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Brylie Mays and Bravia ride to reserve championship in the WCHS in Louisville, KY, recently.

Lexington, KY — At the 2011 World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS), which took place during the last week of August in Louisville, KY, Crossville's Brylie Mays claimed Reserve World Champion honors in the Three-Gaited Pony, 13 and Under Division atop her American Saddlebred, Bravia.

Since 1902, this competition has been held annually at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, and has remained the premiere event for American Saddlebreds. This annual week-long competition, held each year in conjunction with the Kentucky State Fair, is where the best of the breed come to compete each August.

On Monday, Aug. 22, 11-year-old Brylie and her Saddlebred pony, Bravia, claimed Reserve World Champion honors in the Three-Gaited Pony, 13 and Under Division.

Brylie has been involved with American Saddlebreds since the age of six.

Her mother, Kiersten Mays, and great aunt, Nan Owen, had been riding Saddlebreds for many years, and at the age of five, Brylie asked for riding lessons for Christmas.

Brylie has only been out of the Academy Division since 2010, and only since March of 2011 had she begun working with the “Canter” gait.

For 2011, Brylie had set a new goal. She wanted to ride on the American Saddlebred’s grandest stage. Although certainly a lofty aspiration, especially for such a young rider, Brylie was determined. She rode three days per week, including every Saturday, and two days a week before school.

Brylie’s trainers, Lisa and Bill Waller of Clover Leaf Stables in Knoxville said, “We are truly impressed with how well Brylie and Bravia performed at the American Saddlebred World Championships. Brylie has been very dedicated in her preparation. We are extremely proud of her. This is a major accomplishment.”

The experience was also a memorable one for Brylie, who said, “Riding in Freedom Hall was an amazing and unforgettable experience. I want to thank my trainers, friends and family for all of their support.”

Brylie’s performance is all the more impressive when considering she had competed in only four shows prior to competing in Louisville this year. With as much time and hard work as she put into preparing for this competition, it should come as no surprise that when she rode Bravia out of the ring after her first ever performance at Freedom Hall, she did so as Reserve World Champion.

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