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    North American Working Equitation Championship Show comes to California

    Special to the Horsetrader

    Suzi Vliestra’s Haflinger mare, Aurelia of Genesis, had a terrific show in Del Mar.

    DEL MAR—Seventy-seven entries from across the nation descended on a beautiful Southern California weekend at the Del Mar Horse Park Oct. 10-13 for the 2019 North American Working Equitation Championships, an A-Rated show licensed by WE United.

    Judges Doreen Atkinson, Andre Ganc and Barbara Price along with Jill Barron of Alberta, Canada, scored three days of equitation in a competition that had a friendly-yet-competitive feel that is reminiscent of simpler days. There were three divisions—open, amateur and youth—with eight championship classes: Children’s Level, Introductory, Novice A, Novice B, Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Advanced and Masters.

    Show Secretary Christine Ramsey-Snyder of Creek Hollow Ranch in Ramona held down the fort in the show office throughout the event, while show chairs Polly Limond and Julie Alonzo teamed up to make sure the event was well-organized.

    Suzi Vliestra brought her Haflinger mare, Aurelia of Genesis, in training with Mikey Harchol of Poway, and took home some top honors—as well as great memories.

    “This has been our first year in working eq with Lia and it’s been great,” said Vliestra. “Mikey started showing Lia in working eq in the spring, then I joined the fun in the summer.

    “The Working Eq gang is a really welcoming group of people who cheer for everyone and encourage each other,” she added. “And because the scoring is objective and numerically-based, like traditional dressage, you’re really competing against yourself instead of each other which helps keep it friendly.”

    What’s more, she added, is that “anyone can do working eq—any horse and rider with their regular show clothes and tack can find a level and get started with the equipment and skills they have at the moment. It’s a blast!”

    Vliestra’s mare earned the North American reserve championship and also took home $1,550 for a win in the Dressage/Ease of Handling Sweepstakes. In addition, she took breed honors as the High Point Haflinger. For horses registered with the International Andalusian and Lusitano Association, the High Point Amateur award went to Andalusian Nydia H, owned and shown by Oregon member Jodi Klier-Butler. The Andalusian and Lusitano High Point Open honors went to an Andalusian, Cielo, owned, bred, and shown by Sarah Pinney of California.

    Other top finishers included Robin Bond, who rode Bob Lawson’s Lusitano, Burladero, to the Intermediate B North American Reserve Championship She also captured the Novice B Open North American Championship on the BLM Kiger Mustang, Kiger Zapata KCA, owned by Susan Watkins.

    In the Intermediate A Open North American Championship class, Pinney and Cielo finished first, with three other Californians in the top five, included third-place winner Nicole Chastain on Sausalito Jullyen V, an Arabian owned by Lynn and Hal Barza, fourth-place finisher Lawson on Rips Rey Jay, a.k.a. “Rusty, his Quarter Horse,” and fifth-place finsiher Polly Limond on her Lusitano, Ikaros da Lusitania.

    In the Novice A, Chastain and Paso Doble WAE, a PRE Andalusian owned by Jennelle St Marie, were named Novice A Open North American Reserve Champion. Chastain won the Novice B Open North American Reserve Championship on Tiara’s Nicolette, a Friesian Heritage Horse owned by Margaret Wilkinson.

    Addison Portillo and Prince Charming won the Children’s Level A-Rated show division, and in the Introductory Level in our A-Rated non-Championship show, Hayley Pelton on Norfleets Will Do, a Paint Horse owned by Lou Gonda of El Campeon Farms, finsihed first.

    In the North American Championship Introductory Amateur class, Denise Lawton and her Quarter Horse, OHK Krymsun Gold, was named Reserve Champion.And our 2019 Introductory Youth North American Champion was California memberBailey Yee on her Fell Pony Felllegend Flower.

    The North American Introductory Youth Reserve Champion was Rafay Maker-Agha, riding his Paint Horse, Dakota.

    More online: http://bit.ly/1911WE

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