Horses prance into world championships

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Bryan Luark's passion for horses and reining began nine years ago, when he got involved with 4-H.

Now, that interest is leading Luark and his horses, Boomen "Boomer" James Foley and LDL Drag My Dor, to the 34th annual Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association Show, Aug. 7 to 10, in Forth Worth, Texas, where he will compete in youth reining and youth working cow-horse divisions.

Luark will be one of 2,000 junior reiners from the United States, Canada and several other countries vying for the title of world champion.

"I hope I do pretty good," he said.

Luark lives in Burns but travels to Soroco High School daily during the school year. He is an honor-roll student and plays football. Luark also is very involved in Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America and the Burns Hole 4-H Club.

Luark works on his family's ranch and outfitting business on the family's stunning 3,000-acre ranch, where they take people on hunting, fishing and floating trips.

Even though he has a full plate of activities, Luark always finds times to ride his horses. He takes them out for two or three hours every day for training and exercise.

Bryan's mom, Niki Luark, said Bryan is unique in the sense that he keeps his horses at home and trains them himself, whereas most people keep their horses somewhere else and have trainers ride them.

"He's a very dedicated and deserving kid," she said.

Luark will compete several times with both of his horses in reining and working cow horse, just two of the areas in which riders can compete.

Luark said reining is like figure skating, with the horse being judged on its ability to execute the moves and maneuvers required to complete a pre-set routine, or reining pattern.

"It is very precise because of all of the circles, spins and sliding stops the horses make. It has to be prefect," he said.

Luark is nervous about performing this year because, though he has performed at the past two world championships, he was disqualified both times because of the strict judging.

"I am still really excited, though," he said.

Luark said he will perform Aug. 7 to 10 but that the entire competition is from Friday to Aug. 13.

Luark said his parents have been vital to his success, even though he doesn't think they like that he is gone so much during the spring, traveling and competing.

Niki Luark, every bit the proud mother, said she never has to remind Bryan to do anything because he is a perfectionist and so dedicated to his horses.

"Just like any parent, you have to be behind them and help them," she said.

She said that Bryan and his horses work as a team, so it is never the horse or the rider that win, but both. "It's a big show. There's a lot of pressure to be perfect so they have to stay focused and have everything right," she said.

Luark is grateful for the help he's gotten from three trainers, Mark Guynin, Sherri Gilkerson and Maynard Smith, who have helped him improve his horses and his training skills.

"You have to know what you're doing before you win. They've taught me everything," he said.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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