Pony of the Americas Club, Inc. — Official Breed Website

POAC Magazine Cover Story

Jolene Bertus

August 2012
Jolene Bertus

I still can't believe my years of showing as a youth in POA's are coming to an end. It feels like not that long ago I was at the southwest 4-H district show, showing my oId floppy eared pony, Abby. I remember crying to Ashley McKenzie after coming out of a class because I didn't place when I was trying so hard. Despite those floppy ears Abby was the best first pony I could have asked for. After seeing how crushed I was my parents decided that I had shown I was dedicated enough, and thought maybe it was time to get me my first real show pony, that led us to our first purchase, Copper Twist. Copper was a great horse but unfortunately a little too much for me to handle as a new 9-12er. After Copper I was surprised with, KBC KID DUNIT (Joe). Joe was four when we got him fresh out of the pasture and like me we had a lot of learning to do. Joe taught me to be the rider I am today, and he also led me to winning my very first international class during my last year in 9-12. As I started into my 13-18 years though, it became apparent that my time with showing Joe was slowly coming to an end and that it was time to let him teach another young rider. There was a time period in which I stopped showing, and my parents sent Joe up to Michigan where he visited the Bunn family and had a wonderful year. This helped me move on from Joe, and when I returned the following year to show again I started to ride our four year old Pal Cara Mia. Mia was a great little project to get back into the swing of showing. Also in that year upon returning I was reunited with Ashley McKenzie she helped me take Mia from being just a junior pleasure pony to being a great all around horse. Once I reached my full potential with Mia I figured it was time to hand her down to Ashlee. Since giving up Mia that left me without a horse to show which in tum gave me the opportunity to show two of my favorite boys, Driftwoods Montego Bay, and RBR Gynormous Buns. Moose and Tego were two of the most challenging horses to ride, but also the most rewarding. Thank you Tego for letting me dress you up as a purple people eater... even if you peed in your costume twice and shook your horn off in the middle of the class. As my last year approaches I'm focusing on my final junior pony as a youth, and a pony that already has a special place in my heart, RBR HOLLYWOOD BUNS. I am excited to see how far Tater and I will go by the end of the show season. I want to give special thanks to Kathy McKenzie for allowing me to have the pleasure of showing Moose all last summer. I would also like to thank David Schlemmer, if it wasn't for him buying Tego my longtime dream of showing him would have never came true. David you are a great addition to our show family. Thank you mom and dad for all the time and effort you put into me and Ashlee's showing. You have always gone above and beyond to make sure we can do what we love, and you have made these years of showing the best years of my life so far, and I hope you know how truly blessed I feel to have such amazing parents that love and support me as much as you do. Thank you to the Blumenthal's, Fling's, Langhorst's, Jelsch' s, Juengel's, Pott's, Robertson's and VanOss's for making these last year's showing such a blast, you are the best show family I could ask for and I love you ALL. Last but not least a very special thank you to the one most important person of my show years, Ashley McKenzie. "Bash"(for Big-Ashley), you have made me the rider I am today, and I want to thank you for always going above and beyond to be the best trainer out there. You spend all of your time working so hard to help everyone get ready for the big shows, and doing things like trying to make a homemade purple people eater costume for a one time appearance, you even walked around all day with purple paint on your arm to make sure I wouldn't break out in hives or something. You are the reason I can ride without a girth, why I decide to hurdle little horses, and why I have a million weird videos and pictures throughout the years of my hilarious memories with you. Thank you for being such a huge part in my life.

Love always, Jolene.

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