2012 Equiery Perpetual Western Award Winner
(The Equiery • November 2012)
2011, The Equiery unveiled its newest perpetual award, The Equiery Perpetual
Western Award. The award is in partnership with the Maryland State Quarter
Horse Association and is given out 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. Mary Lentz was the first Equiery winner riding
her horse Strait To You to several top placings at the 2011 show, earning
her The Equiery trophy.
This year, girl power continues as 17-year-old Abi Buckwalter of Westminster
took home the trophy. Abi is a senior at Westminster High School and
is also in the Academy of Health Professions program at Carroll County
Career and Technology Center.
We asked Abi to write about her experience at the Black-Eyed Susan Circuit
show, her involvement with MSQHA and what it means to her to win this
Quarter Horses in the Blood
My one true love since the age of two has always been horses. Many of
my friends and family can tell you that if you are ever looking for
me, you’ll probably find me in the barn doing something with my
horses. Some may say it runs in my blood and I can thank my father and
grandfather for getting me hooked on the sport. My grandfather, Scott
Buckwalter, is an AQHA judge. He also rode and trained horses his whole
My dad, Rick Buckwalter, rode and showed reining horses growing up.
He and his friend Mike Whitmore also trained horses together for a while.
My dad doesn’t really ride that much anymore but he says he now
lives through my brother and me when it comes to riding.
I am very involved with MSQHA and am the president of the MSQHA Youth
Association. I am also a Region 5 Director for the All American Quarter
Horse Youth Association. Outside of riding, I am the president of my
high school’s Best Buddies Chapter and editor of the Westminster
Key Club. I like to volunteer at the local therapeutic riding center
and enjoy being very involved with helping my local community.
I began showing Quarter Horses when I was six years old and have not
stopped since. I plan to go to a four-year college and pursue a degree
in nursing. While at college, I hope to ride on an NCAA Division I equestrian
To get ready for collegiate riding, I have been working with my equine
teammate Standing Bar Time. We call him Gus Gus and he is 12 years old
this year. I have had him for four years now and he is the best! We
have a really good bond and make a great team. If I had to describe
Gus, I would say that he is goofy, sensitive, loving and a hard worker.
He is always trying his best because he wants to please me. A simple
pleasure of mine is going to the barn after a stressful day of school
and just brushing, riding and spending quality time with Gus.
We have been a very successful team over the past couple of years. With
the help of my trainer Amy Whitmore and lots of support from all of
my barn friends and family, we have accomplished many goals and are
still working on accomplishing more.
Gus and I compete in showmanship, horsemanship, equitation, pleasure
and trail. We have earned many Youth All-Around awards over the past
few years and have nationally qualified for the AQHYA World Show in
2011 and 2012. Gus and I have earned our Youth Superior in Showmanship
and just recently, in Horsemanship as well. The Youth Superior is an
award that is given out once a rider earns 50 or more points in the
Horsemanship & Showmanship
Out of the All-Around classes that I participate in, I would have to
say that horsemanship and showmanship are my favorite classes because
I feel like my horse and I are successful and that we are able to show
off our abilities to the judges.
Showmanship is done on the ground with the rider leading the horse.
In this class, judges are looking for how well you and your horse are
able to complete a specific pattern of maneuvers. They also look for
posture and togetherness.
Horsemanship is also a pattern class but for this one, the rider is
on top of the horse in a western saddle. How fluently, correctly and
smoothly you do your pattern is important. Also, the difficulty level
of the pattern is taken into consideration by the judges.
The Equiery Award
The most recent award that Gus and I have won was this past September
at the MSQHA annual Black-Eyed Susan Circuit Show. After a really good
show, Gus and I were the winners of the Youth All-Around for the weekend.
It was then announced that we had also won The Equiery Perpetual Western
This is only the second year that the award has been offered and I was
very surprised to hear that we had won. I knew that we had a good weekend
but I did not know that we were the horse and rider that earned the
most points from the entire show. I was thrilled to know that we had
I would like to thank The Equiery and MSQHA for offering such a wonderful
award and the bucket of very nice prizes.