Reining champion with Virden roots

Sherald Joynt’s granddaughter, Janine Ketterer, twice an AQHA high point

Just like her Virden grandmother, Sherald Joynt, and her mother Laura Ketterer, Janine Ketterer is an avid horsewoman.

This generational connection with the world of horses has produced in Ketterer the foundation for mounting success in the reining ring. It has taken her to world competition.

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Ketterer spent Christmas 2018 in Virden after she, her mother and grandmother returned from a trip to Oklahoma City where Ketterer would receive the biggest award of her life at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show banquet. -- an award that made her grandmother proud.

“It was astounding. When she won highpoint in the world, there was no words that could explain how happy I was. How was that ever going to happen?” said Joynt, struggling for words.

The year previous, in 2017, Ketterer chalked up 49 points in just three competitions (classes averaging 90 competitors) to win the prestigious title of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Highpoint Champion Level 3 Amateur Reining on the mare “Miss Electric Spark” (Miss Ellie).

While she typically showed in National Reining Horse Association shows, her AQHA win was a surprise.

“Initially,” she said, “I went to the AQHA show to get my horse ready for the NRHA show, so I wasn’t even trying hard.”

Her relaxed confidence has produced winning rides, over and over again.

Attesting to her horsemanship, in 2018 she again won the same World Highpoint award, this time on a different mare, “Dazzlin Olena” with 48 points. That award will be presented in November 2019.

Both mares were bred and raised by Laura Ketterer. Olena carries the bloodline of “He’s a Doc”, Joynt’s well known QH stallion.

Janine patiently trained both mares herself. Because of this, she says, “It’s even more exciting to win an award like this, twice in a row.”

Ketterer’s father, Joachim, had selected the stallion that produced the talented Miss Ellie, but he did not live long enough to see his daughter and her horse as the winning team they would become.

On stage to receive her award, an emotional Ketterer told the crowd that “Miss Electric Spark” was a very special horse. “She was born the year my dad passed away. I remember my dad walked to the stall, he looked at her, she was flashy looking because she had cool markings – a sorrel with a roan touch. He said, ‘I can feel that this horse will be a big champion one day’,” she recounts his prophetic words.

In the show ring, Western reining requires the horse to perform a sliding stop, wheel in a 360-degree circle, and more – all “guided by a willing hand”, it’s horse gymnastics at a high level. AQHA World competition includes European AQHA shows.

Ketterer, 22, lives in Germany where she has an equine chiropractic practice. She also works in her German grandmother’s restaurant four days a week.

Always honing her riding skills, Ketterer has sought out riding coaches both in the US and in Germany. Morey Fisk, formerly of Oak Lake and now living in France, is a neighbour whom Ketterer credits as her mentor and trainer.

© Virden Empire-Advance