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    ‘Pedro’ powered

    California reiners like Ken Hamilton and Chicadero shine at 2012 NRHA Futurity

    From Horsetrader staff reports - January 3rd, 2013 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Reiners from across California wrapped up their 2012 season with Top 10 finishes at the National Reining Horse Association, as NRHA closed the curtain Dec. 1 on another record-setting year.

    Riders from both the West Coast Reining Horse Association (WCRHA) Northwest Affiliate and the California Reining Horse Association (CRHA) Southwest Affiliate shined during the 10-day competiton, which featured a new Three Million Dollar Rider when Texan Tim McQuay pierced the earnings mark after earning $145,000 on David Silva’s Gunners TInseltown.

    For Ken Hamilton of Clovis, his North American Affiliate Limited Non Pro championship on Chicadero with a 218.5 may have been more modest, but still registered high on the thrill scale.

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    Ken Hamilton of Clovis and his Chicadero, renamed "Pedro", cap a remarkable year by sliding to the NRHA Affiliate Limited Non Pro title in OKC.

    “We had a great year overall, but that was a great way to finish it up,” said Hamilton, who has called the 10-year-old gelding “Pedro” since he acquired him two years ago from a Tanya Jenkins client. “He’s just a fantastic athlete since he was a 3-year-old. First time I rode him, I fell in love with him. He was just great. You sent him down the pen to run and he would just pick his shoulders up, pick his back up, drop his head and just go. Not run off with you — he just wanted to work.”

    Hamilton and Chicadero, the Northwest Affiliate Limited Open Champion, were trained under the recently retired Kim Yancey. He and his wife of 15 years, Stacey, share the reining passion, competing respectively on their four reiners that accompany their broodmare. Also, they both are registered nurses in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Madera.

    “Horses are our family,” Ken said. “We enjoy our job, we enjoy the kids we take care of, and we both enjoy the horses and the people we get to be with in the horse industry.”

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    David Hanson rode Kelsey Njus's Doctor Dually Pep to the NAAC Intermediate Open.

    He quickly adds that Stacey, who has ridden “since she was eight” is the better rider, but he has worked hard — and successfully – since he took up reining about 10 years ago. The key, he says, is a pursuit of the elusive perfect ride.

    “The thing that I learn is more and more important are the details, because you can’t dismiss any of those details as unimportant,” he said. “You start off learning maneuvers and how to get the horse moving around the pen, and then you start learning about hip control and those things — those little things make the difference between a half-point and a point — and that’s where you win or not. I won affiliate by a half -point. All those little things add up.”

    Another WCRHA non pro who had things add up at the NRHA Futurity was Debi Murnan on her Chromer Simpson. The Grass Valley reiner, who also trains at Yancey’s barn, may not have defended her 2011 NRHA Novice Horse Level 1 title with “Chromer”, but she had a strong show, taking reserve titles in both the NRHA Affiliate Prime Time Non Pro and NRHA Affiliate Non Pro classes, and she tied for third in the Ancillery Non Pro class where the champion marked a 221.5.

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    Caden Hanson claimed his first OKC win on Slide Zone in the 10-under Short Stirrup class.

    “I was tickled to death,” said Murnan, who is looking forward to showing in more Derbies in 2013. “Even at second place, that was the best score I’d ever gotten back there, and the class was huge.”

    David Hanson, outgoing three-year President of the 325-member WCRHA, rode Kelsey Njus’s 8-year-old stallion, Doctor Dually Pep, to the NAAC Intermediate Open championship and was third in the Open. His son, Caden, claimed a win on Slide Zone in the 10-under Short Stirrup class. It was Caden’s first time in the show pen at the NRHA Futurity.

    Doctor Dually Pep will be honored this month at the WCRHA banquet as its Horse of the Year.

    “We have a real competitive group,” Hanson said of the WCRHA. “They represent us well every year.”

    CRHA reiners shined as well with several Top 10 performers. Temecula trainer Bill Norwood rode Sheri Held’s Easy Otie Buckles to high placings in both the Affiliate Level 2 Intermediate Open (seventh) and Affiliate Level 3 Intermediate Open (ninth) classes.

    In the Youth 13 and Under, Kristi Wiggins showed Dun Dreaming to a fifth-place finish in both the North American Affiliate Championship division and the regular ancillary class. She also placed 10th on that horse in the Unrestricted Youth.

    CRHA President Tom Foran showed Kimberly Adamic’s gelding, Lenas Smartie Pants, to a ninth place finish in the Novice Horse Open Level 1 in the North American Affiliate Championship division.

    In the Youth 14-18 NAAC division, Tommy Weiss showed Fancy Red Short Oak to a 10th-place finish.

    MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/301A_NRHA

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