Appaloosa star shines at National Western Stock Show

From ApHC Director Sandra Matthews:

At the Dodge Ram $15,000 Invitational Freestyle Reining at the National Western Stock Show in Denver on January 9, the Appaloosa horse was extremely well represented by Mr. Awesome Affair. Mr. Awesome Affair, owned by Highcrest Reiners of Dayton, MT and trained and shown by Eric La Porte of Rocky Mountain, NC, traveled 2,600 miles one way to participate. It most certainly paid off!

This event is always a crowd sell out and one of the more popular ones at the Stock Show. There were 14 participants in this invitation only event. Several were FEI medalists in international reining competitions and had also been at the World Equestrian Games as demonstrators and clinicians. Devin Warren on Bright Little Gun posted a score of 229½ mid-way through the competition. An awesome score to say the least and one most of the audience believed couldn’t be touched.

Mr. Awesome Affair and Eric were second to last to go. He performed the same routine as he did at the 2010 Appaloosa Worlds. The song was “Desperado” and Eric came in with a duster, black hat and scarf over his face. What made it even more dramatic this time was he had been out in the snow storm and walked in dripping snow! He started off with a bridle but soon removed it. Mr. Awesome Affair showed everyone that he could not only spin like a whirlwind but really get down in the dirt when he stopped. After it was all said and done, Eric and his horse scored a 229, blowing the socks off the competition and putting them in 2nd place. He definitely showed the Quarter Horses and Paints the Appaloosa would not be outdone!

The other part of this competition is the People’s Choice Award. This is determined by the audience reaction to each contestant. After the winners are announced each rider is brought forward to be judged by the crowd. Initially Eric tied with Aaron Ralston, who placed 3rd in the competition, and who did his routine bareback with a small bosal to a medley of Christmas music performed by Mannheim Steamroller. Eric was determined to be 2nd in this phase also.

After the competition, Eric and his horse had several people follow him out to the barns to ask questions and take pictures. It was a great day for the Appaloosa!


  1. Talea Metivier Said,

    February 14, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    Yeehaw! Love it! I saw this horse in Spokane when he was a youngster and have been a fan ever since! I am so proud he is representing the Appaloosa breed at the top of open competition!

  2. Lynn B. Said,

    February 24, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    Congratulations! This is such an outstanding accomplishment! It was so exciting to see this horse and rider compete at the 2010 World Show. Thrilling to have them do such an oustanding jobl in this open competition!!!

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