Julia Ruud may have decades of horse experience, but her first trip to the National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) came after a discipline shift and a great equine partner.
Rudd began playing polo during college and continued in the sport after graduation. She had 12 years of experience before a ride on a reiner changed her course.
“Two years ago, my neighbor, who has been doing reining horses for a long time, had an extra reining horse. She said I should give it a try, and my polo string was getting older, so it was a good time to try it out! I had the offer, and here I am now.”
Rudd purchased ARC Kiss My Chic (Walla Walla Whiz x Sweet Chicka Chic) in 2019 and has been enjoying the ride ever since. In 2022 pair placed in the top ten at the Northwest Affiliate Championship in both ARC Rookie Classes to qualify for the NAAC and placed in the top 15 in the ARC Limited Non Pro and Novice Horse Non Pro.
As Rudd and ARC Kiss My Chic have worked their way through green reiner and rookie classes, she is thrilled to be in OKC for the first time.
“It is very fun to see all of the activity and the range of things going on at this show,” she said. “There are so many events within the event, and it is fun to see the variety!”
Although Julia had watched last year and had an inkling of what the experience would be, she said she could’ve never imagined the full spectrum of it until she saw it for herself.
The best part of joining reining so far?
“The people have been really good,” she said. “The barn really comes together and supports each other at the shows. And, of course, my horse is pretty darn awesome!”