Chuck Givens has made a habit out of winning world championships.

The Richmond resident took home the top prize in pole bending on Sept. 4 in Amarillo, Texas, at the American Quarter Horse Association Bayer Select World Championship.

It was the 18th world championship for Givens.

“It’s as exciting as the first time,” Givens said of his latest title. “I’ve been to a lot of world championships, so I kind of knew the competition, but I never underestimate anyone.”

Givens competed on two horses, placing first and second in the world championships, while also winning the reserve world championship title, his 15th in that category.

The Bayer Select World Championship is described as the largest, single-breed world championship horse show open exclusively to amateur exhibitors age 50 and older, according to a news release.

The average pole bending course consists of riders weaving a pattern through six poles, with each six-foot high pole stationed 21 feet apart and the first pole 21 feet from the starting line.

A knocked-over pole results in a five-second penalty and a missed pole leads to a disqualification.

At the world championship, the top 15 times from the preliminary round advanced to the final.

In the finals, Givens, riding True Rancher Doll, completed the course in a time of 20.91 seconds.

That time was well off his career best of about 19.34, but he said he felt going into the event that the winning time would be a little slower than normal.

Givens said the ground conditions, which included a deep track, factored into slower times.

“It wasn’t really a fast time, but I knew it wouldn’t be a fast time,” Givens said. “It wasn’t really fast as far as the sport of pole bending goes, but it was much faster than the next best.”

Givens said he began competing at about age 12 or 13, moved to Richmond when he was 17 to breed horses, and has been racing competitively in pole bending ever since.

“It’s a growing sport and it’s gotten really big in this area,” Givens said.

In August, Givens was inducted into the National Pole Bending Association Hall of Fame.

Givens will next compete in Columbus, Ohio, in October at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.

Tim Mandell can be reached at or 624-6696.

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