Meet Ohio’s World Champ: Owner Kristine Nagy and Lightning Starnbars

Kirby's World Championship trophy

It’s not often we can all call one of our own a world champion. This year, the Penn-Ohio area can claim Kristine Nagy’s Kirby in that elite group of locals to earn that distinction. We caught up with Kristine right after Charlie Peoples jockeyed Kirby to the AQHA Senior Pole Bending World Championship, and we want to share that interview with all of you. 

Just a special editor’s note: I’ve counted Kristine as a good friend and person to look up to since I was 14 years old. She always showed up at Penn-Ohio shows in the area, and we always exchanged encouraging words in the alleyways at Sundance, Buckhorn and other local shows. This win couldn’t have happened to a nicer lady, and I’m thrilled for her! Special congrats Kristine. 

Tell us about Kirby–how old is he, where did he come from, who started him, how long you’ve had him and been running him, how is he bred, what has he won, and any other details we need to know!

Kirby is 10 years old. Charlie Peoples started him on poles as a 2 year old.  He is an apppendix gelding, out of a TB mare and Lightning Sugar Bull. Charlie bought Kirby as a 2 year old.  He trained him, and showed him as a 3 year old in the Junior Poles at the Congress and won it. He then sold him to Brad Wagner. Kirby had several owners after that, Brad got him back and that is who I bought him from two and a half years ago.
Kirby has won a lot since I have had him.  He won the National Pole Bending Assoc. slot race in 2010. He also won the Kentucky State Fair Senior Pole Bending and finals in 2010 and 2011.  He won the Ohio IBRA Masters 1D buckle in 2011 and has placed at the Congress several times. He also has run two 19.4’s in the poles, as well as several 19.6’s.  He was in the top 5 in the nation in senior poles last year and is there this year as well.  Kirby is also a really good barrel horse.
How long has Charlie Peoples been running Kirby and why does he run him?
When I got Kirby, we had some difficulties.  He can be a little strong and was wanting to go faster than I did!  I knew Charlie had owned him, and asked him for help. He has ran him off and on for the last three seasons. It took about 6 months for Kirby and I to become a team. We have done well together, but we have never become the team that Charlie and Kirby are. They just click! So, I run him on a weekly basis, but Charlie runs him at the big shows. He just does a better job than I do!

Kirby's championship buckle

Talk us through your season this year. Has Kirby been on fire all year, or did this run come out of nowhere?

Kirby is always on fire! It has taken me three years to get some of the fire out of him. He has been running good all year. The only thing that we did differently this year, than in the past two, was have Charlie take him home for two weeks before the Congress. In the past, Charlie just hopped on him at the shows and ran. In the last month, Charlie has made 8 pole runs on him, and only knocked once. So, they were on a roll! It is always amazing to watch them run.
What do the next few months hold for Kirby? Will he have the winter off, or will he be run more?
Kirby is now on vacation. I don’t plan on running him again. I have several interested buyers and am probably going to sell him. I will be very particular about where he goes, and it has been a really tough decision, but it is the right one. He is a once in a lifetime horse, and those are hard to let go of.
What bit does Kirby run in and why?
Kirby runs in a lifter bit, with a simple snaffle mouth and a loose curb chain. He runs harder in a Bobby Stivers hack, but he also catches a few more poles with it. So we went to the lifter bit this year for a little more safety. He is actually really well broke and light mouthed.
What supplements does Kirby get, and what feed and hay do you feed?
Kirby is fed ADM SeniorGlo. It is a low starch feed. I believe in feeding very little grain, and lots of hay. I feed second-cut, mixed hay. Each horse gets nearly a bale a day, but only about 1-2 lbs of grain. The only supplement that Kirby gets is MSM. He is also on Adequan. I do the full loading dose with each horse and then they get a dose sometimes every other week, depending on how much they are competing.
Has Kirby ever had any major injuries?
Kirby has not had any injuries or lameness issues since I have owned him, other than one cut that required stitches. He is really tough and really sound.
Does he need any regular chiropractics or vetting?
Kirby has never had the chiropractor and has had minimal hock maintance.  His left hock is fused, so we only have one to deal with!  He is really a tough horse and does not let you know if he is sore ~ you have to be really aware of him and how he goes to be sure he is not hurting.
What makes Kirby the champion he is?
Kirby is a champion at heart. He is easy because he travels well and nothing bothers him.   He is mischeiveous, difficult, funny, playful, annoying, and most of all, too smart!  He will challenge you on anything, but once you earn his heart, he will do anything for you.  He love treats and loves to play.  He enjoys people and loves attention. He has more personality than any horse I have ever owned.  He also bites!  He is just too smart for his own good.  Like Charlie says at the end of his AQHA interview, “He is just a good horse….he’s just one of those good horses.” That really says it all!
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7 thoughts on “Meet Ohio’s World Champ: Owner Kristine Nagy and Lightning Starnbars

  1. great job!! kristine is a wonderful horse women!! i have a tear in my eyes after watching that little video….so proud to know u both. congrats kristine & kirby!!

  2. Yes, I’m just thrilled for you Kristine!! I would have been balling my eyes out with pride!!! And, congrats to you too Charlie!!! I too own a Lightening Sugar Bull horse and they are truly special!

  3. Congrats to Kristine, Kirby, and Charlie. Kristine you are such a sweet heart and I can’t thank you enough for cheering Morgan on in the poles and making her realize she could do it!!!!!! YOU deserve this win !!!!!

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