During the weekend of February 8, 2008, the Oklahoma Horse Fair, with representatives from both coasts and both borders,
came to Duncan, OK. Ranch horse and barrel racing events as well as a new competition, a trail horse competition,
entertained the spectators and featured outstanding prizes.
Erica Halterman, a 14 year old who lives in Duncan, OK, riding an 8 year old chestnut Appaloosa mare named Mama’s Design
(aka Bridget), negotiated the obstacles better than 20 other competitors and took home a new Titan 2 horse slant trailer
with tack room, inscribed “The 2008 Champion Trail Horse of Oklahoma”. The trailer was awarded by Gary Loman, producer
of the Oklahoma Horse Fair. Erica competed against Paints, Arabians and Quarter horses in a field of adults including
her dad, Martin Halterman on the only other Appaloosa, Blazin Hot Sister, a 6 year old chestnut mare.
The course involved leading the horse into the arena, mounting up, loping a figure eight with flying lead change, a gate,
a ditch and dirt hill that had to be crossed, putting on/ taking off a rain slicker, an elevated bridge leading to a pen
of goats that had to be passed, a walk over logs (real tree trunks), a mailbox and backing through an L. “We knew that the
goats would probably be there, so about a month ago we got a goat named Mickey, and our horses just love him”, said Valerie
Halterman, Erica’s Mom. The judges also gave 1-5 additional points for the 5 fastest times, but Erica and Mama’s Design
didn’t worry about the clock. Trail is not a speed event.
Friday night during a problem horse clinic, clinician Kerry Kuhn (who was one of the judges), talked about how he judged
the mount of each trail horse. He was looking for a quiet horse that stood perfectly still until the rider was ready to go.
Erica adjusted a stirrup, tucked in her shirt, rocked the saddle and then told Bridget by picking up the reins, “Let’s go”.
Out of a total of 200 points, Erica and Bridget scored 186.
They just did what they practice all the time at home and what the judge told them to do, ”Show me that you have control of
the horse and that you are working together as a team”.
With Bridget, Erica is the current 12-14 Age Division State of Oklahoma 4H Trail Champion, placed 15th in the Sr. Open Trail
Class at the 2007 Appaloosa World in Ft. Worth, and was awarded the 2006 and 2007 “Horse of the Year” from the Sooner
Appaloosa Club. The family belongs to the Oklahoma Appaloosa Horse Club where both she and Martin are directors, the Sooner
Appaloosa Horse Club and this year they will belong to and attend shows on the DalWorth circuit, also.