The childhood dreams of Dawson Creek native Gaylene Sawchuk have once and for all come true. Sawchuk and her stud Lokota Chic spun to an Intermediate Bronze title at the American Quarter Horse Association World Show in Oklahoma City last weekend.
“Since I was 13-years old I have been dreaming of this moment,” exclaimed Sawchuk regarding her performance at one of North America’s premiere horse-showing events.
As a reiner with roots in Dawson Creek, Sawchuk was overwhelmed by her top-three finish, and praised her horse most of all for getting her there.
“Ever since I was 13 and showing horses at local shows in and around Dawson Creek, I have been waiting and dreaming of competing at this level and finally this special day arrived,” she explained. “Lokota is a dream to show and a unique horse in his character. Any mistakes that are made are typically mine.”
It was just the second time Sawchuk showed Lokota Chic at the World Show, she was floored by his composure on the world’s biggest reining stage.
“Lokota is a joy to ride, he often is the guide,” said Sawchuk, who has garnered many awards riding Lokota Chic but none bigger than the hardware she brought home from the AQHA Championships.
“This one tops the charts for me.”
Chic and Sawchuk placed third in both the amateur and intermediate categories narrowly missing a World Championship by a mere half point, and was an Amateur Reining Top Ten Finalist.
“It is a unique experience to see a horse perform as he does, being an amateur rider just out of the rookie ring two years ago.
“Overall he is a great show horse with a lot of personality and character. My favourite maneuver that I personally love is circling him, he locks in so nice,” added Sawchuk.
Lokota was also shown in the Senior Reining finals ridden by trainer, and Sawchuk’s instructor Randy Paul.
Sawchuk said, “Randy would tell me, ‘it’s just another show, keep it simple and go out and do what we practiced.’ “
Earlier this season Paul rode Lokota Chic to a fourth place finish in the Open Maturity class at the Cactus Reining Classic. The stallion brought in over $30,000 in earnings for 2012. And Sawchuk won both the West Coast Classic Non Pro and the BlackGold Reining Classic with Lokota Chic.
Sawchuk now lives in Langley with partner Brian Knutson but still considers Dawson Creek home.
“Although I live in Langley my heart is in Dawson Creek still, and I do spend my summers there where Brian and I raise Lokota Chic foals.”