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Reining to remember

CRHA Challenge and NRHA Affiliate championships draw 300-plus horses

By Jeanne Rosenberg / for the Horsetrader - November 20th, 2015


BURBANK — And when it reins, man it pours.
Six Days, 86 classes, fantastic prizes, high-stepping parties, costumes, contests and family fun — there was something for everyone at the 22nd Annual Challenge Horse Show presented by the California Reining Horse Association Oct. 19-25 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

Home to the Southwest Regional National Reining Horse Association Affiliate Finals, the Challenge Show also hosted futurities, derbies, a ” No Wimpy Cowboys” NRHA Non Pro Maturity, the CRHA Reiner of the Year Finals, the Gatolotto Memorial, USA Junior and Young Rider qualifiers, plus a full slate of rookie, green-as-grass and youth classes. The event drew top reiners from California, Arizona and the Southwest, some traveling from as far Illinois and Montana. The Challenge offered a sweep of fantastic prizes including seven trophy saddles, a horse trailer sponsored by All American Trailers, silver buckles to winners and reserve, and a myriad of Bronze Trophies including the John Varble and Top Dun memorial Award, the Rebecca Goss Boo-Yaah, Kaweah Nic and Topsail Cody Memorials. With the level of competition high, and the stakes huge, more than 300 horses competed for payouts of over $90.000.

Tamra time

Temecula's Smith wins CCI1* and 2*; red-hot Dutton, 'Fugitive' take 3*

Special to the Horsetrader - November 20th, 2015

TEMECULA — Phillip Dutton has been in this position many times—last to go with not a rail in hand. He’d already jumped a clear round on the young Mr. Candyman, who could then finish no lower than fourth in the headline CCI3* division, at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event on Oct. 28-Nov. 1.

After an unanticipated clattering through a warm-up fence, Dutton, of Pennsylvania, set his trademark Secret Service expression and galloped overnight leader Fernhill Fugitive into the arena and around Marc Donovan’s 560-meter track. The 15-obstacle course had just seen Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Meadowbrook’s Scarlett take an unlucky rail at the wine bottle vertical before the last triple combination, dropping them one place to third (49.8).

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive show their winning form in winning the CCI3* at the Galway Downs International.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive show their winning form in winning the CCI3* at the Galway Downs International.

Sherry Stewart photo

As Fernhill Fugitive cleared the final oxer of the triple combination to finish with 43.4 penalties, the spectators lining the arena erupted in cheers and were treated to a rare display of Dutton emotion as he cracked a huge grin, enthusiastically patted “Jack,” and high-fived with head groom Emma Ford. Afterward, he summed up his thoughts about his Pan Am Games gold-medal partner, who had top-10 finishes at Rolex Kentucky and the Pan Am Games this year. “I couldn’t be any more proud of the horse—he’s just had a great year. Every year he just seems to get better and better. I am so excited for him and for [owners] Annie Jones and Tom Tierney, who have been very patient with him.” He continued, “He’s been a great horse, it’s been an incredible year for him. I wasn’t that confident going in because I don’t usually get too many clear rounds with him, but he did enough today. I’m really proud of him.”

Clarke is in the Markel Insurance GP fast lane with MH Wardance

From Releases and Staff Reports - October 1st, 2015

1510A CHT CoverSAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — With 39 entries and 11 clean, the final qualifier of the Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix Series kept everyone on the edge of their seats and saddles, as top contenders raced to be the fastest, and, of course, clean. Four riders each had two horses in the jump-off, Brazilian Eduardo Menezes, Australian Lane Clarke, Brazilian Josephina Nor Lantzman and Enrique Gonzalez of Mexico, followed by last week’s winner, American Susan Hutchison aboard Ziedento.

With several speed demons aiming for the top prize, it was Clarke piloting MH Wardance, owned by MH Warbucks, who took the quickest route without a fault. Demonstrating true warrior mentality, “Brave,” as Clarke calls the horse, performed this feat even after pulling a shoe partway through the jump-off round.

Clarke was fully aware that the competition was going to put the pressure on.

“I knew it was going to be really fast from the beginning,” he said. “Eduardo on Carushka was extremely fast, my mare Semira is extremely fast, so I knew I was going to have to go really fast on Brave. I really wanted to win the last Grand Prix [of the season], it’s home and I love it here.”

Remembering ‘Senior’

When Jimmy Flores, Sr., passed away on Sept. 7, the horse world lost a unique friend. Here are some memories of 'Senior' from his fellow cow horse family

- October 1st, 2015


Jimmy Flores Sr

Jimmy Flores Sr

Chris Jameson photo/Down the Fence crew

He would very much like to be remembered, first, as a good horseman. Yes, he knew equipment and all, but he was a very, very knowledgeable horseman — and that’s what he really strived for. Not just a trainer, but beyond that. We have trainers today, but I’m not sure if we still have many horsemen in the world.


“He was one of the pillars of the community He actually got a lot of cow horse following in Europe because he was one of the first guys to get over there and show off the reined cow horse.

I remember when we started the Southern California club and would have benefit auctions. I was always amazed by his generosity. He’d show up with hackamores and all kinds of great things. What a generous, giving man who was really behind that sport. And I don’t think he ever missed a show, whether it was big or small. I saw him travel all the way to Texas, sleeping in his truck with his trailer full of stuff that he sold. He’d set up his booth, tear it down afterward, then drive all the way home by himself — and that was when he was in his late 70s. It definitely will not be the same without him. He inspired a lot of folks, and he was great to sit down and talk to.

Horses and Rain

With a lot of rain comes a lot of mud -- and even floods. Are you ready?

From UK Ag Extension - October 1st, 2015

If you own horses, you need to be aware of some problems that arise when you have too much rain in a short period of time.

Arena mud.

Arena mud.

Katie Wise photo

Wet pastures are ruined by horses’ hooves, so it is very possible that you will have more weeds than grass when the rain stops. If you have an overcrowded field, your pastures will probably be ruined, and you may need to feed your horses hay year-round. Also, without the competition of lush grass, you may end up with some poisonous plants in your pasture, and since horses are browsers, when they don’t have a lot of grass to eat they may start eating those plants.

Horses that like to “horse around” can run, slip, and risk bowing a tendon, popping a splint, or even falling down and hurting themselves. Of course, these injuries can occur at any time, but when the ground is slippery, the chances for these injuries increase. Slippery slopes and horses, especially young and rambunctious horses, are never a good combination.

Here are some tips to help keep your horses safe during rainy springs and other rainy periods:

The Zane zone

Davis wins Open Futurity, also gets the Reymanator NSHA's first 'Triple Crown'

Releases and Staff Reports - September 17th, 2015

1509B Cover - WordPressPASO ROBLES — Entries, purses and prizes all increased at this year’s National Stock Horse Association Futurity, and one rider in particular seemed to be in a zone. The Zane Zone.

Idaho-based Zane Davis, who had his breakthrough year in 2009 when he won the NSHA Futurity Open on Reymanator (Dual Rey x Savannah Hickory), did it again this year aboard Michelle Cannon’s Shiney Outlaw (Shiners Nickle x Mereyda), topping a long list of quality 3-year-olds to earn $15,900.

Davis also brought west Reymanator, who thrilled the Paso Robles Events Center crowd in winning the 2015 World’s Richest Stock Horse competition, sponsored by Hearst Ranch Winery, to become the first NSHA Triple Crown Champion — winner of its Futurity, Derby and World’s Richest events.

Crowning equitation

Top talent rides to 2015 titles at CPHA Foundation Equitation Final

Special to the Horsetrader - September 3rd, 2015

Miela Gross, Ransome Rombauer and Sydney Hutchins celebrate their respective first-through-third placings in the CPHA Foundation  Equitation Championship, 21-under Division, held at Showpark in Del Mar Aug. 22-23.

Miela Gross, Ransome Rombauer and Sydney Hutchins celebrate their respective first-through-third placings in the CPHA Foundation
Equitation Championship, 21-under Division, held at Showpark in Del Mar Aug. 22-23.

Captured Moment photo

DEL MAR — After hosting a full schedule of hunter and jumper divisions, including two grand prix classes, the Showpark Summer Classic wrapped up a well-established equitation event Aug. 16 with three sections of second rounds and work-offs in the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation Equitation Championship Finals. Divided into 22-over, 14-under and 21-under age divisions, riders faced challenging courses with work-offs built in, part of the Foundation format. The honorable Alex Jayne and Frank Willard scored, tested and ultimately awarded the final placings.

Round 1 tests included a counter-canter to fence 3 and walking fence 12 plus some tight turn options. After 27 entries competed in Round 1, the top prize for the round went to Stephanie Goodson aboard Poetic, who earned a first round average of 86.5. Second went to Renee Rodda riding Notable with an average of 85.5, and third to Katie Cramer on SS Brando with an average of 84.75. Only 6.5 points separated the top eight, with fourth through eighth awarded to Kathy Nolan, Tonya Johnston, Belle Calkin, Laura Owens and Virginia Fout, respectively.

Blue moment

Nathalie Manning is at home in San Juan with first grand prix win

Releases & Staff Reports - July 16th, 2015

1507B WP CoverSAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Folks have been expecting Nathalie Manning to record her first grand prix victory for some time, perhaps none longer than Nathalie herself.

At age 2 (“before I was walking”, she says), her legendary horseman grandfather, Morton “Cappy” Smith, would lead her around his Middleburg, Va., farm. By age 7, she was riding almost any horse on the property, and as an 8-year-old, she conceived her future barn name: Acorn Farm, “where every little acorn turns into a great oak.”

“My grandfather would put me on just about anything,” she smiles. “He had a lot of sale horses, and I was fearless.”

The lion in Winters

Clinician and teacher Richard Winters puts on a winning Derby demonstration

Horsetrader Staff Reports - July 2nd, 2015

1507A Cover-WPPASO ROBLES — While open competitors tuned their show horses in the two weeks before the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby, Richard Winters was working in Parkfield.

Without pause, there was the all-women’s horsemanship retreat he and wife Cheryl conduct each year at the V-6 Ranch, followed by a pair of “ultimate horse” clinics — back-to-back-to-back — and then a haul straight to the Mid State Fairgrounds where he “got into horse show mode.”

“That’s the tough deal for me, knowing that I’ve got to compete against guys who have not been sitting out here talking to the average clinic participant about their horses,” said Richards, who loves his 25-year work as a popular clinician and teacher and who also has had a lifelong passion for reined cow horses. “They’ve been schooling their cow horses. They are getting ready to compete, and here I am out here. You just do what you can do.”

Region won

California's first 2015 Regional Championships reveal Arabian versatility -- and fun

Horsetrader Staff Reports - June 18th, 2015

1506BwpcoverDEL MAR — From reining to park horse, young exhibitors to the not-so-young, the Arabian Horse Association’s Region 1 Championship Show brought the Del Mar Fairgrounds to life May 27-31 in an energetic showcase of versatility.

Entries were up in the regional finals — always a good gauge of the state of the industry — and so were the moods of exhibitors and trainers.

“It was a good show,” Region 1 Director Mary Ann Hughes said of the five-day weekend that featured a “Pre-show” Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the Nationals-qualifying Regional Championships Thursday night through Sunday. “Two things. Regionals are where a lot of them qualify for nationals. “Regionals are where a lot of competitors qualify for Nationals, but there are a lot of people who don’t intend to go to Nationals, and the Regionals is the big show for them for the year.”