1998 • JON BARRY

Breyer Horse, Zips Chocolate Chip
Ann & Rett Myers at the 1998 Congress

2003 Winner

By Corrine S. Borton
The Way To Go Magazine, November 2003

She is said to have the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies in the world and she hands out the scrumptious treats wherever she goes.

She owns World and Congress Western Pleasure Champion, Zips Chocolate Chip, who has been at or near the top of the American Quarter Horse Association Leading Sires list since 1994. He has sired World and Congress Champions and his offspring have earned in excess of 29,106 AQHA points and $813,597.30 National Snaffle Bit Association winnings.

She is number 21 on the AQHA’s list of all time leading breeders and she accomplished that by raising just 6-8 foals a year.

In her 21 years involvement in the pleasure horse industry Ann Myers of Ashland, Ohio has enjoyed tremendous success.

But this year, Myers was honored by the NSBA with the Jack Benson Award not for what she has accomplished but for what she has given back. The Jack Benson Award honors a person who exhibits dedication, and has a strong influence in the history of the NSBA.

Myers accepted the award at the 2003 NSBA Awards Banquet on Aug. 19, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Ann is the epitome of of an ambassador for the NSBA,” said President Bill Price. “We are grateful she is involved in the organization.”

Myers became involved with the NSBA in the late 1980s after the original founders determined they had accomplished their goals and there was no longer a reason for the association to continue.

“At that point, a group of pleasure horse enthusiasts from Indiana jumped in and decided to keep the association going,” Myers said. “I knew some of the founders and I understood their purpose and I was in favor of their goals.”

The new group asked Myers to serve on the Board of Directors and over the years she has served in a variety of roles. She has been a member of the Board of Directors twice since then and currently serves as Secretary.

“The original goal of the NSBA was to make the training easier on the young horses,” Myers said. “We had these large futurities and the fear was that training was becoming too dramatic at such a young age,” Myers said. “The NSBA wanted to give people a place to compete with and showcase young horses by allowing them to be guided around the ring and to encourage trainers to bring them along more slowly to help them last longer, both physically and mentally. Myers said the idea was so well received that the NSBA became the model for pleasure events across the country.

Gradually the NSBA started to be known more as a horse show futurity oriented association. It grew in size and status until today it is thought of as the leader of the pleasure horse industry.

"Before the formation of the NSBA, nearly every state had its own way of running pleasure events," Myers said. "The most important thing about our association today is that it has established a set of rules that everyone can use as guidelines by which pleasure futurities are run." The NSBA has recently accomplished several important goals - including the establishment of alliances with other associations and dual approved events.

Both these accomplishments help the NSBA improve diversity and welcome new members to the association. "We are very proud of our alliances with the American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Appaloosa Horse Club, Palomino Horse Breeders of America, International Buckskin Horse Association, Pinto Horse Association and Pony of America Club," Myers said. "The NSBA would like nothing better than to have more participation from color breed exhibitors."

Myers is proud of the work the NSBA has done over the years and that is why she was so thrilled to receive the Jack Benson Award.

"My thanks to the NSBA for honoring me with the Jack Benson Award," she said. "For me, this award is huge. I'm very proud and flattered to be recognized along with all the recipients of this award, a group of people that I admire."

Ann grew up in Dallas, Texas and by the age of 10 was the proud owner of an AQHA mare named Rita Wonder. She went away to college at 19 and moved from Dallas when she married Phil Myers in 1974.

In 1982 Ann and Phil purchased some rolling land in Ashland, Ohio and established Myers Horse Farms, Inc. a small horse breeding operation located halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. This was their first time to live on a farm. Ann says she was in heaven and wanted to raise a few foals. In 1983, their foal crop totaled one. By 1985, they had a foal crop of six, including a bay stud colt named, Zips Chocolate Chip. "The key to my breeding operation is small numbers and a focus on quality," Myers said.

It's a plan that works. At the center of her early breeding operation was NSBA Hall of Fame Breeding mare, Ima Blister Bug. The dam of four World Championships and eight Reserve World Championships, her foals have earned 5,413+ AQHApoints and more than $145,380 in earnings. In fact, you'll recognize many of the horses raised at Myers Horse farm. Zippo LTD, sired by Zippo Pine Bar and out of Ima Blister Bug, is a multiple World and Congress Champion and the all-time leading earner of AQHA open performance points.

Zippo By Moonlight, also by Zippo Pine Bar and out of Ima Blister Bug, is a World and Reserve World Champion Pleasure horse and multiple futurity winner.

Ziploose N Fancyfree was the 1993 AQHA High Point Western Pleasure Horse and is an AQHA Superior Western Pleasure Horse.

Chips Hot Chocolate, sired by Zips Chocolate Chip and out of Ima Blister Bug, is an AQHA Reserve World Champion in Western Pleasure and was the 1992 High Point NSBA 2-Year- Old Western Pleasure Futurity Horse. In addition, he is a two-time Congress Western Pleasure Champion.

Cleve Wells and Jack Benson with Zips Cocolate Chip at the colt's first show, the Texas Breeders Futurity in 1987. He placed first under all five judges.
And of course, there's Zips Chocolate Chip himself. When he was born in 1985, Ann knew he was something special. She was careful to bring him along slow and with great care. Ann trusted Chip's progress to a young, yet unproven, trainer named Cleve Wells. Their first show was the Texas Breeders Futurity 2-Year-Old Snaffle Bit class where the team was placed first under all five judges. Zips Chocolate Chip went on to be named AQHA World Champion Junior Western Pleasure Horse in 1989, again winning under all five judges.

Zips Chocolate Chip moved to Texas in 1987 and today stands at Down the Rail, Valley View, Texas. Myers also recently purchased "her favorite" Chip son, Chips Hot Chocolate, back from friend Jane Curry Smith.

You would think that at this point in her career, it would be tough for Ann to get excited over the arrival of a new foal. But nothing could be further from the truth. "That's what I love the most," she said. "Every one is a surprise package. It's so exciting to figure out who to breed to what and then wait to see what will happen."

Myers has some simple advice for those who aspire to greatness in the horse industry:

"My belief is that anyone who pursues his/her passion will succeed. And, it is most important to have fun with the 'ups' and despite the 'downs' - and there will be some. I mean, if I could turn my horse career into a success, anyone can. Recently a friend of mine asked me if I ever showed at the Congress. I looked at her and said, "Yes, twice...and both times I had terrible rides!" It cracked me up to think about it because despite my "bombing" at the Congress, my little horse farm became successful!"

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