Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle

Story & Photo by Tonya Ratliff-Garrison | Paint Horse Journal | June 26, 2011

With 40 entries in Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle, Morgan Matzdorff and Rosesrrednsonnysrblue made it back to the finals, where she won her first Youth World title.

Morgan Matzdorff realizes her dream of winning a Youth world championship.

Coming out of the Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle second preliminaries at the AjPHA Youth World Show on June 26, Morgan Matzdorff and her gelding Rosesrrednsonnysrblue topped the field. A few hours later, the pair was back in the John Justin Arena with 15 other finalists. When the five judges placed the class, the 15-year-old high school sophomore felt a little like a yo-yo with two firsts, a second, a fourth and an eighth. Uncertain if she had won the class, Morgan sat astride “Tobie” next to the rail where her friends shared encouragement as each rider was called forward for the final placings. Eventually, it was just Morgan and Tobie left in the arena with Morgan receiving hugs and congratulations from her posse before riding Tobie to receive his world champion neck ribbon and her Gist buckle. The Paint Horse Journal caught up with Morgan to ask her about the championship ride.

Q: Congratulations on your World Show win! Can you tell me about your finals ride?

Morgan: It was really good, but I didn’t think I did as well as I did in the prelims though. I thought the prelims were a lot better.

Q: Really? Why did you think that?

Morgan: I think it was because my horse was fresher and listening better. He’s really tired right now.

Q: Did you think it was hard for him to do a prelims class and a finals class all in one day?

Morgan: Yes, kind of.

Q: Tell me about Tobie.

Morgan: I’ve been riding him since January. He’s really playful. He’s a character.

Q: Is hunter under saddle your best class?

Morgan: Yes.

Q: How long have you been showing Paints?

Morgan: I started riding when I was around 7, taking lessons and then I started showing when I was around 8. I started showing Paints about two years ago at the local shows.

Q: Do you have any other classes at Youth World?

Morgan: Just the hunt seat eq and hunter under saddle 14-18.

Q: What does it feel like to win your first world championship?

Morgan: It’s amazing. I can’t even explain what it’s like.

Q: With where the judges placed you and Tobie, it was obvious when you were on the rail listening to the final results you were not certain where you would end up.

Morgan: I wasn’t sure because I didn’t want to get myself all worked up and then not be in the top.

Q: What did it feel like when you realized you had won the world championship?

Morgan: Oh my, gosh! My friend Ashley Wildes and I were holding hands. I didn’t care if I got reserve or champion, I was just so happy.

Q: Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Morgan: My mom mostly for getting me here and buying me a horse. And of course my trainer, Mark Kuhlwein, and his wife and the whole Wildes barn for their support.

Click here for APHA's reprint policy of copyrighted material.

World Champion Stats

Horse: Rosesrrednsonnysrblue
Pedigree: Sura Sonny (QH) x Annas Rose
Exhibitor/Owner: Morgan Matzdorff, Peoria, Arizona
Trainer: Mark Kuhlwein
Breeder: Brittney Dellatore, Ocala, Florida
Total Class Entries:

World Champion Prizes:
 Gist buckle, courtesy of APHA; monogramed jacket, courtesy of APHA and Tioga Territory; insulated carryall, courtesy of Paint Horse Journal; $50 APHA General Store gift certificate, courtesy of APHA; and AjPHA letter jacket patch, courtesy of APHA