A repeat win was a happy surprise for this amateur champion.
Texan Sidney Dunkel is no stranger to the show pen. Growing up showing horses in a variety of events, these days Dunkel’s success comes in the versatility arena. A member of the Texas Tech University Ranch Horse Team in Lubbock, Texas, this collegian has a number of national and world titles on her resume.
At the 2019 National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance National Championship Show in Guthrie, Oklahoma, held in conjunction with the American Quarter Horse Association Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, Dunkel claimed a golden globe in the amateur division. This cowgirl, from Archer City, Texas, repeats a win she had at the NRSHA show in 2018, where she also claimed the reserve AQHA amateur title.
Ranch Horse News caught up with Dunkel to visit about her repeat wins and get the lowdown on her great gray horse, Bobbie Can Do.
RHN: First, tell me about your horse.
Sidney Dunkel: He’s 9 years old and we call him “Bobbie.” I bought him at the end of his 2-year-old year and have ridden him for seven years.
RHN:Does your horse have a “day job” during the week?
SD:My family has used him to drag calves before and he does get used as a rope horse when he’s at home.
RHN:What NRSHA affiliate association did you show in to qualify? Was qualifying a goal all last year?
SD:I show Stock Horse of Texas. I was showing through SHTX as a member of the TTU Ranch Horse Team. Qualifying for the national show was a bonus of representing the team throughout the year.
RHN:What class challenged you the most at the national show?
SD:The cutting is always my biggest challenge. I don’t cut very often in shows other than VRH, so getting a clean cut is always a struggle for me. I have gotten better over the years with more practice in the show pen.
RHN:How do you prepare for the all-around versatility shows?
SD: I don’t really focus on any one class. Bobbie is pretty good at all of them, so I just try to keep everything consistent. I found that changing up what I practice helps from anticipating things and keeps him from getting nervous.
RHN:What was your first thought when you were announced champion?
SD: I honestly had no idea I was going to win! I knew we had a good week but so did the other top finishers. We were so far down in the cutting; I didn’t think I could pull it off.
RHN:What are your future goals in ranch horse events?
SD: I would like to continue showing if my college career and future job will allow it. Possibly start showing a younger, different horse to see if I can still have success with another horse. Bobbie has been a great horse, but I want to push myself and see what I can accomplish.
For more on the NRSHA champions, visit ranchhorse.net. AQHA has complete coverage from the Zoetis-sponsored World Show, and Level 1 Cattle Championships, at aqha.com.