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    Rein for the Roses

    Non Pro Appy earns place in 'spotlight’

    From Horsetrader staff reports - June 7th, 2012 - Show & Event News

    ELK GROVE – Almost 200 horses and some of Northern California’s top reiners converged on the Brookside Equestrian Center May 3-6 for the 2012 Rein for the Roses.

    Host Bill Madden put on three social events at this four-day reining, including a free spaghetti dinner at Thursday night’s draw party, a tri-tip dinner Friday, and a special Derby Day deal where the reining show’s schedule halted to present the Kentucky Derby on four televisions in Silky’s Back Gate pub. About 100 attended, followed that evening with a taco dinner and the Hat Parade and Contest was held.

    But the most fun came in the arena, where 181 horses vied during the busy weekend. Noel Mathias was thrilled with the performance of her 11-year-old Appaloosa gelding, Hobbys Spotted Taps, who scored a 72 to win the NRHA Novice Non Pro Level 1 Championship en route to a breakthrough.

    “This was a huge win for me — my first NRHA class I’ve ever won,” said Mathias, a perpetual high-finisher who has missed the top spot in the NRHA classes until now. The pair also won the 7-up Maturity Reserve Championship at this show.

    Mathias, a San Rafael City Schools support technician, credits trainer Kim Yancey with the breakthrough. She began last summer training with Yancey, who has helped her focus on details of being in the show pen.

    “She’s been working with me on the way I show my horse — the little things – and it’s been fabulous,” said Mathias. I showed without a trainer for a long time, and it’s possible to do it by yourself. But with the support that they all give you, you never give up in pursuit of your goals. Never, ever give up!”

    Mathias acquired her horse as a weanling from her friend, Jillian Baxter Galligan of Sliding Spot Ranch, home of sire Hobbys Spotted Chex.

    “I may get teased about his spots and what not, but he’s got the best personality — and he’s a try-er,” she said. “I can’t overstate the virtues of an Appaloosa!”

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