Go to FastAd#:

    Desert glory

    Californians shine at 2015 Scottsdale Arabian Show

    Horsetrader Staff Reports - March 19th, 2015 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    1503B CoverSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – You expect things to begin heating up in the desert this time of year, but the warming trend at the 2015 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show extended beyond climate. With almost 2,400 horses, the 60th Annual Scottsdale event, put on by the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona, was booming — an indicator that both the event and breed are, well, on fire.

    And Californians were part of the heat source. Several barns from the Golden State returned with Scottsdale Championships and Top Tens. And, a former California barn that moved to Cave Creek, Ariz., the Burkman Centre, racked up several tri-colors by loyal California exhibitors who continue to ride under Cynthia Burkman.

    “The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is a class act,” said Temecula-based trainer Katherine Rich-Elzig, whose barn collected a pair of championships, three reserves and a list of Top Ten and other achievements. “The show commission does a wonderful job planning and producing a competition that draws exhibitors and spectators from around the world. It’s an exhilarating feeling to enter an arena with the best of the best to compete against them, and so many spectators around the edge that it’s standing room only.

    “The air is so thick with excitement that it can be a challenge to keep your horse focused,” she added. “But at the end of the day, you can tell they love their job.”

    For the third straight year – each year on a different horse -- Saylor Weidauer won the Scottsdale Hunter-Seat Equitation 14-under preliminary class. This year's title came aboard EVG Quintahn, owned by Keertana Reddy.

    For the third straight year – each year on a different horse — Saylor Weidauer won the Scottsdale Hunter-Seat Equitation 14-under preliminary class. This year’s title came aboard EVG Quintahn, owned by Keertana Reddy.

    Osteen-Schatzberg photo

    Judges loved the performances of Rich-Elzig’s pupils, including Keeley Bullard and Saylor Weidauer, in Hunter-seat Equitation. Weidauer rode Keertana Reddy’s EVG Quintahn to the Hunter-Seat Equitation 14-under Championship, a $2,000 scholarship class, and also placed first in the Hunter-seat Equitation 14-under AHA Hunter-seat Equitation Medal 14-under. It was the third year in a row she has won the Hunter-Seat Equitation 14-under, each time on a different horse.

    “All three years, the horses that she’s competed on have been 6-year olds, and it’s always their first time to compete in equitation and pattern,” said her trainer.

    Riding her Cadberry++/, Bullard was Scottsdale Reserve Champion in Hunter-seat Equitation 15-18, a $3,000 scholarship class, and she took first place unanimously in the AHA Hunter-Seat Equitation Medal 15-18, Top Ten H/A Hunter Pleasure JOTR 15-18, and Top Ten H/A Hunter Pleasure Open.

    “Both girls are all business when it comes to equitation,” said Rich-Elzig, who won herself a Scottsdale Championship and Reserve, respectively, in Half-Arabian Sport Horse in Hand Mare and Half-Arabian Sport Horse Under Saddle Junior Horse. “They’ve really mastered the ability to pattern horses.”

    Rich-Elzig also rode Bullard’s Black Primo+// to a Reserve Championship in Half-Arabian English Showhack Open, while Bullard took Black Primo++/ to Top Ten in both Half-Arabian English Showhack Junior To Ride and in Half-Arabian Ladies Side Saddle Junior To Ride. Another Rich-Elzig rider, Maya Kikuchi, enjoyed Top Tens in both Purebred English Showhack JTR and Purebred Country English Pleasure JTR 14-under with her horse, KD Bay On Bay.

    California riders have a history of success under Burkman, and this year at Scottsdale was no different.

    On top of her Hunt Seat Equitation 14-under titleon EVG Quintahn, Saylor Weidauer also was Top Ten English Showhack on Yahtzzee.

    On top of her Hunt Seat Equitation 14-under titleon EVG Quintahn, Saylor Weidauer also was Top Ten English Showhack on Yahtzzee.

    Osteen-Schatzberg photo

    Shannon Chudzicki, who first trained with Burkman in the late 1990s, returned home with a Scottsdale Signature Stallion Hunter Futurity Championship with Arsenal BV (IA Ambassador X Adelaida V +//), ridden by Burkman. It was just a year ago that Chudzicki and her mother, Donna, discovered the bay gelding at Burkman Centre and acquired him from breeder Lisa Ethell of Eugene, Ore.

    “There was something athletic about him that I thought would make him strong in the hunter division,” said Shannon, a Norco-based real estate broker who specializes in equestrian properties. “We lunged him and liked the look of him. He’s big, he’s beautiful, bold and charismatic. The way he moved, we knew he had a lot of natural talent.”

    Arsenal’s futurity win at Scottsdale in just his third show bodes of a strong future. Shannon has been showing since age 5, and has competed regionally and nationally since 1995. She said they got into Arabians through a good friend of her mother, who had a purebred Arabian stallion. Eventually, the Chudzickis became involved in the Arabian circuit, and Shannon was allowe to show the friend’s horse.

    “We ended up loving the horse and the breed so much that we ended up purchasing some other purebred Arabians,” Shannon recalled. “Then, we ended up showing more and more!”

    She plans to show Arsenal in amateur maturity classes at Nationals in October, and they hope to see Burkman vie in the Nationals junior horse competition, too, after qualifying in Region VII.

    Trainer Katherine Rich-Elzig took Debbie Moss's Witch And Famous to the Scottsdale Champion Half-Arabian Sport Horse In-Hand Mare.

    Trainer Katherine Rich-Elzig took Debbie Moss’s Witch And Famous to the Scottsdale Champion Half-Arabian Sport Horse In-Hand Mare.

    Rob Hess photo

    Another California star at Scottsdale who trains under Burkman was Katie Russell of Santa Ynez, who returned home with a pair of Scottsdale Championships this year with her rising star, Ariya Encore++ (Aria Impresario X Airiya). The 6-year-old gelding, a.k.a. “Corky”, already has proved to be uniquely a force both in halter and performance arenas, earning a National Championship in Halter and a Reserve in Hunter Pleasure under Burkman.

    At Scottsdale, Russell showed him to titles in Purebred Hunter Pleasure Elite AATR and also Purebred Hunter Pleasure AATR 40-over.

    “He’s a special horse,” said Russell, who also picked up a Scottsdale Reserve in Half-Arabian Western Pleasure AATR 40-over on her Keepin Secrets CB+. “It’s rare to see one that can win National Championships in performance and halter.”

    Enamored by his looks and movement as a 2-year old, she bought Ariya Encore++ as a young colt, and today she considers herself lucky.

    “Super-duper lucky,” she said. “I was really nervous because it’s hard to buy a little 2-year old. He was just coming two, but he was so pretty — absolutely stunning — and he looked like he’d be a good mover.”

    Russell, who also resides in Pasadena, says good horses are just part of her success on the Arabian circuit.

    “Cynthia’s the No. 1 ingredient,” she’s said. “Obviously, you need good horses, but Cynthia is unbelievably talented and she has a great staff. She is very patient with the horses — kind and fair. She truly does treat each horse as an individual and takes her time with them.

    “With her, it’s not like they have to go out every day and be perfect,” she added. “She kind of peaks them so that they are not stressed all the time. She really has their best interest. They are happy horses, so I think they go out and compete and look pleasurable — and look happy.”

    Leave a Comment

    All fields must be filled in to leave a message.