Clanton horse wins first place title at world championshipBy Emily Reed Published 4:33pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Beverly Baker spends most of her time at her barn in Clanton working with her horses.
“I have always loved horses,” Baker said. “I love being around them, I love working with them, and most importantly, I understand them.”
Baker returned to Chilton County this week with her Palomino Bred Gelding “Asics” after showing him July 18-19 at the Palomino World Championship in Tunica, Mississippi.
Baker’s two-year-old horse took home first place in the categories of Open and Amateur in the Palomino Bred Junior Gelding division.
“Asics is so easy and a tremendous horse to show,” Baker said. “He knows he has a job to do. After we found out he won, he walked circles around me. He could read my body language so that when I found out he won I could relax, and he knew he could relax as well.”
Baker grew up around horses and now spends most of her days working with them at Baker Cattle Farm where her husband, Dr. Curtis Baker, raises cattle and Baker takes care of the horses.
“My horse barn is an old hog house,” Baker said. “It is an old tin building. I often tell people when they come by to not judge the horse by the barn. But, it is comfortable for my horses.”
Asics was born and bred on the farm where Baker has spent time training him for various shows across the country.
Some of the characteristics judges often look for when looking at a Palomino Bred Halter horse include the size of the head, if the horse has a long slender neck and wide and straight legs.
“It is a lot of work to prepare a horse to be shown,” Baker said. “Halter horses are horses that are led, not ridden. They are often judged on conformation.”
Baker said Halter horses could be considered the “beauty queens” of the horse world in that a Halter horse requires a specific diet to make the horse grow to their top potential.
When Asics was born, Baker said he was given the barn name “Speedy” due to his ability to run like a racehorse.
Baker later gave him the name Asics after the brand of tennis shoe due to his love of running.
“He even plays with a ball and will sometimes have a tournament out in the pasture,” Baker said. “We just recently ordered him a larger ball because he has popped all of the others we have given him, but he will hunker down and try to pick up the ball. He is very muscular from playing with the ball.”
Baker said Asics has a lot of heart and knows the moment he walks into a ring to be shown, his job is to impress the judges.
“He knows when he has done a good job,” Baker said. “I was very proud of him this weekend. He got a pat on the back and a good job from me.”
Baker will take Asics, who currently weighs 1,350 pounds, to a competition in August in Amarillo, Texas.
“The rewards of owning a horse are wonderful, but the responsibility is great,” Baker said. “Horses are a lot of fun and you can get a lot of pleasure out of them.”
Baker described preparing Asics for competitions to that of an athlete who trains and prepares for different sporting events.
“My job is to get him to his fullest potential,” Baker said. “I was so happy he did so well this weekend. You could tell he was equally as happy. I have taught him a lot, but I would say I have learned so much from him. My horses teach me so many different things and I love each and every one of them.”