Local woman earns world championship honors
Renee Ulibarri, 27, of Price, competed in the 45thannual Pinto World Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Okla., for the first time ever and walked away with more than she could have ever dreamed of.
The show, which took place June 8-19, saw Ulibarri earn world champion honors in Open Miniature Halter Geldings 3 and over. She also won two Reserve World Championships in Open Miniature Tobiano Color Geldings and Amateur English Showmanship Mini/Pony with her Pinto, DRM Banners Freedom Flyer. She also had two more top five finishes with Freedom, as well as numerous top five and top ten finishes with her large horse, Different By Design.
"This was the biggest show I've ever gone to. It was a learning experience for me, but it's also the best experience of my life," Ulibarri said. "I'm very proud of both of my horses."
When her horse, DRM Banners Freedom Flyer, named after Desert Rose Miniatures, was named the world champion it was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to an activity she loves competing in.
"I finally got that belt buckle that I had been wanting for years," Ulibarri said. "At first it was kind of surreal because I didn't even know what had happened. There was lot of emotions for me because all of the hard work finally paid off."
Each June, the Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc., hosts the world's largest gathering of Pinto horses, ponies and miniatures at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex in Tulsa, Okla., The 12-day competition showcased talented equines and exhibitors in a wide array of disciplines including jumping, reining, driving, roping, pleasure and halter.
Breaking even more records this year, exhibitors from 38 states and Canada converged on the Pinto World Championship Horse Show with almost 2,000 Pintos of every size making up the nearly 20,000 judged class entries, an increase of more than six percent over last year's growth.
Incorporated in 1956, the Pinto Horse Association of America was formed to encourage the promotion of quality horses, ponies and miniatures with color and to establish a registry for maintaining their pedigrees and records. Currently the association serves approximately 12,000 members and boasts more than 139,000 registered Pintos.
Ulibarri is a member of a local miniature horse club called the Intermountain Minihorse Club. During the summer months Ulibarri is out traveling to shows in and out of the state.
Getting the chance to meet others from all over the country and compete in a horse show at a high level are just some of the things she can take away from a competition.
"This (working with her horses) is an ongoing process that requires consistency and a lot of time and dedication," Ulibarri said. "Every horse is different. Some pick up the disciplines quickly and for others it just takes time getting used to each other and what I am looking for the horse to do."
She is already thinking of going back to the world championships next year and having her horses compete in more disciplines. Accomplishing that next goal along the way is something that keeps her working hard and perfecting the disciplines every day with the horses, Ulibarri said
"For me it's chasing that next goal I have, trying to do as well or better than the last time," she said.