Houston & Peach

Quarter horses get whole love in Perry

Quarter horses show off in Perry

Quarter horse owners from around the country came to Perry over the weekend for the Georgia Quarter Horse Association Show.
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Quarter horse owners from around the country came to Perry over the weekend for the Georgia Quarter Horse Association Show.

Ashlie Bell has been showing quarter horses for years, but even she hesitated a little when asked about the name of the breed.

“Don’t they, like, run a quarter of a mile the fastest, or something like that?” she replied as she held her horse, Calvin, on Sunday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.

That’s true, said Scott Neuman, manager of the Georgia Quarter Horse Association Show that took place over the weekend at the fairgrounds.

Quarter horses ripple with the muscle and minimal fat of any finely tuned athlete. They are the Usain Bolts of the horse world and have been clocked at up to 55 mph. But there’s a lot more to them than speed, Neuman said.

“They are so versatile and they have very, very quiet, agreeable minds so they are safe for lots of different levels of riders,” he said.

Ashlie, 15, is from Albany and travels all around showing Calvin. He has a distinctive golden brown color with a blond mane, known as a palomino.

“He definitely stands out from all of the other horses in the arena,” she said. “He’s a good mover.”

She said she got into showing horses when she was just 2 years old because her dad did it.

“I’ve always been in love with horses,” he said. “I like the animal and the personality.”

Madelyn Bush, 16, of Perry, shares that same love. The Perry High School student grew up in a neighborhood but started lobbying her parents for a horse about as soon as she learned to talk. She started showing horses when she was 4 years old. When she was 13, after finally persuading her parents how serious she was about horses, she got one of her own that they keep at a boarding stable.

“We’ve had a pretty successful career so far,” she said after showing her horse, Eli, on Sunday. “He’s pretty calm right now. He can be a spaz though. He’s a little drama queen, honestly. He thinks he rules everything and knows more than I do, but he fits me. We work very well together.”

The show began Friday and ended Sunday. Events went on throughout each day with varying categories and age groups. In some events horses were ridden and in others the horses were walked around the arena. Neuman said the show is a warmup for a larger show to be held in Conyers later this year.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1