Warrenton, VA – The chestnut filly with the large blaze was the best in the west – with judges then determining Ooh Ah the 2011 Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Champion.
Ooh Ah (Nob Hill x Holy Cow by Fire Jade), bred and owned by Leslie Nelson and handled by John Ducharme, is an 18-month-old Thoroughbred cross. She competed against several dozen other horses in Southern California at the Del Mar Horse Park on August 31, with the Best Young Horse and Reserve Best Young Horse that day going on to challenge the East Coast victors for the title of National Best Young Horse.
“I really didn’t think this day would ever come,” Nelson said. “I was in such a state of shock.”
It’s not that Nelson isn’t used to winning West Coast. With Ooh Ah, it was her third West Coast victory. But the overall Grand Champion trophy was always just out of reach.
But not this time, not with Ooh Ah, known around the barn as Josie. “This time, the stars aligned,” Nelson said. “She is without a doubt the quietest, nicest, most uncomplicated filly. She’s just really simple.”
Simple enough – and perfect enough – to get the top votes of judges on both coasts.