Happy trails to her
Published 9:22 am Thursday, September 9, 2004
By By SPIROS GALLOS / Cassopolis Vigilant
NILES - Diane Wisler is packing her bags and trailer and heading to Amarillo, Texas for a week.
Wisler, 54, a retired Niles school teacher, will be competing at the Bayer Select World Championship Show Sept. 9-12 with her 5-year-old bay American quarter horse gelding, I'm Barry Impulsive.
Wisler will compete for the Bayer Select All-Around Amateur Award in the 50 and over senior division.
The American Quarter Horse Association is the governing body of the show and awards all the prizes to contestants.
In order to gain an invitation to the show, a contestant must earn a certain number of points in the events they are showing in at AQHA-approved horse shows, Wisler said.
Wisler will be showing in the western pleasure, horsemanship, and showmanship events.
The all-around amateur award is presented to the exhibitor earning the greatest number of points in two out of the three categories.
Western pleasure is the judging of the horse's abilities such as way of going, attitude, and ease of gait.
Horsemanship involves the exhibitor riding the horse through set patterns of turns, stops, and changing gaits.
Showmanship is the same as horsemanship, but the exhibitor leads the horse through the patterns instead of riding the horse.
This year's show is only the second to ever feature a 50 years and older senior class. At previous shows, everyone 19 years and older competed in the same division.
Last year, Wisler won the World Championship in the showmanship event and placed fourth in the all-around judging with her old horse, Future Millionaire.
This year, with a new horse, Wisler is a little anxious on how her "partner" will perform.
Wisler was a "showmom" at the Berrien County Youth Fair, helping her two daughters, Emily and Natalie, now 29 and 27, show horses when they were younger as part of the Al-Bar Ranch 4-H club. Wisler was also horse leader for the club.
Her daughters showed horses at the fair up until the age of 18, before leaving for school.
Wisler herself showed horses at the youth fair when she was young, but she said it was never a very competitive thing.
Wisler attended Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education.
Wisler, a life long Niles resident, began teach in Niles Community Schools in 1971 at Northside Elementary.
Through her 30 year career, she taught there, Ballard Elementary, Eastside Elementary, and finished her career at Ring Lardner Middle School in 2001.
In 1996, Wisler got the chance to show one of her daughter's horse at a local show and she was back into showing.
She then started in the AQHA novice program in 2000, and in 2002 moved up to the amateur competition, where she won Rookie of the Year in the senior division.
This year, Wisler hopes to do better at the world championship show by taking the all-around title, but she knows it will be highly competitive.