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    El Rancho Spring Classic cutting brings best to MEC

    Special to the Horsetrader - May 7th, 2015 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

    Cover ImageRANCHO MURIETA – What do you get when you take a premiere facility in a central location, mix in weekend dates that are scheduled just prior to a large regional cutting, and add a fund-raiser for a heart-felt cause?

    You get success, something that the El Rancho Spring Classic, presented by Carol Ward, enjoyed in spades during its four-day run April 22-25 at the Murieta Equestrian Center. Ward, owner of Carol Ward Cutting Horses and also of the MEC, went to great lengths along with her crew to provide another fun-filled show that included tough competition, too.

    Competitors from throughout the region participated in El Rancho, many of them appreciative of the chance to get some work in before the 6666 Ranch National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships 140 miles away in Reno on April 26-May 5.

    Catlena Rey made headlines at both shows, as the 8-year-old High Brow Cat gelding, bred by John Harrah out of Miss Reylena, a Smart Little Lena mare, captured the 50,000 Amateur Non Pro title at El Rancho with owner Lauren Cooper of Shingle Springs riding. The following week, Steve Schlesinger took Catlena Rey to a 223 that won the Open finals for Lauren and Ted Cooper, pushing the horse’s earnings past $99,000.

    Catlena Rey, Lauren Cooper's 8-year-old High Brow Cat gelding out of Miss Reylena, takes the Non Pro Circuit title at the 2015 El Rancho Spring Classic  at the MEC April 22-25.

    Catlena Rey, Lauren Cooper’s 8-year-old High Brow Cat gelding out of Miss Reylena, takes the Non Pro Circuit title at the 2015 El Rancho Spring Classic at the MEC April 22-25.

    John O’Hara photo

    El Rancho’s Open Derby Circuit Champion was Movin On Suen (Boon Too Suen x Mh Clays Got Moves x Movin On Hickory), ridden by Monty Buntin for owner Gay Smith.

    Show officials cheered the weather for this year’s El Rancho Classic, saying for the first three days of the cutting it was “too good to be true.” Then, on the fourth day, nearly two inches of much-needed rain drenched the outdoor arena.

    The facility, Northern California’s premiere and largest privately owned horse show venue, has expansive show grounds that include four indoor arenas, the largest of which is capable of seating more than 3,000 spectators, and 14 outdoor arenas.

    Many competitors at the El Rancho Spring Classic referred to the cutting facility as a world class facility, one referred to as “the Wimbledon of Cutting.”

    Other top winners included This Kitts Smart, shown by Andrew Coates for the Clarke Butte Ranch to the 15,000 Novice Horse title, and Catman, owned by Michelle and Barry Barnes and ridden by Michelle, to the 50,000 Amateur crown.

    Gavin Jordan took Diane Rubino Ferrara’s Somekinda Shiney to the 5,000 Novice Horse win, and Michelle Barnes rode her Timely Addition to the 5,000 Novice Horse Non Pro victory. The 15,000 Novice Horse Non Pro win went to Dual At Noon, ridden by owner Stephanie Haymes, with the 15,000 Novice Horse Amateur going to A Cat Named Hercules, ridden by owner Jim Jorde.

    Good times like this moment with Malgorata Slawinski prevail at this popular event.

    Good times like this moment with Malgorata Slawinski prevail at this popular event.

    John O’Hara photo

    Janelle Oakham rode her Play Stocks to the 2,000 Limit Rider championship, with Rock Hedlund taking Linda Hamilton’s Sweet Little Smart E to the 1,500 Novice Horse title.
    In the Classic/Challenge Open event, Wild Wanda 409 took first with Russ Elrod riding for owner Barry Barnes, and in the Classic/Challenge Non Pro Scott Gaddy took his Starlights Lil Cat to the win.

    Other major wins went to Tessa Buntin, ridingSmooth And Mighty to the 35,000 Non Pro win, and Kyles McFann, who rode his GSR Tappin Cat to victory in the Derby Non Pro.

    A unique and inspirational component to this popular cutting is the charity provided the West Coast Equine Foundation, which receives net proceeds. The Foundation is a charitable organization that supports a variety of equine related organizations including college scholarships and grants to youth organizations that provide therapeutic riding and support to 4-H and other equine related youth organizations.

    Looking ahead to fall, the MEC will host the El Rancho Futurity and Mercuria World Serieson Sept. 6-14.

    MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/505A_ElRan

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