REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- When you think of a Pinto, you might think of the old Ford Pinto from the 1970s or maybe you’d rather envision a big bowl of pinto beans, but in the world of horses a Pinto is a horse with about a 50/50 mix of white and another color.
When you talk to Molly Stanfield about Pintos, she’s talking about her Pinto, Blaze.
The 8-year-old Pinto with a blaze of white down his face is Leo’s Blue Eye’d Blaze.
Molly grew up with Blaze’s mom, Molly’s Coppertop, and her parents knew she’d grow up to love horses because when she was 5 years old she wandered away from the house and was found at the barn riding her horse. Her reasoning: she missed the horse badly and needed to see her.
Blaze came along at the perfect time in her life as she was beginning to be more serious about showing and competing and as a student on the equestrian team at NC A&T University.
And Molly was determined to train Blaze to be a highly competitive horse even against the advice of trainers who told her she could never make that happen with this horse.
“He's got that bond he shares with me he doesn't share with anyone else. His ability was a little questionable, his parents, I wouldn't say, are the strongest in genetics. I just happened to get lucky and God just sent him to me,” Molly said.
But the bond between a horse and his girl was stronger than the lack of pedigree.
The pair has competed all over North Carolina winning all kinds of awards
“He's 8 now and it's taken us a really long time to get where we are today. It was getting where we were undefeated so I said, let's go give this world show a shot.”
So Molly planned to travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in the Pinto World Nationals in 2016, but just prior to the trip Blaze had a small hairline fracture and the trip was off.
“We had to regroup and get better and that set us a year behind last year,” she said.
But a few weeks ago they made the trip to Tulsa, a 20-hour-drive, the longest trip Blaze has ever made, to compete against the best Pintos in the world.
“It was a different level for me. I was very nervous going in and I don't usually get nervous when I show.”
But Blaze was focused as if he knew it was big and what he was up against.
The years of training paid off and the instincts kicked in. Blaze and Molly rolled through six events, placing high in all of them, dressing up as a mermaid and seahorse for one and trotting away with a nice award at the end, the title Reserve World Champion.
Molly says, that’s a dream come true.
And she gives most of the credit to her mom and dad for supporting her dreams through the years.
She says they never miss a show.