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    Numbers up as High Desert kicks off its 2021 season

    From Horsetrader staff reports

    Brooke Baze of Lakewood on GE Drift N Pep trains with Michele and Hayley Bloomquist of Bloomquist Training Stables. (Anabel DFlux)

    PALMDALE — The High Desert Horse Show Association opened its 2021 season in the same way it wrapped up its 2020 campaign last fall — lots of entries, excitement and camaraderie.

    The one-day HiDHA All Breed Show on March 21 featured a full slate of classes that attracted exhibitors from throughout Southern California for a chance to compete in their favorite English and Western disciplines.

    “Our first show was the biggest we’ve seen in years!,” said Show Manager Heather Mathews. “I feel like people are just really wanting to just get out and spend time with their horse and enjoy time with their friends. We had a lot of new exhibitors which is great — as well as large groups of people who drove two or more hours to come show.”

    Mia Bristol and Flash competed in Western Equitation at the HiDHA Show. (Anabel DFlux photo)

    HiDHA President Evon Kurtz said popular Ranch Horse events continue to draw entries.

    “They are the biggest thing going on,” she said. “No fancy, expensive bling show attire required or silver tack. It’s an affordable ranch look for exhibitors.

    HiDHA Board Member Bill Cameron. (Anabel DFlux photo)

    “We had a record turnout,” she added, pointing out a noticeable increase in English riders, too, at this event. “We moved the English class up right after Western, which helped promote more entries as the English riders sometimes school in Western classes and they get their day over quicker, as most travel a distance to HiDHA. Ours was one of the only shows in town for them since events are lacking at other venues still from covid restrictions.”

    Kurtz said the March show turnout was the largest for a HiDHA event in years, with “lots of new faces and first-timers looking for the feel of the good ol’ days before the pandemic.”

    Western equitation competitor Devon Li with Cupid. (Anabel DFlux photo)

    Reminescent of popular all-breed shows in the past, there was something for every rider, including English, Western, Ranch Horse, Trail and Mustang divisions, and approvals from several organziations including West Coast Ranch Horse. There were more than 70 exhibitors in multiple classes, Kurtz noted, and some classes went into the night and required a few cars lighting up the arena.

    “Our judge, Stacie Wight, must have been overwhelmed with the turnout — it’s the largest she’s judged at HiDHA!,” she said.

    Exhibitors line up for the judge during the well-attended HiDHA All Breed Show on March 21. (Anabel DFlux)

    This is one of four one-day HiDHA shows on the 2021 calendar, with the next one, a double-point show, slated April 18.

    Mathews anticipates momentum to continue all year long for HiDHA events.

    “I expect even larger attendance at our upcoming shows, and that is exciting for our club — and for the horse industry in general,” she said. “In other states, horse shows really didn’t slow down much, but being in California we saw a decline in events being offered. I think people have been spending more time riding and want to show off the work they’ve put in with their horses — that’s why we had such high attendance at our first show.”

    Abraham Rangel and Sicario shined in English competition. (Anabel DFlux photo)

    There were 13 Hi-Point Of The Day Awards issued at the show, including a tie atop the Ranch Horse Walk Jog Open between Christie Jones on Gunner and Brian Newman on The Bunny Badger. Linda Dezeeuw won the Western Open on Shocking Invitation, and Katrina Jackson-Havener took the Western Walk/Jog Open on WR Annies Berry Wine.

    Other Western Division Hi-points included Erica Parsons on CK Smooth Skippin Star (Western 18-over), Charles Peralta on Too Timin Heathen (17-under), and Maya Efigenio on Some Like It Slow (12-under).

    Candace Carrillo and Sunny vied in English conformation. (Anabel DFlux photo)

    In the English Division, Candace Carrillo won the English Open on WW Sabors Patriot Sun, and Robin Robertson won the English Walk/Trot Open on Drummer. Other English Division Hi-points included Erica Parsons on CK Smooth Skippin Star (18-over), Ashlynn Compton on Commander (17-under), and Kaylee Hauge on Abbys Good Machine (Novice).

    The Halter Division Hi-point of the Day was Pamela Lampman and Designed by the Investor.

    More online: https://bit.ly/104hidha

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