MQHA Member Spotlight: Mary Stassi
Name: Mary Stassi
Where are you from: St. Louis, MO
How long have you been showing horses? I started doing local fun shows around 2001. In 2006 I got involved with ARHA and started showing Ranch classes. When AQHA added Ranch Riding, I did my first AQHA show at the 2013 March to the Arch. It was a big jump for me.
How long have you been in Missouri? All of my life
What is your favorite horse show? I enjoy all of the shows that I go to. Not sure that I have a favorite.
What is your favorite event to show in? Trail
What is your favorite class to watch? Trail
Who is your all-time favorite horse? And why? Putting In R Time aka Ricco, my current AQHA partner. He is so versatile and tries hard to do whatever I ask. One weekend he will be working cattle at a Ranch Horse show, the next weekend WT HUS and WP classes at an AQHA or APHA show. This year we will be doing an APHA and Ranch Horse show on the same weekend!
If you are not at a horse show, what would we find you doing? Practicing for the next show, watching movies or just relaxing.
Do you have another job…besides taking care of your horses? I've been a Registered Nurse for 39 years and I am currently working as a Case Manager for high risk Medicare patients.
Favorite food? Dessert, especially anything chocolate
Favorite restaurant? Hobo's in old town St Peters. They have the BEST fried chicken and pork tenderloin sandwiches ever.
Favorite fun class at a horse show? Freestyle Showmanship
Favorite movie? Gone With The Wind-I live at Twelve Oaks Farm
Favorite quote? "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."
What is your dream vacation? To go to QH Congress for an extended period of time, show and win and have somebody else pay for the whole trip.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you? Ricco and I were the ARHA Rookies of the Year in 2006 when he was a fairly green 3 year old. Since then he has taken me to multiple ARHA World Champion titles. Despite a lot of miles together, I'm still get nervous every time I go into the show pen.
One piece of advice you would like to share with exhibitors who are just getting started? Moving from fun shows to Breed shows is intimidating and every organization is different. Work with a friend or a trainer who knows the ropes, can help with completing all necessary paperwork and provide support while you learn the culture of the group. Go to a show and watch all of the classes you want to participate in, If possible, help a friend who is a seasoned exhibitor so that you can get comfortable with the flow of the show. Watch the exhibitors in the practice pen and listen to what their trainers tell them. Try not to stress and have fun! Remember that everybody was a newbie at some point.
If there is anything else you would like to share, please tell us! My first AQHA show was at March to the Arch. Nothing like jumping into the deep end of the pool right off the bat. It was the first year for Ranch Riding and the number of exhibitors was fairly small compared to the WP classes. I felt so out of place in my plain saddle and chinks. An exhibitor decked out in blue rhinestones and silver made a disparaging remark about my horse and ranch classes in general. It was almost enough to make me pull out of the show. Luckily I stuck it out, won the Circuit Award and had a great show despite that encounter. Since then my motto has been, "Don't be a bitchy blue jacket". It doesn't cost anything to be nice to other people.