BURBANK — Not even badly needed rain showers could dampen spirits at the California Reining Horse Association’s 2016 Challenge Show, held Oct 26-30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Exhibitors from all across California as well as Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and other points north, south and east came to participate in National Reining Horse Association Finals, Year-end Special Award Events, parties, futurities, derbies, an inaugural para-reining class, youth meetings, and more.
Events kicked off with a CRHA-hosted omelet Bar on Friday morning, setting the tone for Saturday night’s exhibitor party sponsored by longtime CRHA supporter Danny Gerardi. Italian food, a well-stocked bar and a deejay got spirits flowing in time for the evening’s exciting NRHA Open Futurity, where Nicolas Barthelemy, riding Manny Rojo’s WRS Shiney Diamond, swept all divisions L1, L2, L3 and L4, marking a 150 for their big win.
“He was my snaffle-bit horse, but got hurt just before and couldn’t go, so it was great to be able to show him here,” said a wide-smiling Barthelemy.
The L4 Open Futurity Reserve was shared by Matt Mills on WRC Wimpys Gotta Gun, owned by Janice Dickson, and Andrea Fappani on Electric Jersey, owned by B&L Holdings LLC. Both marked 149.50 to become Reserve Co-Champions. Matt Mills and ARC Wimpys Gotta Gun were also named L3 Open Futurity Reserve Champions. L2 Reserve Champion went to Patrick Flaherty on Kristin Darnall-Titov’s Walla Walla Barbie with a 146 score and Daniel Schloemer took L1 Reserve Champion on Jennifer T. Deweese’s Undeniably A Magnum.
In the Non-Pro Futurity, Marilyn Scheffers and Gunna Juice You took top honors in the L2, L3, L4 and CRHA Amateur divisions, winning a Morrison bronze, two pewter statues, four buckles and a saddle generously donated by Scottsdale Western World. First into the pen, Scheffers and Gunna Juice You had a beautiful run, establishing a high score of 143.50 which held throughout the 15 subsequent entries. Jennifer Gilliam, riding The Prima Ballerina, and Patrizio Fumagalli, riding Wimpys Lil Spook, both scored 143 to become NP Futurity Reserve Co-Champions L4 and L3. Fumagalli was also L2 Reserve Champion and Non Pro L1 Futurity Champion. Robert Pearce rode RCY Kingsilver Enoch to the L1 Reserve Championship .
In the Open Derby, Andrea Fappani and Thebettertohearyouwith, owned by Bill Coburn, were L4 Champions with their blistering 152.50. In Reserve as Co-Champions were Martin Muehlstaetter on Valentino Tag, owned by Shaunda Ruckman, and Arno Honstetter riding Bejeweled, owned by Kevin Rosenbaum, to respective 149s. Those duos also tied as L3 Open Derby Co-Champions.
Open Derby L2 Champion Patrick Flaherity rode Vicki Santo’s Whiz Boom Wrangle to their win with a 147 score, while Kari Klingenberg rode Angela Olson’s Gunner Special Twist to top honors in the Open Derby L1 with a 146.50.
Frederick Christen and Msdreamy continued their winning ways in taking the Non Pro Derby L4, L3 and Prime Time Championship, scoring an impressive 148.50.
In the L2 NP Derby, Sandra Bentien on Gotta Make It Baby and Cady Shaw on Dream Whiz Me, both riders more than familiar with the winners circle, marked scores of 145.50 to share Co-Champion honors.
The Non Pro Derby L1 Championship as well as the CRHA Amateur top prize went to Mackenzie Krajenke and Coronas Best One Yet with their score of 145.00.
In the NRHA Affiliate Finals, riders qualifying for the Adequan North American Regional Affiliate Finals — to be held Nov 24–Dec 3 in Oklahoma City — included Sheley Brien, Robyn Schiller, Morris Kulmer, Cady Shaw, Michelle Miola, Polly T. Cooke, Kathy Copus, Natalie Toer, Taylor Bradshaw, Taylor Sheridan, Mackenzie Krajenke, Luca Fappani and Peyton McGowan.
Besides the top level competition, the parties, the members’ meetings, the information sessions, the chance to mingle with old friends and fellow competitors, the Challenge also provides an opportunity for CRHA to proudly present several unique trophies and awards to its members and participants.
After a very competitive season in which she participated in every CRHA jackpot show, Schiller, riding Plenty of Guns, won CRHA Reiner of the Year, which included a gorgeous trophy saddle donated by Sterling Custom Saddles.
In the Youth Team Tournament, with six teams participating, first-place winners received buckles from Montana Silver Smith while Medallions were presented to the teams finishing second through sixth.
After a hard-fought battle, the winning quartet included Grace Bentien (scoring 144.5 on SJR White Knight), Taylor Bradshaw (142, Tinselena Nic), Peyton McGowan (134.5 on GS Red Corvette) and Erica Katz (128.5 on Custom Silver Command). Their 421 total edged the 420 team score by Luca Fappani (143.5 on Premier Diamond), Taylor Stephens (139 on Custom Big Chex; 137.5 on Conquistador Maker) and Peyton McGowan (134.5 on Banjoboonsmal).
For the first time, CRHA was pleased to inaugurate World Para Reining at the Challenge Show with congratulations going to Champion Elizabeth Kelley riding Custom Bridle.
The association extended thanks to All American Trailers in Norco, which once again donated the use of a fabulous Logan horse trailer to the NRHA Green Reiner L1 high score. This year’s trailer went to Leah Miller of Phoenix, Ariz., and her REF Harley Moondance.
The beautiful Topsail Cody Perpetual Trophy awarded to the NRHA LTD Non Pro Champion goes went to Micki Quinn and Gunnin For A Shine. The horse-and-rider partnership also received the Rebecca Goss “Boo-Yaah”
Memorial Foundation trophy, sponsored by the Roman Fund, presented by Martha Goss and the Martinez Family and Friends for high score in the CRHA Limited Non Pro class.
Honoring the memory of a dear friend of CRHA, the John Varble & Top Dun Memorial Trophy was awarded for 2016 to Mackenzie Krajenski and her horse, Coronas Best One yet.
The Kahweah Nic Perpetual Trophy awarded to the high scoring CRHA Rookie Gelding went this year to Sandy Lockwood and Quickdraw Gunner.
The inaugural Rick Flathers Sportsmanship Award, initiated by friends and family to honor his memory and big-hearted commitment, went to youth rider Peyton McGowan who was nominated by her barnmate Kadin
Hernandez of Bakersfield. Rick’s wife, Nancy Flathers, with family and friends beside her, presented this very beautiful and fitting trophy.
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