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Diary of my 2023 Western Summer in the USA with Kyle Magdaleno

by | Dec 3, 2023



22ND JUNE – Wow its my 16th Birthday, got my face dunked in cake as per the Magdaleno tradition. 

Rushed to get changed as it was my Prom too – met my friends and off we went in a limo, of course I wore my cowboy hat and boots!  What a photo opportunity, everyone wanted to have a picture with my hat. 

23RD JUNE – Mum and I travelled to London Heathrow to catch our flights to the USA 

24TH JUNE – Boarded the flight at 745 am after a very early start 

24TH JUNE – Arrived at Dallas Fort Worth IT WAS HOT!  We picked up the hire car –Mum was nervous of driving, but all was good and we drove to Collinsville where the lovely Katie, Ryan and family (who run Equiflight) received us, also the legend Dawn Forest who organises the Youth World Cup amongst other things. We slept well and on the Sunday drove into Gainsville to do a little shopping and get ready to meet the teams at the BBQ hosted by Katie and Ryan. The weather was hot, a great water slide was there for everyone to enjoy, I met the rest of my team, other youths from Belgium, Austria, Sweden, and Slovakia, also the managers Rikke Benjaminson and Leana Brasseler. 

25TH JUNE – We met the team at Luse Horses, Van the trainer had arranged for the team to ride, I rode a horse called TANGONOCASH (little did I know he would be a part in this jigsaw) , he was fantastic, we spent three mornings riding there, and going out with the team in the afternoons, we went to Forth Worth Stockyards, shopping and to other training facilities. 

29TH JUNE – We travelled to Bryan Texas to a place called College Station – this is where the Youth World Cup would be held – again extremely hot weather. 

 30TH JUNE – We got to meet our donated horses for the competition and decorate our stalls, and got to have a free ride for a couple of hours.  We stayed at the Hilton Hotel and buses picked us up and dropped us off at the Expo Centre every day.  In the evening of the 30th June we were entered into a Lypsinc contest, we won 2nd place out of 17th teams, it was funny and a great ice breaker for all the teams. 

 1st JULY – Clinics were held in Showmanship, Hunter Under Saddle, we had lunch went shopping to a big equestrian place and back to the hotel.  Nearly sll our meals were provided it was really good. 

 2ND JULY – Cutting entries were due, this was to be one of my competitions. 

3RD JULY – Breakfast and buses for the competitors to Still Creek Cutting Horses, a clinic was held for an hour or so, and then we were in the competition !!!!!!!  I was excited but nervous, I drew a great horse called  Platinum Bob he is a 21 year old gelding – FANTASTIC.  It was eventually my draw, I went in deep and cut my first cow, put my hand down and off we went, it was AMAZING.  I only managed to cut two cows fully, and time was called on my third run.  The crowd were cheering and hollering like crazy.  Results were given in reverse order from 17th place, at 10th place I was quite nervous, then 5th place, my mum was beside herself, 4th – this is crazy, 3rd – even better, as they announced Reserve Champion, my heart was in my mouth – but it wasn’t me.  I turned round and looked at Mum and my team, I knew then I had won 1st place under judge 1.  Because it was double judged, it started in reverse again from 17th place, unbelievable I got 1st place under judge 2 aswell  !!!!! 2 gold Medals, what a great experience, everyone was cheering. As a team that evening we went out to a lush Chinese restaurant to celebrate. 


4TH JULY – Up early again to attend to the horses, and to participate in the Ranch Riding Clinic, also helping the rest of the team to get ready for their clinics. 

 5TH JULY – So I got to have a reining clinic in the morning for two hours.  In the afternoon they held an awards ceremony for the Cutting, I went into the arena carrying the Team United Flag .  The National Anthem was played for me, all the supporters stood up, took off their hats.  It felt very humbling, I was then presented with two trophies that were donated by a lady called Carol Rose, she was a top Cutter in the 70’s. 


6TH JULY – Ranch Riding competition, a good effort but the horse was a bit sticky, so I didn’t get place, but never mind there’s still lots to look forward to. 


7TH JULY – It was time to start the Reining competition, I completed my pattern, broke it down into sections as the clinicians said, I was very nervous and had to wait until everyone completed- the results were in – off we go again from 17th Place – I got Reserve Champion – a silver medal, missing out by half a point, but a great result for Team United and for myself individually and for my country. 


8TH JULY –Spent the day helping and watching my team in the Equitation and Hunter under saddle classes – this was the last day of competitions and clinics. 


9TH JULY – Awards Brunch – the teams arrived at the Expo centre and we placed in the rankings- Team United came overall 5th in The World Cup – a fantastic achievement.  The WORLD CUP gave me the opportunity to make new friends and meet lots of people who helped make this competition a great success. 

10TH JULY – Mum and I travelled back to Collinsville 

11TH JULY – I went to help a trainer called Cira Baeck, I had leased a horse called Bingo Jac, who was delivered to Ciras, I was helping her warm up the horses in exchange for a lesson throughout the day.  I started at 4am and rode till 3pm the first day, we rode in the morning to escape the heat a little.  My horse Bingo Jac for the World Show went lame!!!  My Mum frantically tried to get me a horse to lease for the show, we spoke to the trainer Van Luse and owner John McDaniel of TANGONOCASH and they both agreed I could lease him, I managed to get 5 rides on him before the show.  Van Luse and Cathy Woosley Luse helped out enormously and even hauled him to Oklahoma for us.  I got another couple of lessons the day and morning before the show. Although things didn’t go quite to plan at The World Show I had the best experience in competing  l left the arena with  a smile as big as anything – thinking about the whole experience.  After the show we went back to Collinsville where I continued helping Cira, she was competing in Las Vegas The Run for a Million, and she asked me to stay at Lawrence Ranch to watch over, exercise the horses and look after the dogs. She was only back for  couple of days and she was off to Tulsa for more competitions, she is a lovely lady with lots of compassion for the horses she has in training, her son Archie is adorable. 


I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the States and the experience I had have been fantastic, I have made lots of friends, to whom I will be forever grateful, for everything they have helped me with, while I’ve been away from my family. 

I think to myself how can I start to explain if someone asks me what I did this Summer, there has been so much – thankyou to Cira Baeck, Katie and Ryan Shroeder, Dawn Forest, Clemerson and Leticia Barbalho, George and Chloe Lawrence, Van Luse and Cathy Woosley Luse,  Rusbell Carrasco and everyone that sponsored me, Aunty Anne and Uncle Gregg, Grandma and especially my Mum, for giving up her summer, and Dad for giving up his valuable time to support me.  

So now I’m off to start college, an agricultural course, but I’m sure it wont be too long before I’m back in the States, after all my offers of horses to ride!