by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
“It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you get the horse, it just matters what their potential is,” said Abigail Grace Chicoski of Sprakers, NY.
Chicoski was defending her 2016 New York State National Barrel Horse Association Youth 1-D Champion title at the NYS NBHA Finals at the Fonda Fairgrounds with her AQHA gelding Jet Parr Pulsion (Cinch), who she had purchased 7 years earlier from friends Amber and Brian Dailey. The Daileys had previously purchased Cinch from an auction where he was very close to going for horse meat.
Chicoski, now 17-years old, and Cinch, now 16, had won the 2016 NYS NBHA Youth 1-D and was a 2016 Finalist in the Youth NBHA World Championships.
As a child, Chicoski began riding under her mother, Rosemarie Chicoski-Kaczor’s tutelage.
“We have a 35-year old retired QH that taught and babysat Abigail and started her on this wonderful journey of horses that so consumes her,” said Chicoski-Kaczor.
That retired AQHA’s registered name is ‘She’s Got Style’ (aka Sara), and Chicoski-Kaczor says ‘Sara’ truly does have style.
“Abigail learned everything on Sara, beginning with Western and English Pleasure, trail riding then going into jumping and then barrel racing until it was time for Sara to retire.”
Sara recently turned 35 and now enjoys a pampered, retired life on the farm.
Chicoski-Kaczor, a life-long rider and competitor herself, instructed Abigail in riding Western and English Pleasure riding, trail riding and trail courses.
“At a very young age she surpassed not only my skill, but my knowledge of disciplines,” admitted Chicoski-Kaczor.
“It became obvious at a very young age that she wanted more — more than the pleasure type riding. That is when she learned to jump, which she loves, but was still not enough.”
Mom says Abigail has a true need for speed and enjoys all disciplines of riding including driving minis and all gymkhana classes, but that barrel racing is her true passion.
When the family retired Sara, Abigail met ‘Cinch’ and even helped to purchase him with her own money, which came from winning competitions. At the time she was just 10-years old.
“Cinch is a phenomenal horse who gives her 110 percent of his heart every time she rides him,” says her Mom. “He is a big loving teddy bear of an American Quarter Horse that we love dearly.”
Chicoski says she began barrel racing in 2008, when she was influenced by neighbor Amber Dailey and her mom, Tina Kreiger, with their barrel racing skills.
After Sara, “I continued on Tina Kreiger’s horse Joker,” Chicoski said. “I used to watch Amber at the Fonda Fair and I looked up to her. Because I admired her, I decided to start barrel racing. She and Tina helped me a lot!” This partnership resulted in a 2008 Little Partners NBHA Championship.
Chicoski, who has a long list of championships under her belt, including 2016 AMHA Eastern Regional Champion in Youth Classic Pleasure Driving, says she practices five or six days a week, regardless of the weather. “Practice makes perfect and consistency is the key!”
She has some sound advice for other youth interested in pursuing NBHA racing.
“It doesn’t matter if you spend 20-grand on your horse or $500. It just matters that you are trying and you give it your all. It doesn’t matter what you show up in — like your horse trailer. What matters is what you bring to the table.”