W - Langman horse

Photo special to Alachua County Today

Grand Champion Mare Lovin' that Scotch. The horse is owned by High Springs resident Jeri Langman

 HIGH SPRINGS – The Sunshine State Buckskin Association (SSBA), an official charter of the American Buckskin Registry Association (ABRA), has judged a local mare as the winner in three SSBA state championships this past year.

Following her competition in 12 shows during 2013, Lovin’ that Scotch, a 9-year-old buckskin quarter horse mare owned by High Springs’ resident Jeri Langman was named Grand Champion Mare. She clenched her championships on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Holiday Celebration Show at Canterbury Showplace, Newberry.

Lovin’ that Scotch competed in and won three classes.

“There are three show circuits with four shows each,” Langman said. “Each show has four judges. In order to win Grand Champion, Scotch had to win consistently from April to December.”

Everyone whose horse won a class throughout the year shows their horse again and is judged to determine which one is the best of all of the mares at the show. That mare becomes the Grand Champion Mare. The first runner-up is called the Reserve Champion Mare.

Horses that are ridden typically have 10-15 year show careers, Langman said. Halter horses like Scotch begin to be shown as a 1-year-old and are usually shown through their fifth or sixth year.

“It’s exceptional that a mare of her age is consistently winning,” she said.

In order to compete at that level, the horse has to be kept fit and well exercised throughout the year, tasks which Langman takes seriously and performs herself.

“Consistent grooming, the right food and correct exercise program must be maintained to keep her healthy, well-muscled and to keep her coat shiny, just like in a dog show competition,” she said.

The horse is considered a show favorite, Langman said.

“She loves to compete,” Langman said. “She’s just a perfect show horse. She is sweet, cooperative and a fun mare to own,” she said.

Langman first saw the horse when she was younger and liked her immediately. She was Reserve Champion when she was a foal.

“I thought she was absolutely gorgeous and fell in love with her," Langman said. “I raved about her to my friends, who owned her by that time.”

Langman and her friends worked out a deal for Langman to own the horse.

While the horse was basically trained when she got her, she has worked to keep her conditioned and properly exercised, particularly with help from Barbara Pless, a professional trainer from Ocala.

“I have known her for 30 years and she helps me work with Scotch to prepare her for a show,” she said.

While there are no cash prizes for winning horses at the state level, larger and larger ribbons are awarded the higher the competition level that is won.

“It’s mostly for the prestige of winning at that level,” Langman said. “Later, when she is bred, her babies will be more valuable and more prestigious because of the competition level Scotch achieves.”

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