The Equiery Perpetual Western Award is the newest award offered by The Equiery, with only two winners since it was first unveiled in 2011. This award is in partnership with the Maryland State Quarter HorseAssociation and is given to the Maryland native with the most points at the end of the Black-Eyed Susan Circuit show, held each year at the end of the summer.

The first Equiery Western winner was Mary Lentz and her horse Strait To You. In 2012, Abi Buckwalter took home the honors with Standing Bar Time and this year, the award once again goes to the ladies with Kelsey McArthur earning it with her horse PSU Obvious Emotion.

We asked Kelsey to write about her experience at the Black-Eyed Susan Circuit show, her background in Western riding and what it means to win this award.

From Trails to the Show Ring
My name is Kelsey McArthur and I am 15 years old. I attend Mount Hebron High School and have been riding since I could walk. I only started showing at small local shows in 2009 and Quarter Horse shows in 2011. My family owns a small farm in Ellicott City and both my parents ride on the trails but have never competed at shows. Horses have been around my entire life and I have had a passion for riding ever since I got my first pony. The experiences that I have had on the farm are priceless; seeing a foal born and watching her grow have instilled a love for horses that I won’t ever lose.

My current horse, PSU Obvious Emotion, is a 17-hand American Quarter Horse and he is built like a halter horse. Simon, as we call him, is seven years old and has the sweetest personality. We purchased Simon this year and only started showing him in June. We have had an amazing summer. Simon and I have won numerous youth all-around and halter titles including Regional Grand Champion Performance Gelding. We also earned our Youth Championship from the American Quarter Horse Association and we were nationally qualified for the 2012 World Show in Halter.

I like competing in Western classes and find it very challenging. You only get to use one hand and all your cues are off of your legs and voice. I compete in halter, horsemanship, and showmanship and would like to add trail by next year. Halter is judged on your horse’s conformation and how well you present your horse. Horsemanship is a pattern class. Simon is such a big horse it’s very impressive when he glides through the pattern so gracefully.
I also ride English. We compete in hunter under saddle and equitation classes. Equitation is Simon’s best class and my favorite as well. Simon is a true all-around horse.

I train with Amy Whitmore in Westminster. She is a very talented horse trainer. I love the way she teaches and I find that we improve every time we ride with her. Simon and I owe our success to her patience and expertise. We have a wonderful barn family and I enjoy spending so much time with all of them at the shows. I am looking forward to continuing my riding in college while I pursue a career in the equine medical field.

Winning this award means a lot to me. It shows that Simon and I are really coming together as a team. I would like to thank the Maryland State Quarter Horse Association for all the hard work that goes into running the Black-Eyed Susan Circuit Show and also The Equiery for sponsoring this wonderful award.

Equiery Western Award winner Kelsey McArthur with her horse PSU Obvious Emotion, trainer Amy Whitmore and MSQHA’s Ashley Schaeffer