Samantha Cochik, a 12-year-old horseback rider from Wellington, recently recorded two top 10 finishes at the Pinto World Championship in Tulsa, Okla.
Cochik and her horse, Latte, recorded a seventh place finish in Western Pleasure-Ideal competition and an eighth place finish for Western Pleasure riders under 13. Western Pleasure is a category that judges horses on their calm demeanor, manners, and responsiveness to commands.
She was joined in representing Lorain County by Violet Romanek. The 16-year-old rider from Avon and her horse, Styles, left as World Champion in the Youth Western Pleasure Junior Horse category.
Ric Weitzel, owner and trainer at Equine Differences in Oberlin, prepared both riders for the event and took them to Tulsa.
“Kids usually come to me and ask about what it takes to go to shows,” Weitzel said. “I find a horse who is capable and matches well with the rider. We give it a year with me training the horse and working with the rider.”
Romanek is the third world champion in the past year from Equine Differences. Last year Weitzel coached amateur rider Rachael Walcoff to two world titles at the American Paint Horse World Show.
This year’s event was held June 21-25 and is the world’s largest pinto horse show, drawing in equestrians from all over the world. Pinto is a breed of horse defined by its large patches of white and various other colors instead of the genetic ancestry used to characterize most other horse breeds.
Cochick has been riding three years. “I like going to this big show,” she said. “You meet people from everywhere. I like working with Ric because he makes me better.”
Romanek has been a rider since she was nine and said she and Cochik have come a long way under Weitzel’s watch.
“I didn’t know how to communicate with my horse or even know how to make him stop when I first got him,” she said. “Now Samantha and I have a lesson once a week with Ric and I work every day to be better.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Samantha Cochik Wellington’s Samantha Cochik turned in two top 10 performances at the Pinto World Championship in Tulsa, Okla.
Photo courtesy of Violet Romanek Violet Romanek of Avon won the world championship in Tulsa in the Youth Westen Pleasure Junior Horse category.