Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14-18

Story & Photo by Abigail Wilder Boatwright | Paint Horse Journal | June 26, 2011

Calli Rouse won her first world championship with Chansation in Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14-18.

Canadian Calli Rouse hunted down her first world championship title with Chansation.

Grinning from ear to ear, Calli Rouse couldn’t have been any happier with her bay overo mare Chansation’s performance in Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14-18 at the 2011 AjPHA Youth World Championship Show. Adding sweetness to her victory, Calli’s barn mate Taylor Prince earned the reserve title, and after the placings were announced, the girls hugged in excitement before taking a victory lap together. Calli traveled all the way from Langley, British Columbia, Canada, to compete at the Youth World Show. After besting a competitive group to capture her first-ever world championship, 18-year-old Calli stopped for a quick chat with the Paint Horse Journal.

Q: Congratulations! How does it feel to win this award?

Calli: Amazing. I was reserve in the showmanship, and I was reserve a couple of years ago in Western riding, but this is my first world championship.

Q: How many years have you shown at the world show?

Calli: This is my third year.

Q: How many years have you shown Paints?

Calli: I’ve shown Paints since I was 2 or 3. I showed the leadline. I started really early. My mom, Diane Rouse, showed too.

Q: This was quite a drive—or flight for you, coming from Canada?

Calli: Yeah. We didn’t drive this year, because Chani is in training with Simons Show Horses in Aubrey, Texas. But in previous years we’ve driven, and yes, it’s really long. Three days in the truck and trailer.

Q: Walk me through your performance.

Calli: It was really good. I just wanted to go out and have a solid ride. She’s always really honest in the pen, so I just have to trust her and show her off to the best of my ability. I felt like I had really good spots. It was a competitive class, but she pulled through and she was really perfect.

Q: What was your goal going into the class?

Calli: Just to have good, solid rides, to have good placement and to get seen by the judges.

Q: What is something few people know about you?

Calli: I played soccer competitively for 10 years.

Q: What advice did your trainer give you before you showed today?

Calli: Be calm, have a good ride, and just be confident.

Q: What were you feeling when you walked into the arena?

Calli: A little bit jittery, a little bit nervous. But I was excited to show my horse.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you won?

Calli: I had no clue. Taylor and I were at the end, just standing there. We didn’t know. It was exciting to have Taylor beside me and then winning.

Q: What advice do you have for other Youth hoping to win a world championship?

Calli: Practice a lot and have confidence in yourself.

Q: Tell me about your horse. What is her personality like?

Calli: She’s really just mellow and laid-back and she’s always looking for peppermints or wants to be in your pockets, looking for treats. She’s just really sweet and kind. She’s so fun to be around. You want to be around her.

Q: What do you love the most about your horse?

Calli: Her personality. She’s just so sweet. She’s like a best friend.

Q: How long have you had her?

Calli: I got her in February of 2010 from Tammy Dyer. I showed her last year at the APHA World Show and this is my second APHA World Show with her.

Q: Are you planning on fitting in anything fun during the rest of the show?

Calli: Yes, definitely. We go out for dinner a lot. We do cookouts at our barn mate, Hannah’s trailer. Her dad likes to cook so we get together and have a good time.

Q: Are you going to sightsee in Fort Worth while you are here?

Calli: Yeah, I think so. My brother Torrey gets in tomorrow, so I think we will go out and do something fun around here. I haven’t been to the stockyards yet, so I think I want to do that.

Q: Did your family come to watch you at the show? How did they feel about your win?

Calli: My dad came and my mom. Probably my whole extended family was watching online. They couldn’t be here. But my whole family was watching online. They were really excited. They probably wanted to be here, but they couldn’t.

Q: Who inspires you in the Paint Horse industry?

Calli: Sara, my trainer. She’s so inspiring. The way she presents herself is always so professional. I just look up to her so much.

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World Champion Stats

Horse: Chansation, 2007 bay overo mare
Pedigree: The Big Sensation x Artful Girl (QH)
Exhibitor: Calli Rouse, Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Owner: Dianne or Bobby Rouse, Everson, Washington
Trainer: Simons Show Horses, Aubrey, Texas
Breeder: Tammy Thompson Dyer, Cornelius, North Carolina
Total Class Entries: 
Class Sponsor: 
The Big Sensation, Meritt Equine Ventures, LLC

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