Derby Day returns to Elk Grove and region's top reiners do, too
ELK GROVE – The thrill of the Derby and the excitement of the derbies collide this time of year at Brookside Equestrian Park, home of the Rein For The Roses. For five days, included Saturday’s Kentucky Derby interlude that features mint juleps, a hat contest and a pause for all to watch the race, the Rein For The Roses lived up to its formidable reputation.
This year’s fifth edition of the show, held April 29-May 3, marked the 25th anniversary of the venue under owner Bill Madden, and both the weather and attendance could not have been better. Four days of West Coast Reining Horse Association Affiliate ancillary classes were featured, as well as the Derby on the Derby, the Maturity and NRHA Green Reiner classes.
17th Annual at Cal Expo, 45 years of community service, Valley Center's rodeo, and More!
The 17th Annual Western States Horse Expo comes to Cal Expo next month, and it’s going to be the best one in years. The facelift to some facilities, the increase in the number and the quality of vendors, the expansion of the clinicians and speakers — truly, this one is a “don’t miss!” As the Official Publisher of the Expo Program and the Official Online Marketplace, California Horsetrader and horsetrader.com will be right there for you. If you’d like to reach the attendees, be sure to call or email for advertising info, as we’ll be the only magazines distributed on the same racks as the Official Program, and we’ll be handing out 50 percent more copies than any other publication. Plus, you’ll be in the same issue that’ll reach up and down the West Coast — delivering your message to more readers FASTER than any other publication. Check out our mobile-friendly online access to current clinicians and current vendors in this issue!
CRHA 'Fiesta Fever' reining doubles in size from last year
Club secretary Marilyn Scheffers reported the event is twice of 2014′s turnout, as more than 100 Southern California reiners flocked to Tucalota Creek Ranch for over 150 goes judged by Monica Albair.
Spur straps were awarded to champions, as CRHA members also earned points for year-end awards and a chance to ride in the Reiner of the Year contest in this October’s CRHA Challenge Reining Horse Show. An exhibitor pizza party during the event and an open wine tasting room at Tucalota Creek Ranch added to the festivities.
The big guns were on hand and meant business, and Tom Foran claimed the Open Championship on Taylor Sheridan’s Crome Plated Step. Pat Wickenheiser was reserve on Carla Meyer’s Whiz N Westcoast.
Ralls, Call Me Mitch take Derby in Lifeline Horse Trials highlight
The Central Valley is the cradle of reined cow horse, the root of the National Reined Cow Horse Association, so when the local club competes, there’s a round-up of all-stars.
“You know, even just for our weekend shows down there in Bakersfield, we get the ‘big dogs’ because there are so many in this area,” says CCHA Board Member Lance Johnston, himself one of those big dogs. “Doug Williamson, Jake Gorrell, John Ward, Jon Roeser and Teddy (Robinson) comes over the hill with Tucker and Tina, and Ron Emmons comes down.
“You would think that our club would put on a nice little weekend show, where we go, have a little fun, and back the horses off a bit,” added Johnston. “But you really don’t get to do that if you want to place at all, or win. You still got to run pretty hard and compete. There are no freebies down there in Bakersfield.”
Dynamic duo is winning, but Fellers says no World Cup Final on horizon
Back for the third time as master builder for the Ranch & Coast Classic, Texan course designer Oscar Soberon is quite familiar with the challenges of building for this class. After Thursday’s tight and technical Markel Insurance Grand Prix track, Soberon planned today’s course with less technical emphasis.
The 16-element course with a time allowed of 84 seconds presented plenty of tests for the experienced field. “It’s a $60,000 class, so it’s tougher than Thursday because of the height, but it’s not as tricky. I do think there are questions everywhere; from fence one, which is a wall, to a lot of fences with solid rails, which are always difficult to jump,” he explained. “The combination of white and black rails is also tough. I hope we get to see between four and six clear.”
12th in a series
In my previous articles, I’ve referred to the German Training Scale. It is a logical system of training developed by the German National Equestrian Federation (GNEF), describing the progression of training of an equine for all disciplines.
It can also be imagined as a circle of steps, that one cannot make progress without a combination of all previous steps being established, before moving forward in which end result is the horse achieves balance, self carriage and engagement. The GNEF publishes a series of books, which are an excellent resource for all equestrians. I would recommend their book on driving, which is based on the Achenbach system, developed in the early 1900’s by Benno Von Achenbach.
This system of driving is recognized worldwide, who’s main aim is to produce a driver, who will not through ignorance, cause suffering and injury to his horse, nor place themselves or others in danger while out in public, as the result of bad harnessing or poor driving techniques.
"Awareness is crucial to the recovery of any injury. Keep vigilant of any changes in your horse's behavior and take up any concerns with your vet."
Athletes who play sports are susceptible to injuries specific to that sport. Common basketball injuries include ankle sprains and shin splints. Football injuries include shoulder separations and torn rotator cuffs. Horses are athletes, too, and whether you ride trail or perform in a specific discipline, injuries will occur when there is repetitive use, conformation challenges, and fatigue.
In addition to starting colts, I do get a lot of problem horses to remedy with issues like bucking, rearing and bolting. The first thing I want to rule out is pain. I will ask a great deal of questions pertaining to the specific problem such as when it began, where does it occur and has the horse’s demeanor changed. If there is anything that points to pain, I will require a lameness exam. When starting colts, I require teeth to be floated and wolf teeth removed prior to their arrival. Awareness is crucial to the recovery of any injury. Keep vigilant of any changes in your horse’s behavior and take up any concerns with your vet.
El Rancho Spring Classic cutting brings best to MEC
RANCHO MURIETA – What do you get when you take a premiere facility in a central location, mix in weekend dates that are scheduled just prior to a large regional cutting, and add a fund-raiser for a heart-felt cause?
You get success, something that the El Rancho Spring Classic, presented by Carol Ward, enjoyed in spades during its four-day run April 22-25 at the Murieta Equestrian Center. Ward, owner of Carol Ward Cutting Horses and also of the MEC, went to great lengths along with her crew to provide another fun-filled show that included tough competition, too.
Competitors from throughout the region participated in El Rancho, many of them appreciative of the chance to get some work in before the 6666 Ranch National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships 140 miles away in Reno on April 26-May 5.
Fourteenth in a series In recent issues, Les covered cuing zones and other details of using our legs. Here is an exercise that illustrates with our hands.
Here’s a good exercise to remind you of how little rein pressure it takes to send a signal to your horse. To try it, just hang your bridle on a doorknob, like it would hang from a horse’s head. Now stand about five feet away, take one rein in your hand and just lift it until you make contact with the bit and it starts to move. You’ll see that it doesn’t really take a lot of pressure or movement on your part to get movement out of the bit. Our goal is not to force the horse’s movement through the bridle, but to teach him to respond in a certain way when he feels contact, not necessarily pressure, from the bit. The faster you can train yourself to cue him with a lighter touch, the faster you will get the light response we all want to achieve.
Rising talent is showcased during Blenheim season
Estelle Navet and Revann de Lojou
Blenheim Spring was a comfortable and rewarding venue for the young and elegant Estelle Navet. Trained by her father, international show jumping champion Eric Navet, the two have formed an undeniably successful partnership. Her victory in the Modified Junior-Amateur Jumper Classic was particularly sweet with her family in attendance. Estelle credits both parents and her sister for valuable help and support.