After a dramatic run-off, Shelby Clausen became the inaugural Run For A Million Non Pro Champion. She and ‘Chester’ have been on cloud nine ever since, and we were excited to sit down with her to hear about the experience. Hobby Horse: What did you think when you first heard about the Non Pro Championship at the Run For A Million? Shelby Clausen: The first time I heard about the run for a million, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Once we got there it was unlike any other horse show. There was so much energy in the arena and the crowd and south point was such a fun place. I haven’t experienced anything like that before and I was so happy to be a part of it.
HH: What was run off like?
SC: I was more nervous for the first run because at the draw party I drew up second, which was kind of a bummer at first. I knew I was going to have to be really good at the beginning to place or win it. When McKinnon Larcombe and I tied, I knew I wanted to run-off. I wasn’t as nervous for the run-off because at noon I realized I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I was about to get on and couldn’t even think straight because I was so hungry, and with the excitement, I hadn’t even realized it until then! Patrick [Flaherty] had some left-over quesadilla, so as I was getting ready to get on, I was eating a cold quesadilla which was hilarious! I was more excited than nervous, but Chester is so much fun to show so I was just glad for the chance to do it again.
HH: When did the championship sink in?
SC: It definitely took a while to sink in! I got home from Las Vegas the following day and I watched my video for the next four days in a row and it still didn’t seem real! It was a really special moment for me and the biggest thing I have ever won, and to win it with Chester was the icing on the cake. He has been such a special horse for us, and so it was really exciting. It was such an incredible moment and I still don’t think it has sunk in. I think about it and I still can’t believe it at times, but I know Chester is proud of himself too.
HH: What made you choose Hobby Horse for your biggest day?
SC: I love the Nessa jacket because I have a saddle blanket, sparkly chaps and a hat that matches so it completes the whole look. I have only worn it one other time, in the NRBC [National Reining Breeders Cup] finals, because I want to keep it special. I knew once I qualified for TRFAM that I was going to wear my Hobby Horse. This jacket makes me feel super confident and good and in my opinion, if you have a good outfit, you will feel better about showing. I am a believer that looking good is half the battle, when you feel good you are willing to take on anything!