Arabhorse Spotlight - Catherine Kamer & Kenny McDonald
Name: Mary Catherine Kamer, but I go by Catherine.
Age: 17 years old.
Hometown: Louisville. Kentucky. I have lived here my entire life.
Occupation: I am currently a full time student.
First prize ever won: The first prize I ever won was s third place on a horse named Suzy in a hunter over fences class.
Biggest prize ever won: This year (2011) I was Youth National Champion on SRC Phoenix Rising +//in Training Level Dressage 14-17 but what made it really special to me is that I went Reserve Champion in the same class on Phoenix's half brother SRC Night Wind +// (who is 18) and I got the third highest score (a top ten) in that class on SRC John Henry + (who is 5).
What qualities do you look for in your show-horses?: I expect my show horses to be as hard working and dedicated as I am. They really have to want to go out there and show or it is going to be really difficult to put on a winning performance. I also expect my horses to be attentive; if they are an easily distracted horse, I need to be able to get their attention back quickly, both to maintain the fluidity in the ride and the safety of myself and others.
What is one event you have never shown but would like to: I have never shown Show Hack but I think that it looks really fun and I would love to try it one day.
Favorite class to watch, why?: I love watching classes that friends of mine are going to be in. I also really enjoy watching any class with friends of mine and my trainers. I learn a lot from others comments throughout the class! If I had to choose one class though, I would have to say I enjoy watching Freestyle Dressage the most because I love the creative ways people choose to incorporate their personalities into their test.
Most inspirational person and why?: For me, the most inspirational people are the people I compete against. Going into a class, if I know that the competition is steep I tend to put on the best performance I can. I am able to watch other riders who I will be competing against and I am able to learn both from the things they do well and the things they make mistakes on. I am also constantly inspired by the young children that come to my barn to learn how to ride. It reminds me why I started riding in the first place; my love of horses.
What motivates you to show Arabian horses?: My motivation for showing Arabian horses comes from the people involved in the Arabian Circuit. I have shown in many different disciplines and at many different levels and nothing comes close to the sense of community at an Arabian horse show. From lending others tack at shows to raising money for a barn in need, to giving condolences for the loss of a person or horse, the Arabian community always comes together when it counts and supports each other regardless of who is competing against who.
Favorite all-time show horse, why?: My favorite show horse of all time would have to be SRC Phoenix Rising +//. I have never met a horse who loves to show as much as he does. Any time he has an audience, Phoenix puts on his best performance and loves every minute of it. He gets excited when he knows he has done well and wiggles his ears from side to side! Phoenix is a very confident horse and that is an important quality in a horse showing in the main ring classes.
Most embarrassing moment at a horse show: I usually stay in my RV at horse shows because it is convenient for me to get to the show in the morning and I get a few more precious minutes of sleep since I am so close. One day however, I had left my show clothes in the dressing room at the barn so I decided to just run over there really fast in my pajamas and finish getting ready there. Well of course that didn't work out and someone saw me and wanted to talk to me, so I stood out in the middle of the show in my pajama pants and an old t-shirt talking to her about how the show was going. My hair was still in the messy bun I had thrown it up in the night before too!
What's your most treasured possession? My most treasured possession, besides my horse, is my phone. I am never without it and I always make sure that I have a charger either in my car or my purse.
Best advice you've ever received: My trainer told me at the end of every ride to "pet him and tell him he was a star" and so, I would roll my eyes, laugh a little, reach down and pat my horse. Although this may seem like the most natural thing in the world for most of us, it always reminded me that my horse and I are a team. Win, lose, triumph, fail, whatever that day brought, we always did it together. I truly believe that this is the best advice I ever received because it has always kept me in check. I realize that all of my wins would have been impossible without the wonderful horses I have shown, and I realize that the blame for my failures does not land on my horse alone. It was this advice that helped me to truly understand what being part of a team meant, even though I compete in a sport without traditional teams.
What advice would you give to someone seeking show-ring success?: Although it is a little cliché, I believe some of the best advice for people searching for show ring success can come from Miley Cyrus' song "The Climb". Riding and showing horses should never be about the color of the ribbon, it should be about the time and effort you put into getting there. Some of the greatest victories I have achieved, I have done outside of the show ring. It is all of the little victories you achieve while training that will add up and help you to achieve your show ring dreams.
Finish this sentence: Most People don't know that I.. used to do three day eventing. I had actually never ridden an Arabian until 2008. I had evented ponies and off the track thoroughbreds my entire life and was looking for a new barn to ride at when I stumbled across Stonehurst Riding Club. I rode SRC Night Wind +// for my first lesson and fell in love with the breed and the barn.
Talent I most wish I had: I really wish I had the ability to know what the horses are thinking. The horses at Stonehurst all have big personalities, and I would love to know what goes through their heads on a daily basis!
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
First prize ever won: When I was six years old, my dad asked me to take our Mare, MC Khardia in a Open Championship class because he had to show another Mare and I won the Championship.
Biggest prize ever won: U.S. Youth National Champion. I showed a mare named Sonora Rose in a halter class. 3 months after that she sold to Brazil in August 2009, she will always be special to me.
What qualities do you look for in your show-horses?: In show horses I look for the pretty arabian heads, stretchy necks, muscular shoulders, playful attitudes and that big trot we all look for.
What is one event you have never shown but would like to: Paris World Championship because I think it would be fun to be at, and to be surrounded with horses of great quality from all over the world.
Favorite class to watch, why?: I like to watch the park horse classes because they are fast, fun and entertaining. I love how involved and excited the crowd gets as well.
Most inspirational person and why?: My Dad because he has taught me everything I know, and he has allowed me to have these amazing oppurtunities. This past year, I bought my first Scottsdale Signature Stallion Auction breeding from Adamo. I was able to choose the stallion, and to me, that was the easy part. Choosing the Mare was the hard part; after a couple weeks of debating I chose my mare C Roxanne who is a Scottsdale Champion and Reserve National Champion.
What motivates you to show Arabian horses?: I get to be around the horses every day and have the opportunity to show and breed them. I am very excited to show my filly Forereal. She is by the incredible SF Sir Real and a big black mare who is a Scottsdale Champion as well, Fire and Lace CAHR.
Favorite all-time show horse, why?: Sonora Rose because she was my first National Champion. She is also the mother to MC Sophiie, which is one of the horses I have won the most with, including the Legends Cadillac Class at the American Breeders Cup. To me Sophille is a special tribute of her mom, she reminds me so much of Sonora Rose.
Most embarrassing moment at a horse show: When I tripped and fell in a halter class and everyone was watching. After the class my friends made fun of me.
What's your most treasured possession? My first National Champion trophy because it is my first National Championship and i worked very hard to achieve that title, it is displayed in my dad's lounge with my picture and Sonora's.
Best advice you've ever received: Nothing is ever easy, you're only as good the effort you put into something; dream big the worst thing that could happen is a small dream coming true
What advice would you give to someone seeking show-ring success?: Always go in with a positive attitude, and always mentally challenge yourself to be the best you can be.
Finish this sentence:
Most People don't know that I.. love to play basketball and I was on my school team last year, we were undefeated and were Conference Champions.
Talent I most wish I had.. to be not tone deaf, I sing all day and everyone tells me to stop constantly.
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