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Royal Woman named North American Three-Year-Old Champion Paint

January 27, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

ApHA 3 Year Old Champion, ROYAL WOMAN
(photo by Coady Photo)
By Garry Allison
The Horses, Rocky Mountain Turf Club

A group of southern Alberta horsemen are basking in the glory of one of their horses this month after a major announcement out of Oklahoma City by the American Paint Horse Association. Royal Woman, winner of six of eight races in 2004 - with two second-place finishes - has been declared a double champion in the North American-wide association.

Rose Rossi, Max Gibb, Art Larson, Al Emes, Ron Sakamoto, Marv Christensen and Howard ard are among the proud owners of Royal Woman, named the Three-Year-Old Filly of the year in North American Paint racing circles as well as the Three-Year-Old Champion Paint.

“It is simply amazing,” said group spokesman Max Gibb, also the CEO of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club. “In my wildest dreams I've always wanted to have a world-class mare. It's amazing. I don't know of another North American horse racing championship like this one by a horse owned by anyone in southern Alberta. It is definitely in a smaller circle than the Thoroughbreds, but it is still amazing to win the three-year-old filly award and simply phenomenal to be named the top three-year-old Paint in North America.

“At first we ran her just to help promote another breed at Whoop-Up Downs, but now just look at her; it's phenomenal.”

It was Gibb who purchased the champion sprinter as a colt at the annual Quarter Horse auction in Lethbridge three years ago. JoAnn Winther, of the Alberta Paint Horse Association, originally purchased the young colt in Oklahoma and brought her up to Alberta.

“She put the horse in the sale and Rose (Rossi) fell in love with it at first sight,” Gibb says with a laugh. “Rose kept telling me, `Bid, bid, bid!' and I did.”

At first Gibb felt the colt would be a nice barrel horse for his children or a good horse for Rossi to ride, but once the colt was in the hands of trainer Ross Brigden her racing potential soon became evident.

In eight races in 2004, Royal Woman won six and finished second twice, one second a miraculous recovery after being boxed out by three other horse out of the gate. Four times Janine Stianson brought the flying Paint home on top in Lethbridge at Whoop-Up Downs, while Scott Steer brought her home first in Millarville, and the filly ran away with a Grade 3 sprint in Billings, Montana.

“The little filly has a lot of attitude and is a real professional,” says Gibb. “We plan to run her for another year or two, going after Superior Horse status, gained through an accumulation of points through speed ratings and wins.” The horse has earned more than $44,000 in purse and bonus money to date.

“We'll run her as long as she is sound and running well, then we'll breed her,” Gibb says.

Royal Woman wasn't the only championship horse Brigden was associated with in 2004. The American Quarter Horse Association recently named A Special Martini as the 2004 Canadian Champion. Brigden is one of the trainers of Martini, bred by Buckey Stockwell and owned by onald and Peggy Boyle.