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    Shootout at the MEC corral

    WCRHA spices up affiliate weekend with Non Pro event

    From Horsetrader staff reports - June 5th, 2014 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    Jennifer Gilliam rides Janiene Borror's Hick A Shine to the $3,000-added Murieta Equine Center Shootout Non-Pro title, held during the WCRHA Affiliate 3 and 4 shows May 22-25.

    Jennifer Gilliam rides Janiene Borror’s Hick A Shine to the $3,000-added Murieta Equine Center Shootout Non-Pro title, held during the WCRHA Affiliate 3 and 4 shows May 22-25.

    John O’Hara photo

    RANCHO MURIETA — It’s not every day that a non pro reiner can catch-ride someone else’s horse and compete against other non pros in a major venue — for cash, nonetheless.

    For the fifth straight year, that’s just what the West Coast Reining Horse Association provided its members May 24 at the $5,000-added Murieta Equine Center Non Pro Shootout, a popular Saturday night event sandwiched between the club’s Affiliate No. 3 and Affiliate No. 4 shows.

    This year, 23 entries divided the Non Pro Level 1 and Non Pro Level 4 field, half of which were making catch-rides on borrowed horses.

    Enthusiasm for the MEC Shootout had begun even before Friday night’s draw party, featuring a full barbeque sponsored by GD Performance Horses and Delbert Tullos. Some riders had been preparing for months, looking forward to a $5,000-added class with no rules or regulations other than being a legitimate NRHA non pro. Not only is the MEC Shootout one of the few chances for non pros to show horses they don’t own, it also jackpots all entry fees into the purse, guaranteeing $2,000 cash to the Level 4 winner at the back gate, and $1,000 cash to the Level 1 winner. The money, in $100 bills, is tucked into a custom Ricotti Saddlery trophy wallet.

    Morgan Davis gives a wide smile with her winnings.

    Morgan Davis gives a wide smile with her winnings.

    John O’Hara photo

    “The non pros love it,” says David Hanson, who worked with MEC to launch the show in order to perk up the spring event calendar. “They don’t have to ride their own horse, and with the added money, usually through eighth place they are making money.”

    Jennifer Gilliam rode her mother’s horse, Hick A Shine, to the Level 4 Championship, earning a Skyline buckle along with her $2,000 cash. On her heels in the reserve spot was Tina McClenahan on her gelding, Little Skeets. In Level 1, youth rider Morgan Davis took her Ghostsliderinthesky to the champion’s buckle and $1,300 in cash winnings, and Kari Ann Moreno, who had pulled her horse Cielo Starlight out of semi-retirement, took reserve.

    Saturday’s MEC Shootout filled the stands with spectators eager to watch riders paired with new horses, and perhaps the most intriguing entry was McClenahan on Show Me The Buckles (Wimpys Little Step x Sunset Whiz by Topsail Whiz), the venerable 6-year-old Level 4 Open Derby horse owned by Rebeca Martin of Ione.

    “That was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had — getting to ride that horse,” says McClenahan, 50, who has been riding reiners 14 years as a non pro, starting in 2000 with Mike Boyle. “That horse is so powerful.”

    Morgan Davis took her Ghostriderinthesky to the $2,000-added Murieta Equine Center Shootout Limited Non-Pro, kicking off a victory celebration.

    Morgan Davis took her Ghostriderinthesky to the $2,000-added Murieta Equine Center Shootout Limited Non-Pro, kicking off a victory celebration.

    John O’Hara photo

    McClenahan rode the stallion for the two weeks leading up to the Shootout after Martin had asked her if she would like to compete on him.

    “All along, my biggest worry was whether I could sit the rollback — especially the right rollback,” she adds. “When Jordan (Larson) or Andrea (Fappani) would ride him, his right rollbacks were phenomenal. I really was scared I might grab the horn, so I told Rebeca that if I grab the horn, it would be because I HAD to, not because I WANTED to.”

    Martin simply told her, “honey, just do your best.” And that’s what McClenahan did.

    “I didn’t grab the horn, and I was able to sit it,” she says. “I think perhaps the horse knew that he had a non pro up there after two weeks of riding, and maybe he slowed it down a little for me.”

    Martin has owned “Buckles”, the fifth-leading progeny of $6 million sire Wimpys Little Step with more than $160,000 in lifetime earnings, since he foaled. She enjoyed watching her friend at his reins.

    “Tina has been a dear friend for many years, and she’s an accomplished rider,” says Martin, who learned of the Shootout when McClenahan mentioned it to her 14 days beforehand. “I would not have trusted that horse to a lot of people, but she has shown in futurities and derbies as a non pro, and I’ve watched her ride many, many times.”

    Mike Boyle guides Ken Hamilton's Rowdy Challenger to the Primetime Open titles in both Affiliate 3 and 4 shows.

    Mike Boyle guides Ken Hamilton’s Rowdy Challenger to the Primetime Open titles in both Affiliate 3 and 4 shows.

    “I would like to have ridden him myself, but I haven’t been in the show pen in six years,” she smiles. “I knew there was no way I could get ready in two weeks, so I thought it would be fun to have her show him.”

    “It had been said that non pros would have a hard time showing this horse because he is a lot of horse,” she adds. “But you know what — I am so proud of her. That girl went out and rode the heck out of it, and he was a good boy for her. I couldn’t have been more happy. I thought she did an amazing job.”

    McClenahan fought through her nervousness, executed, and came away both pleased and enriched.

    For almost two weeks she had practiced trying to get Buckles to slow down his feet in the rollback, but when the rollback came in the show pen, he was his powerful self.

    “I tried to sink my bottom down into the saddle so I wouldn’t pop off,” she says. “I think he’s probably unseated a few people. For me, it was hard to sit that rollback.”

    “What an athlete,” she adds. “That’s the difference between the Level 4 Open horses and others — their mindset and athleticism. I could never have asked for a better partner.”

    The non pro came away with new expectations, partly because of the different mindset.

    “I noticed with Buckles that I treat my horses kind of like friends, like they are my pals,” she says. “I don’t do it for any kind of busines or money — it’s my enjoyment. Horses are my friends, so they act like my friends.”

    “When I got around Buckles, I noticed he was more like a partner — not so much my friend,” she adds. “He knew he had a job to do, and he kind of said, ‘let’s do it’. He had the mindset that there was a job to do, instead of ‘we’re going out to play today.’ I noticed a big difference working with him the first time. When I get on my 3-year-old now that I’ve ridden Buckles, now I want that higher expectation. Hopefuly, that will be a positive thing in the end.”

    MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/406A_WCRHA

    WCRHA Shootout, NRHA Affiliate Shows #3 & #4
    May 22-25, 2014 * Murieta Equestrian Center, Rancho Murieta, Calif.

    Saturday, May 24 – WCRHA Shootout Classes
    SHOOTOUT NON PRO Ch – Hick A Shine/ Jennifer Gilliam/ Janiene Borror
    SHOOTOUT NON PRO Re – Little Skeets/ Tina McClenahan/ Tina McClenahan

    SHOOTOUT LIMITED NON PRO Ch – Ghostsliderinthesky/ Morgan Davis/ Morgan Davis
    SHOOTOUT LIMITED NON PRO Res – Cielo Starlight/ Kari Ann Moreno/ Kari Ann Moreno

    Thursday, May 22 – WCRHA Shootout / Affiliate #3
    OPEN – Load Your Gun/ David Hanson/ Giselle Turchet
    INTERMEDIATE OPEN – Custom Skirt/ Martin Padilla/ Anne McLeod
    LIMITED OPEN – I Love A Surprise/ Emily Diann Sgarrella/ Kathryn Sullivan
    LIMITED OPEN – Home Runnin Whiz/ Lexi Labelle/ Tiffany Peterson
    NOVICE HORSE NON PRO LEVEL 1 – Our Happy Hour/ Hailey Robison/ Hailey Robison
    NOVICE HORSE NON PRO LEVEL 2 – Caramel Candied Tag / Megan Lindberg/ Megan Lindberg
    NOVICE HORSE NON PRO LEVEL 2 – Our Happy Hour/ Hailey Robison/ Hailey Robison
    NRHA GREEN REINER 1 – Whattadualpep/ Kristin Loewenthal/ Kristin Loewenthal
    NRHA GREEN REINER 2 – Whattadualpep/ Kristin Loewenthal/ Kristin Loewenthal
    PRIME TIME OPEN – Rowdy Challenger/ Mike Boyle/ Ken Hamilton
    ROOKIE PROFESSIONAL – I Love A Surprise/ Emily Diann Sgarrella/ Kathryn Sullivan

    Friday, May 23 – WCRHA Shootout / Affiliate #3
    HACKAMORE/SNAFFLE BIT – Miss Electric Shock/ Mike Boyle/ Susan Avila
    INTERMEDIATE NON PRO – Plan Your Luck/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy & Stacey Cook
    LIMITED NON PRO – Plan Your Luck/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy & Stacey Cook
    MASTERS NON PRO – Whoa Dun It/ Margaret Fry/ Margaret Fry
    NON PRO – Plan Your Luck/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy & Stacey Cook
    NOVICE HORSE OPEN LEVEL 1 – Whoz A Whiz/ Elizabeth Rammerstorfer/ Ron & Sally Hoppe
    NOVICE HORSE OPEN LEVEL 2 – Whiz N Steady/ Eric La Porte/ Linda Hardy
    NRHA RIDE & SLIDE NON PRO – Smokums Treana/ Tamra Quinn/ Tamra Quinn
    PRIME TIME NON PRO – I Spook/ Vicki Dias/ Vicki Dias
    PRIME TIME NON PRO – Little Skeets/ Tina McClenahan/ Tina McClenahan
    PRIME TIME NON PRO – Suga Suga/ Jeanne Levine/ Jeanne Levine
    PRIME TIME ROOKIE – Chexout This Mirage/ Lynn Walker/ Lynn Walker
    ROOKIE 1 – Chexout This Mirage/ Lynn Walker/ Lynn Walker
    ROOKIE 1 – Suga Suga/ Kristina Hall/ Jeanne Levine
    ROOKIE 2 – Chexout This Mirage/ Lynn Walker/ Lynn Walker
    UNRESTRICTED YOUTH – Our Happy Hour/ Hailey Robison/ Hailey Robison
    WCRHA GREEN AS GRASS – Got No Diamonds/ Shari Burns/ Melinda Nash
    WCRHA GREEN REINER – Tangys Classy Boy/ Cherie Callander/ Cherie Callander
    YOUTH 13 & UNDER – Smooth Sailing Chic/ Campbell McLeod/ Anne McLeod
    YOUTH 14-18 – Our Happy Hour/ Hailey Robison/ Hailey Robison
    YOUTH ROOKIE – Smooth Sailing Chic/ Campbell McLeod/ Anne McLeod
    YOUTH ROOKIE – CB Busters Col Peppy/ Kendal Scheiner/ Hailey Robison
    YOUTH SHORT STIRRUP – Slide Zone/ Lauren Hanson/ David Hanson

    Saturday, May 24 – WCRHA Shootout / Affiliate #4
    NOVICE HORSE NON PRO LEVEL 1 – Gentleman Juice/ Diane Kovach/ Diane Kovach
    INTERMEDIATE OPEN – Whiz N Steady/ Eric La Porte/ Linda Hardy
    INTERMEDIATE OPEN – Hes At Bat/ Christian Rammerstorfer/ Kathleen Cook
    LIMITED OPEN – Leta Lena Whiz/ Joanne Morrison/ Joanne Morrison
    NOVICE HORSE NON PRO LEVEL 2 – Plan Your Luck/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy/ Debbie Valdero Tweedy & Stacey Cook
    NRHA RIDE & SLIDE NON PRO – Commandonic/ Sue Flood/ Sue Flood
    NRHA RIDE & SLIDE NON PRO – Twisten Easter/ Sydnie Nelson/ Sydnie Nelson
    OPEN – Whiz N Steady/ Eric La Porte/ Linda Hardy
    OPEN – Hes At Bat/ Christian Rammerstorfer/ Kathleen Cook
    PRIME TIME OPEN – Rowdy Challenger/ Mike Boyle/ Ken Hamilton
    PRIME TIME ROOKIE – Got No Diamonds/ Melinda Nash/ Melinda Nash
    PRIME TIME ROOKIE – Lean With Midnight/ Loren Braucht/ Loren Braucht
    ROOKIE 1 – Buenos Home Run/ Margaret Munro/ Margaret Munro
    ROOKIE 1 – Smart As A Bug/ Emily Heldermon/ Emily Heldermon
    ROOKIE 2 – Smart As A Bug/ Emily Heldermon/ Emily Heldermon
    ROOKIE PROFESSIONAL – AR Oakies Last Stand/ Joanne Morrison/ Kristie Banks
    UNRESTRICTED YOUTH – Chicadero / Tessa Lindberg/ Tessa Lindberg
    WCRHA GREEN AS GRASS – Got No Diamonds/ Shari Burns/ Melinda Nash
    WCRHA GREEN REINER – Dunit With An Indian/ Amanda Lawrence/ Gary Van Hoosen
    YOUTH 13 & UNDER – JP Union Chic/ Caden Hanson/ David Hanson
    YOUTH 14-18 – Chicadero/ Tessa Lindberg/ Tessa Lindberg
    YOUTH ROOKIE – Smooth Sailing Chic/ Campbell McLeod/ Anne McCleod
    YOUTH SHORT STIRRUP – Slide Zone/ Lauren Hanson/ David Hanson

    Sunday, May 25 – WCRHA Shootout / Affiliate #4
    HACKAMORE/SNAFFLE BIT – Western Electric/ Ollie Galligan/ Kristi Waters
    GREEN REINER 1 – Dunit Like An Oakie/ Tamara Yates/ Tamara Yates
    GREEN REINER 2 – Dunit Like An Oakie/ Tamara Yates/ Tamara Yates
    INTERMEDIATE NON PRO – Whiz I Was Smart/ Stacy Hamilton/ Stacy Hamilton
    LIMITED NON PRO – Chicadero/ Tessa Lindberg/ Tessa Lindberg
    MASTERS NON PRO – Whiz N Steady/ Linda Hardy/ Linda Hardy
    NON PRO – Hes At Bat/ Kathleen Cook/ Kathleen Cook
    NOVICE HORSE OPEN LEVEL 1 – Whoz A Whiz/ Elizabeth Rammerstorfer/ Ron & Sally Hoppe
    NOVICE HORSE OPEN LEVEL 2 – Maddox/ Christian Rammerstorfer/ Christian Rammerstorfer
    NOVICE HORSE OPEN LEVEL 2 – Whiz N Steady/ Eric La Porte/ Linda Hardy
    PRIME TIME NON PRO – Hes At Bat/ Kathleen Cook/ Kathleen Cook

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