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    West Coast Wonders

    Nation's largest NRHA Affiliate vie for titles and trips to OKC

    From Horsetrader staff and WCRHA reports - November 21st, 2013 - Show & Event News

    Matt McDowell took Tamarack Ranch's Miss Silver Gun to the NRHA Northwest Affiliate Open Championship.

    Matt McDowell took Tamarack Ranch’s Miss Silver Gun to the NRHA Northwest Affiliate Open Championship.

    John O’Hara photo

    RANCHO MURIETA –The National Reining Horse Association’s largest affiliate descended on the Murieta Equine Center Oct. 8-13 for the 2013 Northwest Affiliate Finals, hosted by a booming West Coast Reining Horse Association that held its year-end show, too.

    The event, the last stop for qualifiers before they head to Oklahoma City for the NRHA Futurity and North American Affiliate Championships Nov. 28-Dec. 7, filled more than 300 MEC stalls , attracting entrants from Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

    “We had an incredible week,” said Ollie Galligan, WCRHA President. “There were healthy numbers in all classes and strong talent in our futurities and derbies. The smiles on the exhibitors’ faces as they took home fantastic prizes and who enjoyed the sponsored parties was gratifying. The sponsors and volunteers stepped forward and made this show the best in the West.”

    Galligan himself found room to smile in the show pen, sharing reserve championships in both Affiliate Open and Intermediate Open divisions on Lavonne Sturgeon’s California Shines. Matthew McDowell rode Tamarack Ranch’s Miss Silver Gun to the Affiliate-winning 73.5 in both divisions, with Galligan 1.5 points behind alongside David Hanson on Giselle Turchet’s Load Your Gun.

    Sandra Bentien slides to the Northwest Affiliate Non Pro title on her Make It With A Twist.

    Sandra Bentien slides to the Northwest Affiliate Non Pro title on her Make It With A Twist.

    John O’Hara photo

    McDowell and Miss Silver Gun also claimed the open aged event sponsored by Select The Best, the 7Up Maturity, with Galligan and California Shines in reserve. The Select The Best 7Up Maturity Non Pro Championship went to Shawna Smith, who marked a 73 on Cash N Too, whom she owns with Mike Mallo.

    In the Open Futurity, sponsored by Darling 888 Ranch, Hanson rode Gotta Nu Gun for owner Turchet to a win that earned $1,168, just a half-point ahead of co-reserve champions Thad Carr on Mark Faley’s Jacs Star and Jimmy Nichols on Lil Gun Smokin Oak, owned by James Nichols and Christine Siolo.

    In the Darling 888 Non Pro Futurity, Joey Pacini took his Catalyst Whiz to a win worth $1,230, outpointing co-reserve champions Loren Booth on her Custom Made Spook and Melissa Compton on Coastawaywithme, owned by Vickie Compton. Melissa also took reserve in the Non Pro Level 1 Futurity.

    Another popular aged event was the Derby, where Riccardo Nicolazzi took SDR The Spooky Kid to a decisive Open win for owner Louis De Vincentis in Level 3 and Level 4. The pair’s 148 total earned $1,080. Mike Boyle rode Kellie Meier’s Whizen Starlight to the Open Derby Reserve Championship with a 145.5, winning $857, in both levels.

    Holly Lansidel takes first in Limited Non Pro and Top 5 in three other divisions aboard her Smart Like Steady.

    Holly Lansidel takes first in Limited Non Pro and Top 5 in three other divisions aboard her Smart Like Steady.

    John O’Hara photo

    Stacy Hamilton took her Whiz I Was Smart to the Non Pro Derby title, recording a 144.5 score that edged Cam Essick on her Who Loves You. Hamilton earned $1,118, Essick $838.69.

    Highlights in youth competition included Charlize Zuraek marking a 72 aboard Rollin Back Rawhide to win the Youth 13-under title, two points ahead of reserve champion Grace Bentien on Make It With A Twist.

    The Youth 14-18 Division and Unrestricted Youth classes may have had young riders, but the competition was fierce. Tess Lindberg, riding Chicadero, tied with Courtney Yohey on Imasmartlittlecheese with scores of 73, then Lindberg won the run-off when she marked another 73.

    The Youth Rookie class was determined by another run-off, with Bentien and Make It With A Twist edging and Emily Brugato riding Nite Dreams.

    After a great pancake breakfast, the final day of competition included a familiar horse-and-rider pair taking championships in both the Novice Horse Open Level 1 and 2. Hanson and Load Your Gun took both wins, with reserve in the Level 1 going to Elizabeth Rammerstorfer riding Whoz Whiz for owners Ron and Sally Hoppe. Reserve in the Level 2 went to Gabe Divide riding Gaucho Whiz for Jeanette Devery.

    The Novice Horse Non Pro ranks featured tough competition, too, with Jeanne Levine riding Home Runnin Whiz to a championship with a 73.5. Shawna Smith and Cash N Too were reserve. Smith also tied for the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 title with Courtney Yohey on Imasmartlittlecheese, concluding a big week for both reiners.

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