Mary Lou Elder of ME-HE Miniatures in Fort Collins has brought home a world-class championship from the American Miniature Horse Association.
She and her 32-inch-tall mare ME-HE Buzz N Miss B won the World Grand Championship in the Amateur Owned, Trained and Exhibited Level 2 class at the AMHA show in Fort Worth in September. AOTE horses are handled by their owners, not professional trainers, before and during the competition.
“Harry and I do all the work — prep, exercise, everything to get to the show,” Elder explained, referring to her husband and stable co-owner. “Missy won the championship — best in show — for yearling mares, then came back to compete against the geldings and stallions for the grand championship.”
The win came with, among other things, a check for $2,500.
The Elders entered five horses in the AMHA competition this year, and had another big winner. Their 26-inch-tall ME-HE Super Tuff Enuff is the 2011 World Champion in two 28-inch and under divisions: yearling futurity stallion and open yearling stallion. He was presented at the show by trainer Mike Hlavatovic.
“The little guy’s conformation is just great,” Elder said. “He was competing at the highest level in the open class. If you saw a picture of him without a human in it, you wouldn’t know he was a miniature.”
Correctly bred miniature horses have the same body proportions as their full-size counterparts and require the same kind of care, “they just take up less space on the farm,” Elder said. They can also ride to shows in a converted Toy Hauler rather than a full-sized horse trailer.
Tuffy is his parents’ sixth foal, and every one has been in the top 10 at the AMHA, according to Elder. ME-HE currently has 16 horses on the farm on Turnberry Road, where the family has been raising miniatures since 1991.
For more information on ME-HE Miniatures, go to www.me-he.com.