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Appaloosa Horse | Two Win Titles At The 2011 World Champion Appaloosa Horse Show

Posted By: JR

Crystal Gandrud had a deadline to meet. Her lifelong goal was toreceive national recognition at a horse show before she turned30.

Gandrud achieved her goal the fourth week of October in FortWorth, Texas, only a few months before her 30th birthday.

“I’ve been showing half my life and that’s always been a goal,”Gandrud said. “It’s always been what I want to do.”

Gandrud was awarded the title of World Champion in the WesternPleasure event at the 2011 World Champion Appaloosa Horse Show.Lisa Feldner, a fellow horse lover and secretary of the NorthDakota Appaloosa Horse Club, won the title of Reserve WorldChampion in the Hunt Seat Equitation event.

Both women share a love for horses that began at a young age.

“When I was little, I didn’t have Barbies, I had ‘My LittlePonies,’ ” Gandrud said.

Gandrud began riding in the first grade and started showing at 4-Hevents at 16. Similarily, Feldner began riding in the third gradeand started showing at 4-H events at 12. This is Feldner’s secondaward in a national championship.

“When I was growing up I took a lot of lessons and over the yearsI’ve had a lot of experience,” Feldner said. “It takes a lot ofpatience and dedication.”

Although Feldner takes great pride in her recent achievements, sheis as excited about the recognition such accomplishments bring toNorth Dakota horse owners.

“What I notice right now, nationally, is that North Dakota has somereally impressive appaloosa owners and breeders,” Feldner said.”We’re really starting to place in the big events and we are beingrecognized for having really good appaloosa horses.

Gandrud also recognizes the importance of North Dakota horse ownerscompeting on a larger scale and the attention it has brought thestate.

“I think that the breeders and the competitors in the state havestepped up their game a little bit,” Gandrud said. “They’ve boughtnicer horses and raised nicer horses. I think people are puttingmore time into getting their horses ready to compete.”

Feldner hopes that the statewide success will continue to create abetter market for horse breeders.

“I think in terms of the horse industry, it puts us on the map,”Feldner said. “When you go to national shows like that and peoplestart hearing ‘North Dakota’ over and over again, they start tonotice. I think we’ve got a new market for people to purchase ourhorses.”

(Micaela Gerhardt is an intern at the Bismarck Tribune. She can bereached at 250-8253 or micaela.gerhardt@bismarcktribune.com .)

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