South Dakota Appaloosa named world’s best
A very prestigious award was won by a South Dakota horse at the Appaloosa World Show in Ft. Worth. The 2014 World’s Best Appaloosa Award went to Icons Tequila Mama, an 8-year-old mare bred and raised by Danny and Dorine Bennett of Madison, S.D.
Horses are selected to compete at the Appaloosa World Show based upon regional club nominations and minimum national point requirements that are earned at approved horse shows around the nation. The World’s Best Award is designed to recognize horses that show versatility and diversity in abilities. In order to compete for this title, a horse must enter and compete in a minimum of three categories to be eligible. The horse’s top two World’s Best point earning placings in each of five possible categories is used to calculate placing. In addition, the horse must earn World’s Best points in a minimum of two categories. The horse named World’s Best Appaloosa received a trophy and cash prize from the Appaloosa Horse Club, a 1- year use of a three-horse gooseneck aluminum trailer with dressing room compliments of Featherlite Manufacturing, Inc. and a custom-made saddle sponsored by the Appaloosa Horse Club.
Icons Tequila Mama was qualified in a range of classes in three categories: Cattle Classes (Senior Judged Tie Down Roping, Timed Tie Down Roping, Senior Judged Heading, Senior Judged Heeling, Timed Heading and Heeling, Steer Daubing), Games Classes (Keyhole and Rope Race) and Halter (Aged Halter Mares). Danny and Dorine didn’t attend the World Show, but sent their mare down for the competition with their son, Lee Bennett, who is a horse trainer in Hastings, Nebraska as part of KLB Performance Horses with Kelly Lind. The World Show competition was a group effort led by Lee, with Russell Funk of Nevada and Trell Etbauer of Texas helping with the team roping classes, and Dave Parlier of Texas stepping in to show the mare in the halter class. On the path to winning the World’s Best title, the mare won World Championships in the Rope Race and Senior Judged Heeling classes and placed within the top 6 horses in four other classes.
“Curly”, as she affectionately became known for the waves in her mane and tail as a foal, has been a great horse for the Bennett family. She has earned Register of Merit and Versatility Awards from the Appaloosa Horse Club in both open and non-pro events, as well as numerous ApHC World and National Championships. At the 2014 National Appaloosa Show in Ft. Worth in June, Danny rode his mare to win the national championships in both Non-Pro Judged Heading and Non-Pro Judged Heeling and to place 3rd in the Non-Pro Working Cowhorse class. Earlier in 2014 “Curly” won both the High Point Cattle Horse Award and the High Point Non-Pro Cattle Horse Award at the Nebraska Appaloosa Club Think Pink Run, with Danny and Lee sharing the classes in the competition.
This isn’t the first time that one of the Bennett’s appaloosa horses has been in the running for the World’s Best Award. In both 2012 and 2013, Lee qualified a 2006 dun mare, Hollywood Darlene, for the competition, and she was recognized as the Reserve World’s Best Appaloosa in 2013. “Darlene” and Lee were also recipients of the High Point Cattle Horse Award at the World Show in 2011 and 2012.