Her love for horses has grown to such an extent that she has been competing in horse shows for many years, winning and placing in several events across the country.
When Havens, 56, was a teenager, a family member got her involved with horses.
“My brother (Bill) bought us some horses to play with when I was probably 14,” Havens said. “He started it. We got the bug. He has mules now and drives wagons with the mules, but I kept on showing.”
Shortly after Havens was introduced to horses, she was exposed to horse shows at age 15 and competed in several open shows. For the past 20 years, Havens has been competing in horseshows in the American Quarter Horse Association.
One of Havens’s proudest moments came in Amarillo, Texas in the latter part of August when she earned third place in the Hunter Under Saddle division in the AQHA Adequan Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. The prelims took place on Aug. 29 and the finals were held on Aug. 30. Havens had some special people in attendance as her friends Judy Baldwin and Patti Dixon, along with her husband Pete Fulgham, were watching Havens compete as she rode her horse named “This is Personal.”
Havens’s performance in the finals of the horseshow was a big accomplishment considering the fact that she was fifth in the preliminaries with a work total of 177. In the finals, Havens and her horse shined with a work total of 235.
“I really didn’t have a good go in the prelim,” Havens said. “I was very, very thankful that I made it back to the finals. I did have a really good go in the finals.”
The back number of “This is Personal” was 404. According to Havens, the horses are called out starting with 15th place.
Havens said the best part of the event was having her friends there supporting her, especially when the horses were called out.
“I enjoyed having my friends to watch me do well,” Havens said. “It about gave them a nervous breakdown. They make a big deal out of it. There were a lot of fours in there and they were right in front of me in the stands. They’d call 466 and then they would go ‘Oh, gosh. Thank goodness. That wasn’t her.’ They about had a heart attack when it got to me. They were like ‘oh yeah, she’s gotten past fifth, she’s gotten past fourth.’ It was neat watching their expressions. They even cried to be perfectly honest.”
The fact that Havens was able to compete in the horseshow was an accomplishment as she had to retire her previous horse.
“You have a year to qualify,” Havens said. “My horse that I had qualify came up lame two months before qualifying times stopped. In that little short time, I bought a new horse. Until I got to know him, I was a little nervous. The second day of the world show, we started clicking and we’ve been good ever since.”
Havens’s horse “This is Personal” stays with trainers in Georgia, so Havens usually doesn’t get to ride him until she competes in a horseshow.
Havens said “This is Personal” has a relaxed personality.
“This horse is very laid back,” Havens said. “Nothing really bothers him. He literally like, I got this. You don’t mess us up and we’ll be good. The horse I came off was not so, but I kept him at home. I was able to ride him all the time.”
The third place finish in the world show was marked her best performance in the event.
Havens said placing this high with a new horse was special.
“I only owned him a couple of months when I took him to the world show, and we had not gotten it together yet,” Havens said. “I was very thankful that I made it back to the finals, and my trainer was like ‘Where has this rider been?’ in the finals. When it clicks, it clicks, and we’ve got it now. It was a great feeling to go placing third after only owning him that long.”
Havens also added the because of the horse’s personality, she refers to the 3-year-old gelding as Snoop Dogg.