From the November 1992 Journal
by Connie Ragsdale
What makes an Amateur Champion? We all know that it is a combination of hard work, determination, a little luck, and three magic ingredients; an exceptional horse, a tremendous rider, and an experienced trainer.
Many horses are trained from the time they are two. With years of training and good fortune, they just might have what it takes to become a World Champion. However, there is always an exception, and this is it. Limited with months and not years of training, this is a story of a whirlwind experience with Sun Dust’s Queen E. Ken Ragsdale, and Justin Dampier.
Dean Esther, raised Sun Dust’s Queen E., and she traveled to a few other owners before Justin found her for us. Queenie came to the Ragsdale’s home on April 12, 1992. Queenie, at all times, was a delightful horse to have around. She caused no problems for any person or horse. Queenie was “just” an aged broodmare. She had no prior show ring experience, but she was a fast and determined student and the natural ability was apparent. Ken went to work and the program was intense.
Ken and Queenie had been together for three weeks. On May 2, the show season began for them and they placed at every local show they attended. ·At the Two Year Old Futurity, Ken and Queenie placed 2nd in the Amateur Class. In June, at the Three Year Old Futurity, out of 31 Senior Amateur Mares, the class was split. Ken and Queenie won 1st in the Amateur Class 4 Yrs. and Older Mares with 16 in their class. Ken and Queenie then won 2nd place in the Amateur Stake.
What power this horse had; but she needed a canter. We left her with Justin. In an incredibly short amount of time, Justin had to perform a crucial task – a canter for Queenie; and he did it!
Justin and Lorraine Dampier took Sun Dust’s Queen E. to-their home and to their hearts. On July 18, they brought Sun Dust’s Queen E. to the 14th Annual KCRFTHA Show. With one horse, three riders smoked the KC Show. Lorraine placed 2nd in the Ladies Class. Ken won 1st in the Amateur Class and Justin won the Open Class. In less than five weeks, Justin put together the prettiest canter you’d ever want on any horse. It was magnificent!
The Dampiers took Queenie home with them so Justin could put on the finishing touches for the Ava Celebration. He felt that she was ready. Justin rode Sun Dust’s Queen E. and won her first garland in the Open Class at Mid-America.
Now we are ready for the big event. It was time for the Celebration. Ken had never cantered with Queenie, so he was extremely anxious to ride her but the weather was not ·cooperating with these plans. The rain delayed practicing and the rain even delayed their class performance. Finally, the time came for Class 35, Amateur Mares 5 Years and Older. Ken and Sun Dust’s Queen E. proudly received a 2nd place and qualified for Saturday night.
On Friday, Lorriane took Sun Dust’s Queen E. to the Ladies Events. Here they won 1st Place in Ladies Class Mares 4 Years and Older. And then, with new found excitement, Lorriane and Queenie won the Ladies Championship Class and her second garland.
Justin worked hard that week and his efforts were not in vain. Ken got on Sun Dust’s Queen E., and rode into the arena. Her third garland was won in Class 60 as they received the title World ·Grand Champion Amateur 4 Years & Older.
This was Ken’s second year in a row to receive this honor. If fact, I don’t believe that any other rider has ever won this event twice, except for Ken. I am Ken’s best, and worst critique, and he “earned” the title of World Grand Champion Amateur.
With only months, Ken, Justin and Sun Dust’s Queen E.·worked together like magic. This was a story of the magic that happens when you take a little time, add some hard work and honest sweat, mix in an exceptional horse, a tremendous rider or two and one talented, experienced trainer, stir in some excitement and add some luck. Before long you just might be fortunate enough to have a World Grand Champion Amateur!
Ken and I thank Justin for training, Lorraine for riding, and all of you, for all of your support.
From the November 1992 Journal