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1612A CoverJANUARY-FEBRUARY

A growing number of equestrians are taking up arms, as shooting on horseback continues to attract new competitors to its ranks.
Lured by the challenge and the camaraderie, memberships are swelling in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association — especially in California and the birthplace of CMSA, Arizona, where the Arizona Mounted Shooters Association had three January events to start the year.
With names like Roy Rogers Rangers and the Tombstone Ghost Riders, how can anyone resist a peek at this fast-action sport that requires horsemanship — and a special horse.

Six-year-old Katherine King may not have much experience in the saddle, but you can bet she was among the nation’s leaders in ribbons won this year.
The youngster from Placentia, known in her circles as “Katherine The Brave”, lost her battle to a rare illness, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), but a village of supporters grew to include trainer Heather Spies and clients at HS Performance Horses in Riverside. After devoting themselves to give Katherine a special day with a unicorn via the Make A Wish Foundation, the barn dedicated itself to the youngster and her family.
“No National Championship moment, no Regional Championship or any ribbon will ever compare to that day,” said Spies, whose former horse, a retired Arabian now owned by Lori Chiodini, made the perfect unicorn.
After a courageous struggle that inspired many and raised awareness of DIPG, Katherine died in June.

FEBRUARY

Big names filled the field at HITS Therma’, including Olympic Gold Medalist and five-time World Cup finalist, Will Simpson of Westlake Village and Olympian and World Cup Finals champion Rich Fellers and Flexible, owned by Harry and Mollie Champion. It would be Los Angeles equestrian Chris Pratt, who had won over $150,000 in Week III of the HITS Desert Circuit alone, and owner Eddy Sepul’s stunning Dutch Warmblood gelding, Edesa’s Basantos, who would take home the well-deserved victory in the $350,000 HITS Thermal Grand Prix Feb. 7.

As the crowd gathered to watch the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping in Thermal on Feb. 13, the international line-up of horses and riders for the final West Coast qualifying opportunity — and a $100,000 prize purse – was impressive.
Egypt native Nayel Nassar, a winner of the 2013 HITS Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix, and his own Lordan showed they were ready to compete in 2016, qualifying for the jump-off in the last go, then flying through the final round in their deceptively fast yet careful style for victory. Two weeks later, Rich Fellers and Flexible topped a strong field that included Will Simpson, Susie Hutchison and 43 others in the $25,000 Smartpak Grand Prix at HITS Thermal.
Hutchison, who had just won the $5,000 Brook Ledge Welcome two days earlier on Ziedento, tipped her hat to her victorious colleague.
“They are just on an unstoppable tear” said Hutchison, who had made the jump-off on Ziedento. “Flexible seems like he’s still 10 years old. It’s an amazing duo to watch.”

JANUARY

A growing number of equestrians are taking up arms, as shooting on horseback continues to attract new competitors to its ranks.
Lured by the challenge and the camaraderie, memberships are swelling in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association — especially in California and the birthplace of CMSA, Arizona, where the Arizona Mounted Shooters Association had three January events to start the year.
With names like Roy Rogers Rangers and the Tombstone Ghost Riders, how can anyone resist a peek at this fast-action sport that requires horsemanship — and a special horse.

FEBRUARY

With two big scores in four tough events, Clayton Edsall of Oakdale earned the title of World’s Greatest Horseman during the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions event held Feb. 12-20 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center.

Riding his own gelding, Skeets Oak Peppy, Edsall scored a 221 to lead the herd work to set his winning pace.

Equestfest parades into L.A. Equestrian Center Dec. 30

From the Horsetrader sales staff - December 1st, 2016

InGate graphicSince 1890, horses have been part of the Rose Parade, with equines pulling flower decorated carriages more than 127 years ago. Even with the advent of motorized vehicles in the
parade, equestrian units have remained a big part each year, highlighting a wide variety of breeds including graceful Andalusians, striking Percherons, and elegant Saddlebreds. Skilled riders, eye-catching costumes and hand-crafted tack add to the appeal year after year. Fans have an opportunity to see the 2017 Tournament of Roses equestrian units at the Equestfest, sponsored by Wells Fargo and held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center Friday, Dec. 30. Twenty equestrian groups this year will include:

The Elevator Bit

After looking at collection and rating speed the last couple of columns, Les takes a break to look at bits.

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - December 1st, 2016

More With Les graphicThe elevator bit might look a litt le odd, but it’s a tool I developed several years ago, and I really like what it can do for some horses. If a horse has learned to get away with things in a smooth snaffl e it makes riding them a lot of work. If this is your situation, and the horse is ready, that is, he’s picked up everything we’ve worked on so far, you might want to try the elevator bit.

Now here’s the way that an elevator bit works. Since the curb is so loose, the bit will stretch the horse’s mouth upon contact, just like a regular snaffle does, but at a certain point, he’s going to feel the chain too.

Time for a Challenge

CRHA hosts year-end show, NRHA Southwest Affiliate Championships

From releases and staff reports - November 17th, 2016

1611B CoverBURBANK — Not even badly needed rain showers could dampen spirits at the California Reining Horse Association’s 2016 Challenge Show, held Oct 26-30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Exhibitors from all across California as well as Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and other points north, south and east came to participate in National Reining Horse Association Finals, Year-end Special Award Events, parties, futurities, derbies, an inaugural para-reining class, youth meetings, and more.

Events kicked off with a CRHA-hosted omelet Bar on Friday morning, setting the tone for Saturday night’s exhibitor party sponsored by longtime CRHA supporter Danny Gerardi. Italian food, a well-stocked bar and a deejay got spirits flowing in time for the evening’s exciting NRHA Open Futurity, where Nicolas Barthelemy, riding Manny Rojo’s WRS Shiney Diamond, swept all divisions L1, L2, L3 and L4, marking a 150 for their big win.

From dressage to three-day

Megan Wilson and her 'Mojah' take Training Division win, start-to-end

By Shelby Allen / USEA - November 17th, 2016
Megan Noelle Wilson and Classic’s Mojah, a 7-year-old Oldenburg  former dressage prospect with Steffen Peters, soared to the Training Division A title at the Galway Downs International Event.

Megan Noelle Wilson and Classic’s Mojah, a 7-year-old Oldenburg former dressage prospect with Steffen Peters, soared to the Training Division A title at the Galway Downs International Event.

capturedmomentphoto.com photo

TEMECULA — Galway Downs International is a popular year-end destination for West Coast eventers, offering not only international CCI divisions, but also a chance to tackle a traditional long format event with their USEA Classic Series divisions. These proved increasingly popular at Galway Nov. 4-6, with entries warranting two training three-day divisions.

Megan Noelle Wilson and her own Classic’s Mojah (Chambertin x Sevillano) led the Training Three-Day A division from start to finish. The 7-year-old Oldenburg was originally slated for a career in dressage, and carried theses skills into the first phase of competition, scoring a 26 on the flat.

Big Horse is in the spirit: Ladies Night, Gift Registry

From the Horsetrader Sales Staff - November 17th, 2016

InGate graphicBig Horse Feed and Mercantile “Gift Registry” is the best way to avoid gift giving disasters this holiday season. The gift registry is the perfect opportunity to graciously tell your loved ones what you’d truly like for Christmas. Both registrants and their loved ones will receive 15 percent off any purchase of registry items (restrictions apply). That’s Big Horse savings! And ladies, it’s your night…Ladies Night on Dec. 6, 6-8 p.m.! There’ll be food and refreshments as well as 20 percent savings on your Christmas shopping.

Aces High at WCRHA year-end reining show

From releases and staff reports - November 17th, 2016
David Hanson  takes Aces High Whiz,  owned by Larry Lease, to a pressure-packed 73.5 in a run-off to win the WCRHA Open title.

David Hanson takes Aces High Whiz, owned by Larry Lease, to a pressure-packed 73.5 in a run-off to win the WCRHA Open title.

John O’Hara photo

RANCHO MURIETA — A beautiful autumn weekend at Murieta Equestrian Center played host to the West Coast Reining Horse Association Year End Show Oct. 20-23. With eight saddles, $21,000 in added money, buckles to champions and reserves and even more prizes up for grabs, this premier Northern California show didn’t take long to hit a high note.

With a four-way tie and run-off for the Open championship saddle, Aces High Whiz owned by Larry Lease and shown by David Hanson, won the run-off with a 73.5 to win. Jennifer Gilliam and her gelding, Hick A Shine, and Martin Padilla showing Diamond Oak captured the Co-Championship in the Open 7 & Up Maturity and Reserve Championship in the Open class with a score of 73.

Colt Starting, Part 2: Steady as you go

By Sheryl Lynde / Horsetrader columnist - November 17th, 2016

Trainer TipsAs we discussed in last month’s column, the more you properly handle your horse prior to getting started, the easier the first ride will be for both the horse and rider. The best time to start your colt depends on the breed and also on the intended use — is the training for a specific performance? Build a strong foundation? A longtime companion for trail?