Sandra Duhamel and her show partner, Totally Undressed (Dougan) have had a year of many firsts.
…by Lynn Riley – Area 3 Member
- First year Sandra had to show under the guidance of alternate trainers when her coach was at a different show
- First year Sandra and Dougan showed in Horsemanship
- First year they showed in Showmanship
- First year the pair showed in Select Western Pleasure
- First year they won a Trail class in Ontario
- First year winning an Area 3 year-end award
- First year riding in her Bob’s Custom Saddle
- First year Sandra surpassed her goals
Dougan, a 2013 gelding sired by Best Western and out of Rob Jeffries’ great producing mare, Totally Innocent was purchased by Sandra as a 2 year old. Sandra said. “I first fell in love with Dougan when Rod showed him to me when the colt was just a baby. A few of us went to look at Rod’s babies and when we walked into the field, Dougan was the first horse to come up to us. He was very social and I love horses with a personality.” Sandra wasn’t looking for a horse when she first saw Dougan as a baby, but when she made the decision to purchase a horse, she contacted Darci Rapley who owned Dougan at the time. Sandra and her friend Shelley Treitz made the trip to Darci’s to have a look at the 2 year old Dougan. Dougan was so quiet, that Sandra felt he was meant to be hers. Sandra was aware that there was another person interested in the young gelding, so she bought him on the spot!
When Sandra purchased Dougan, she was looking for a horse that would do well in Trail. To Sandra’s surprise, Dougan has turned into quite the all arounder and has points in – Halter, Showmanship, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation and of course Trail. Sandra attributes their success to Dougan’s relaxed and consistent nature, nothing usually bothers him. He is a pleasure to be around. He wants to please and never gives anybody a hard time. Sandra feels very blessed to own such a nice horse.
Like any horse, Dougan has his quirks! When Darci and Sandra practice trail at home, the sorrel gelding likes to spook at the trail poles every day. If a pole is in a different spot he knows it and needs to check it out. Luckily, he doesn’t do this at the shows, he just does it at home. Glen Patterson can attest to this because he did the same thing at Glen’s when he stayed at Patterson’s earlier this year.
The 2019 show season has been a busy one for Sandra and her horse show partner. They travelled to shows in Michigan, Massachusetts and Ontario. Sandra loves that Darci likes to attend different shows. They get to meet new people, check out the competition in different areas and visit different parts of the U.S. In 2018, they showed in New York and Pennsylvania. They hope to make the trip to Virginia to the Level 1 Championships in 2020.
Sandra and Dougan had many proud moments during 2019, including winning a number of year-end awards and show circuit awards. The pair won the Champion Rookie Amateur Showmanship and tied for Champion Rookie Amateur Western Horsemanship year-end awards for Area 3. They also won the OQHA Champion Rookie Amateur Showmanship and Champion Rookie Amateur Western Horsemanship awards for 2019. They were the Reserve High Point Level 1 Amateurs at Summerama and they won the Reserve High Point Level 1 Select Amateur Western Horsemanship and were Top 5 in Select Showmanship at the Region 6 Super 6 Eastern Championships show in Massachusetts. Sandra says that winning their first Level 1 Amateur Trail class in Ontario and earning points in Amateur Select Western Pleasure and Showmanship were also highlights of this great show season.
When asked who she would like to thank – Sandra had a long list of well deserving people……
Darci has made my dreams come true. She is the reason Dougan and I have become such a great team. Dougan has been with her from the start and she has done an amazing job training both of us. I also need to thank John Hughes for all of his hard work behind the scenes. A special thank you to Jen and Dan Fulsom for providing a great facility for Darci’s Show Horses to train out of and giving Dougan such a wonderful home. Finally, I need to thank Glen and Tracey Patterson, Kathryn Stanton, Jenn Pearce and Randy Storey. They all played a part in my fantastic show season this year.
What does the future hold for the pair? Dougan is Sandra’s forever horse and she plans to show him as long as she can. Preparation for the Level 1 Championships has already begun. The Congress, the NSBA World Show and the Select World Show are a possibility down the road. Sandra has learned to take one year at a time and has found that spur of the moment shows are sometimes the best shows.
Best of luck to Sandra and Dougan, as they continue to strive for more firsts.