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    Californians bring home AHA titles from Tulsa

    from Releases and Staff Reports - December 3rd, 2015 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

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    TULSA, Okla. — If there is a place that tests hopes and dreams, it’s the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian National Championship Show. Competition is keen, and it can separate owners and riders from best-laid expectations. It also can confirm hunches, like those of several California exhibitors who returned home from the Oct. 23-31 event at the Tulsa Expo Square with National Championships.

    One of them was Shannon Chudzicki, an amateur from Norco who earned her first U.S. National title in a performance class, riding her Arsenal BV to the Purebred Hunter Pleasure AOTR Maturity Championship.

    “It was a very exciting moment,” said Chudzicki, who has the 4-year-old gelding in training with Cynthia Burkman. “He’s turned out to be an amazing horse — he’s progressed a lot because of all the training that’s gone into him.”

    “We knew all along since we first saw him that he was going to be compete in the hunter pleasure division,” Chudzicki added of her horse, whose barn name is Rocky. “Rocky has that natural talent with the ground-covering stride that the judges want. We knew right away that’s what we would be showing in, and from there, Cynthia has been doing all the training on him, getting him to the level where he would be able to compete.”

    Burkman’s barn had several top finishes, included her own Reserve National Championship on Rocky in the Purebred Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse class. All told, her California clientele had six National Championshps and two Reserve National Championships.

    Lightning McQueen CRS, owned by Katie and Joe Russell, was a two-time National Champ, winning the Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Maturityi AAOTR with Katie in the saddle, and the Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse with Burkman. Another Burkman Centre-trained horse, TA Prelude, owned by Highland Pride Arabians in La Habra, won the Ladies Sidesaddle Western Open with Burkman and the AAOTR class with Alison Pigott.

    Margo Minissian was another Californian who wrapped up a stellar 2015 campaign in Arabian Hunter Pleasure, taking the U.S. National Reserve Championship in the Hunter Pleasure Select AATR. She trains with Debbie Price of Priceless Arabians in Alta Loma.

    “We would like to thank the entire Priceless Arabians team and their clients for making 2015 such a memorable year,” said Margo. “The times that we shared and the moments we have made will last a lifetime.”
    Chudzicki, who also took a Top Ten on her Maxamillen, in Purebred Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 19-35, is sky-high about Rocky’s future.

    “He’s really young,” she said. “He still has a good future ahead of him — lots of room to grow, lot of years to come. I am very grateful and excited.”
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