio where she is a pharmacy student. To take part in the World Championship show, she had to take nearly two weeks off from her studies. That may be more of a challenge for her next season as she enters a more challenging year of academics. Although she has a career as a pharmacist in her future, she hopes to continue a lifelong hobby in Quarter Horses.
Eichstadt has been riding Quarter Horses as long as she can remember, always riding western when she was younger. She was also very active in 4-H, showing pigs and lambs as well as horses. She tried jumping on a dare, and got hooked on it.
“I like the fact that they’re an extremely competitive breed. I like the versatility,” said Eichstadt who is a firm supporter of Quarter Horses. “You can find great ones in every discipline.”
While versatility is a key feature of Quarter Horses, people have limits on how much they can do. “I had a really nice western all around Quarter Horse. I got a fence horse and tried to do both, but it was exhausting,” said Eichstadt, who trains for the English classes with Julie O’Brien of Covenington, OH. Facing the choice she decided to pursue the hunter divisions.
Its My Lucky Detail is a 2001 bay gelding owned by Lauren’s sister, Madison Eichstadt of Greenville, PA. Its My Lucky Detail, is by Last Detail and out of Run To Seattle by Seattle Song, and was bred by Larry and Linda Whitaker of Rogers, Arkansas. “He’s 17.1 and looks more like a Warmblood,” Eichstadt said. “He has a silver personality and he’s spoiled,” she added, noting that he loves candy and cookies and will bow for treats.
Eichstadt also enjoys the atmosphere at the Quarter Horse shows she attends. “I’ve developed so many friends across the country,” she said. “Especially for the hunters, it’s so limited I’m riding against the same people at most shows.”
In addition to My Lucky Detail, Eichstadt also showed her driving horse Deep Blue Sky at the World Championship show, earning an eighth place ribbon in Amateur Driving. Eichstadt has a new horse that she has just started over fences that may take over from My Lucky Detail next year.
The All Around Amateur title is one of the top honors an amateur can win at the AQHA World Championship Show. For her winning efforts, Eichstadt received a prize package of $15,000; $1,000 in Farnam products; an embroidered fusion contour western blanket, courtesy of WeatherBeeta; a rose bouquet and a Lisa Perry bronze.
Eichstadt is proud of her accomplishment, but she has an additional goal in mind, winning a championship at the Worlds. “I still haven’t won a gold trophy yet,” she said. Finishing second in the point total behind Eichstadt was Darcy Reeve of Garden City, Kansas, showing A Certain Vino with 36 points, and Jessica Baird of Rockville, Indiana, in third place on Cool Movin Lady with 35 points.