Since its early days as a Spanish rancho, horses have been part of this North San Diego County town’s fabric. They still are — in exciting new ways.
SAN MARCOS — Times are challenging for horse people in desireable places with natural beauty, accessiblity and a perfect climate. Competition for land and local government attention can be brutal as population increases while available property does not. Some California horsetowns are seeing a reduction in equine activities, and even less people owning horses within the community. But in the San Diego County town of San Marcos, horses still reign supreme.
One reason for San Marcos stability as a horse community is the dedication of horse people within the Twin Oaks Valley, the northernmost section of town. Equestrian properties line the nearly 10-mile long Twin Oaks Valley Road, and are thriving.
40th Annual SEAHA Show reveals regional talent on eve of Arizona event
NORCO – With the 60th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show on the horizon, Southern California competitors stormed to the Ingalls Park Equestrian Center Jan. 23-25 for the popular Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association Show.
Each year – for 40 years now – the SEAHA event serves as a valuable tune-up before heading east for the Scottsdale show that gives trainers, exhibitors and owners of all levels a preview of potential rivals for the fall’s Arabian Horse Association National Championships. This year’s edition, with numbers slightly up, marked its second year in its new home in Horsetown USA.
From posh World Championship competition at South Point in Las Vegas to simple backcountry riding, California associations offer rich experiences – on a horse and next to friends. Here are some of the best groups, events and venues.
Andalusian World Cup
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The Andalusian World Cup is the largest Iberian horse event in North America, scheduled this year for Sept. 24-26 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. A one-of-a-kind event, it is open to registered Iberian Horses from all registries.
Each year, these horses gather to compete in halter, performance, working equitation, dressage and dressage sport horse classes, which culminates on the evening of Sept 26 when most of the Supreme Championship classes are held. Horses and spectators travel from around the globe to compete and watch the event, with international competitors and guests from as far away as Egypt.
Those who cannot be there to watch the World Cup in person, can watch via live broadcast. Last year’s event attracted close to 30,000 viewers in 67 different countries over the course of the three-day event.
Use them more.
I am currently a member of the Cabazon Mounted Posse with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. My New Year’s resolution is to qualify both my two horses so I can best service my community.
Enjoy the sweet moments of pleasure with her each and every day. Re-enforce how dear she is to me. Always give her high-quality feed and lots of trail exercise. Allow more time to listen and watch my mare, so I will improve my communication skills and continue to give her precious lovings.
Some memorable news from a year in - and out of - the arena
JANUARY: Every year kicks off with hope and enthusiasm, and 2014 has been no different. After all, it’s the Chinese “Year of the Horse”, as well as a World Equestrian Games year.
Out of the gate, 2014 featured change, as the Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association moved the 39th version of its popular January show from the Fairplex in Pomona to a new venue, the expanded George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center in Norco. Happiest of all may have been Gordon and Paula Jahr of Wrightwood, whose 6-year-old Half-Arab gelding, WW Ive Been Spotted, went home with the Supreme Halter Championship.
Halfway across the nation in Oklahoma City, Lakeside horsewoman Elisa Swenson was named the 2014 Miss Rodeo USA at a pressure-filled competition at the International Professional Rodeo Association World Finals. Upon winning, the 25-year-old San Diego County native credited horses and her supportive father, Thomas Swenson, for overcoming some of life’s stumbling blocks.
Sandy Miller's SCRCHA Triple Crown win was a rehab journey with 'Cruz'
TEMECULA – What do you do when your horse sustains bowed tendons on both hind legs, right before your key season-ending competition?
Nothing. Not for a whole year.
That’s the fate that faced Sandy Miller and Dual Ya Luv Me, a promising then-4-year-old on which she was gaining momentum heading into last year’s Southern California Reining Cow Horse Association Saddle Shootout.
“We still aren’t certain how the injury happened,” says Miller, a non pro from Winchester who was floored by her gelding’s October 2013 injury. “When the vet told me it was going to be a whole year, I was stunned.”
CRHA show, Southwest Affiliate finals draw top reiners to LAEC
BURBANK — With the last big derby of the year, a tough pre-futurity and the NRHA Southwest Regional Affiliate Finals, it’s no wonder the Los Angeles Equestrian Center was at near-capacity for the California Challenge, held Oct. 22-26 by the California Reining Horse Association.
Perfect weather and good ground greeted a talented group of competitors from throughout California as well as five other states. CRHA officials said they sold a record number of stalls.
The futurity, always a big draw as NRHA Futurity hopefuls enter the show pen, showcased potential finalists for the Oklahoma City event Nov. 28-Dec. 6. Competing at home, Tom Foran took Gunnin For A Shine to the Open L4 Futurity Championship, topping reserve co-champions Tracer Gilson of Sanger on Gunna Spank You and Randy Paul on Gunnadeous.
Talent and fun fill a growing Del Mar Int'l
DEL MAR — Packed with world class competition, appreciative crowds and the likes of zombies and engaging contests, the Del Mar International each year adds to its late-October “must attend” faithful. This year’s line-up did not disappoint, from Dutch grand prix rider Harrie Smolders and Regina Z outdueling Rich Fellers and Flexible by .04 seconds in Saturday night’s $125,000 Rancho Valencia World Cup Grand Prix of Del Mar, to Hannah Von Heidegger and Geledimar taking the GGT Footing Grand Prix Series Final the next day.
There were many special classes, each with a compelling story, perhaps none more compelling than that of Buddy Brown and Finally Ours in the Grand Prix Hunter Derby Final. Brown’s win on “Joey” – nicknamed for the boy character in the 1960s television series “Fury” that inspired Brown to ride as a kid – capped the duo’s 18-month journey together.
RENO, Nev. — Corey Cushing, a National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider from Scottsdale, Ariz., captured the 2014 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship riding Good Time (One Time Pepto x Dual Nurse x Dual Pep), owned by Lynne Wurzer, Tacoma, Wash. The Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals were held Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.
Cushing guided the sorrel gelding to a composite 660 score (219 herd/219.5 rein/221.5 cow) to win the $100,000 Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship, the second of his career. Cushing won his first title in 2012 with CD Diamond (CD Olena x Shiners Diamond Girl x ShiningSpark), bred and owned by San Juan Ranch.
It was an emotional win for Cushing, who wiped tears as he rode Good Time into the spotlight at the Reno Livestock Events Center to accept the award.
Twin Rivers Fall Trials kicks off series of big West Coast competitions
PASO ROBLES — West Coast eventers are flexing their muscle and measuring their moxie as 3-day events line the schedule leading up to the Galway Downs International Event at the end of this month.