Ed Lawrence and Miss Patty Martin
1) When and where did you first see your roan, how did you end up with him as yours, and how long have you owned your roan?
I first saw Miss Patty when she was a long yearling at the Illinois Quarter Horse Association Annual State Show and Futurity in 2006 in Springfield, Illinois and thought she was one of the prettiest colored horses I had seen in a long time. Her color made her stand out in the halter horse show pen – neither true silvery blue roan nor light red bay roan but something in the middle. She was owned at the time by long-time AQHA Halter Horse breeders Dr. Howard Koch and daughter LeaAnn Koch. I recall first seeing her when she was in the ready pen waiting to enter her Futurity class. To me, she had incredible balance conformationally, and exemplified both halter horse and performance horse qualities, which at that time was a bit unusual because back then the trend was for our halter horses to carry a lot of soggy and heavily muscled weight. Also then, and still to this day, she had a certain presence about her that said, “show horse”. I was captivated and knew I had to have her. The next year, 2007, she came to me as an early 2yr old and have been with me ever since.
2) Where, what level, and in what classes do you show your roan?
Before being retired Miss Patty was shown on the AQHA show circuit throughout the Midwest. She was owner shown exclusively in AQHA Open and Amateur Halter classes and had her share of wins and losses – several times Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, and State of Illinois Reserve High-Point 2yr old. A terrible injury with a t-post ended her show career in 2009.
3) What is your favorite thing to do with your roan horse?
When she was younger, fitting and showing her in Halter classes was my favorite, especially the grooming for that ‘look at me’ show pen finish. She was a high octane and animated show horse who always gave her best performance. Now, just throwing a leg over my saddle and pointing her somewhere is my favorite. She’s hard to ride sometimes but once she settles in she always gives a 100% good ride. A pleasure horse trainer and judge rode her a few times and rated her lope as a 10, “with awesome reach”. For me, that was the best ever compliment because I started and trained her myself and I am a non-pro.
4) What is your favorite memory with your roan horse?
It’s a tie between two great memories. First, is when I confirmed that she is indeed a Halter Horse that can ride when I took her out on wooded trails after only her 3rd time being saddled and she handled it like a champ. The other is when I showed her at the first ARHA show in New Castle, Indiana as a 3yr old. For me, it was one of my best ever weekends in showing horses. The day before, we had shown at an AQHA show at Gordyville USA in Central Illinois where she placed high and earned a point or two. Back then I normally hauled and showed my stallion too, but for that weekend it was just the two of us. After her class there we loaded up and made the 3-hour haul to New Castle. We arrived at the show grounds early evening and was greeted warmly by everybody - all perfect strangers - and that felt really good. I pitched a tent and camped out on the show grounds, something I had not done previously but was so glad I did because Miss Patty nickered at me throughout the night, something she had not done previously. I think our bond grew even stronger that weekend and I’m convinced it helped when I later started her under saddle. The next day we showed and visited with some of the warmest people ever and won an award sheet and some other feel good trinkets. Having so much fun at both shows made that 6-hour haul back home very pleasant. By the way, ten years later I still have and value that sheet and Miss Patty and both of her daughters have worn it. Such a good memory..
5) What are your thoughts about the American Roan Horse Association?
An interesting question but because I feel somewhat unqualified I do have some ambivalence about answering. I will say, however, I think any conversation about ARHA should be focused on its future. My thoughts? I think over the years the ARHA leadership and all who support it have shown that there is indeed a place and need for ARHA and what it can offer the roan horse owner. I think ARHA has a foundation that is well laid. Now, I would think a focus on responding to horse show trends -- which now place extraordinary emphasis on “world titles” and elite level exhibiting -- is where ARHA should go. ARHA should plan and conduct its own “ARHA World Show”, perhaps with a major breed Association or existing elite level show as a partner initially, but as a standalone off into the future. I also think there would be a keen interest by owners of ARHA registered horses if ARHA offered some type of points reward and record program with awards offered for achieving certain levels of accumulation. I think roan horse owners would pay to play in such a system so it might be financially self-sustaining. I know I would and I own two roan horses.