Story & Photo by Abigail Wilder Boatwright | The Paint Horse Journal | June 27, 2011
Zippos Noble Reason clears jumps with ease in Youth Hunter Hack 14–18. Rider Shay Lynn Voorhees won her first world championship.
Riding her noble steed Zippos Noble Reason, Shay Lynn Voorhees captures her first world title. Waiting in the lineup, Shay Lynn Voorhees had no idea how she’d placed in Youth Hunter Hack 14–18. Her 14-year-old sorrel overo gelding Zippos Noble Reason had a clean go, but was slightly long over the second jump. The 16-year-old’s sister Sarayah—also from Galt, California—placed first under another judge, but each judge awarded first to a different exhibitor. Shay placed first under the last judge’s card and secured her first-ever world championship. The Paint Horse Journal caught up with Shay Lynn at her stalls to get the rest of the story.
Q: Congratulations! How does it feel to win?
Shay Lynn: Fun!
Q: Were you expecting to win this class?
Shay Lynn: No, I wasn’t expecting it. I was hoping to place in the top 10.
Q: What’s your horse’s barn name?
Shay Lynn: "Noble."
Q: Where do you go to school?
Shay Lynn: Jim Elliot Christian High School. I’m going to be a junior.
Q: Walk me through your performance.
Shay Lynn: Well, my two jumps were pretty good. My second jump was kind of long. It was pretty good for him. I was happy with him. He was sweet.
Q: Who is your trainer?
Shay Lynn: Karen Qualls of Chino Hills, California
Q: What was your goal for the class?
Shay Lynn: My goal was to get big strides out of Noble, and get clean jumps and good rail work.
Q: Did your trainer give you any advice before you went in?
Shay Lynn: Yes, she said to get his head down [laughs]. And to gallop him so I can get my strides in.
Q: How was your horse’s mood this morning?
Shay Lynn: He was good. He was happy this morning. He was "noble."
Q: Does he act the same here as he does at home?
Shay Lynn: Pretty much. He’s just Noble.
Q: Tell me about your horse’s personality?
Shay Lynn: He’s really sweet. I love him. He’s kind. And he’s kind of old. He's 14.
Q: How long have you had him?
Shay Lynn: Two years.
Q: What do you love about your horse?
Shay Lynn: It’s just...Noble. He’s sweet, and he loves me.
Q: How long have you been riding?
Shay Lynn: My whole life. I’ve always ridden horses. And I've always had Paints.
Q: Have you been to an APHA World Show before?
Shay Lynn: Yes, but this is my first world championship. I got reserve world here last year in Western riding.
Q: What was your biggest challenge in this class?
Shay Lynn: To keep his head down on the rail. And to get him calm.
Q: How were you feeling when you walked into the arena for the class?
Shay Lynn: I was kind of nervous. But at the same time, I knew what I had to do.
Q: Tell me about your reaction when you found out you won.
Shay Lynn: I was really excited. I wasn’t sure if I would get third or reserve. But when I won, it was shocking.
Q: What is your advice for other youth looking to win a world championship?
Shay Lynn: Practice. Try your best and don’t give up.
Q: Who all came to watch you show?
Shay Lynn: My barn. My sister was in my class.
Q: You sister Sarayah? Do you compete against each other often?
Shay Lynn: All the time. She helps me out. It’s nice to feel like you have someone with you. So I like it.
How did your family and cheering squad feel about your win?
Shay Lynn: They were excited. They were screaming when I won.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the World Show?
Shay Lynn: I like the Western riding and jumping classes.
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World Champion Stats Horse: Zippos Noble Reason, 1997 sorrel overo gelding
Pedigree: Zippos Sensation x Daggys Reason (TB)
Exhibitor: Shay Lynn Voorhees, Galt, California
Owner: Ryan and Elizabeth Voorhees, Galt, California
Trainer: Karen Qualls, Chino Hills, California
Breeder: John P. Blethen, Winthrop, Washington
Total Class Entries: 17
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