HomeShamong NewsLocal western style rider to represent New Jersey at Quarter Horse Congress

Local western style rider to represent New Jersey at Quarter Horse Congress

Josh Inman is a top competitor in the nation when it comes to western riding. His life is dedicated to the animals and the competition.

His father, Shawn Inman, was involved in the horse racing industry and is currently a breeder. His sister also rides horses and helped pique Josh’s interest in the sport. As for Josh, he is a nationally ranked western events equestrian rider.

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“My dad and my older sister got me into it. My dad used to race horses and used to have standard breeds. He set his first world record with one of his horses on my first birthday,” said Josh Inman.

Inman has been riding since he was 2 years old and is currently a student at Seneca High School. He has been looking at colleges and traveled throughout the summer months to compete with his mare.

“When we go to [All American Quarter Horse Congress] congress, he’s been top 10. Western riding is a pattern, and there are cones set up. They need to change leads in a timely step,” said Shawn Inman.

Josh has been training with close family friend Gary Weeks, whose stables are located in Cape May. The two have traveled together over the past two years for competitions and continue to work together. Inman began breeding and is working with Weeks to train and break, or familiarize the horse to equipment and racing methods, his colt Radiant in Black with the hopes of showing him next year.

“I learned more about how to ride and to make myself better. Now I have better horses, and I’m a lot better than I was,” said Inman.

Most recently, Inman competed in Augusta, N.J., winning the Region Five competition in in the western riding youth division. Inman went one full year without a loss in western riding. With that, comes the All American Quarter Horse Congress, the world’s largest single breed horse show, this October in western riding. Inman will be one of seven youth representing New Jersey in the National Youth Team Tournament. Determination of the champion is through a scoring system accumulated over the past year of competitions. The rider with the most accrued points moves up.

Riders begin with 100 points for each individual performance. Through the routine, judges deduct points are for each mistake made by both the horse and the rider.

“You start of with 100. You have lead changes with your horse and must do the lead changes between the cones. You have to weave between the cones and do a lead change with each cone,” said Inman. “Points are taken off when the lead changes aren’t perfect between the rider and the horse.”

Inman scored a 98 at his last completion and, for the third year in a row, will be representing the state at the Quarter Horse Congress.

The show runs for 12 days, Oct. 12 until Oct. 24 in Columbus, Ohio. Inman will be riding his quarter horse mare, Surely IM Hot at the event.

“I’m very excited. I’ll be out there with a lot of colleges and college scouts. You meet a lot of important people,” Inman said.

Numerous universities are scouting Inman for his riding prowess. Of those universities, West Point, South Carolina Coastal Academy and the University of Findley, located in Ohio, have reached out and shown their interest in Inman.

According to Inman, he is most interested to South Carolina, but plans to look further into his options for the future.
“A lot of people I know are going there [South Carolina Costal Academy], and it’s got a good equine program,” Inman said.
Inman is taking all college prep courses at Seneca in addition to ROTC, and is considering joining the Army or the Air Force following his graduation from high school.

I plan on going in the military first, but I want to train and eventually breed horses,” Inman said.

Following a college degree, Inman wants remain active in breeding and riding horses by possibly opening a business training horses, but remains unsure of what he would like his major to be.

To learn more about the All American Quarter Horse Congress or to see the competition schedule, visit www.oqha.com/aaqhc.

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