POMONA– One of the fastest growing expos in the U.S., California’s Horse Expo Pomona comes to the L.A. County Fairplex Feb. 5-7. In three short days, you can catch up on the latest training and education, shop the nation’s premier equine vendors and connect with your horse friends. Attending the Expo is a low-cost, high quality way to stay engaged in the horse industry, making sure you have the tools, knowledge and products to help make the most of your investment in the horse owning lifestyle year round.
No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find best-in-class solutions in every equine category. Great deals and custom one-of-a-kind craftsmanship abound in equal measure, ensuring something for every horse person to appreciate! This year, there are several new, exciting vendors with innovative products, like Big Mare (see page 20).
Mounted Shooting competition is catching fire in the West
A growing number of equestrians are taking up arms, as shooting on horseback continues to attract new competitors to its ranks.
Lured by the challenge and the camaraderie, memberships are swelling in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association — especially in California and the birthplace of CMSA, Arizona, where the Arizona Mounted Shooters Association has three January events to start 2016.
With names like Roy Rogers Rangers and the Tombstone Ghost Riders, how can anyone resist a peek at this fast-action sport that requires horsemanship — and a special horse.
After last weekend’s New Year’s Shoot put on by the Tombstone Ghost Riders at Livery Stable in Tombstone, AMSA events will include a Jan. 15 competition at the American Quarter Horse Association Sun Circuit in Westworld, and a three-way Border Wars comeptition Jan. 22-24 at the beautiful Horseshoe Park facility in Queen Queek. Last year, the ACMSA conducted 19 shoots. Five California-based, CMSA-sanctioned clubs are gearing up, too, including the Nuevo-based Roy Rogers Rangers and the Norco-based SoCal CMSA.
Some standout 2015 news items in – and out of – the arena
Traveler, the striking Andalusian in his 14th year as the University of Southern California mascot, returned to lead the Rose Parade to honor the legacy of Louis Zamperini and his affiliation not only with USC, but his love of animals. Zamperini, a World War II hero and former Olympian who died the previous July, is the subject of a best-selling book and the movie “Unbroken.”
Horsepeople in Lake View Terrace and surrounding areas had three words for the State High Speed Rail Authority about a revised path for the futuristic 220-mph bullet train through their community: Not so fast.
Three alternative routes surfaced in December after an original plan for the leg from Palmdale to the Burbank airport, a 51-mile stretch along the Highway 14 corridor, was criticized by residents and officials. Called the East Corridor, the newest trio of alternative routes cuts through Lake View Terrace and would impact horse ownership throughout the San Fernando Valley. Further, the redirection of the Highway 14 route would require a 35-mile tunneling beneath the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, with the bullet train screaming from a tunnel and over the Tujunga Wash, an equestrian paradise.
REINING • WORKING COW HORSE • CUTTING • WESTERN RIDING
The first big headliner of the year with California roots was National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame rider Phil Hanson, who closed 2014 by winning NCHA Futurity on Classy CD Cat with a 228. Now based in Weatherford, Texas, Hanson is the brother of Temecula-based cow horse trainer Brenda Brown and of Clements-based reining trainer David Hanson. Classy CD Cat, who picked up a $200,000 paycheck for the Futurity win, is a mare owned by Dottie St. Clair Hill of Texas.
California reiners also made news with their late-year accomplishments, as Golden State competitors took their momentum from strong West Coast campaigns into the NRHA Futurity and Adequan North American Affiliate Championships.
After finishing close behind highly regarded Robin Bond in the last two of Charles Wilhelm’s Ultimate Super Horse competitions, Don Moore put it all together Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at Horse Expo Pomona and scored a decisive championship with his partner, Nic-O-Lena.
DRESSAGE • EVENTING • HUNTERS • JUMPERS
Steffen Peters won the hearts of East Coast fans, riding Rosamunde to a first-place finish in the FEI 3* Grand Prix with a 71.3 percent, and Legolas 92 to a 71.2 percent in the FEI 5* Grand Prix, respectively, At the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The top-ranked FEI rider also received the People’s Choice award for his riding skills and contributions to dressage.
Also shining brightly in the Sunshine State was Kathleen Raine of Murrieta, who rode the lovely mare Breanna to a 73.667 and a title in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 5*.
Will Simpson launched the most successful grand prix HITS campaign ever, winning six different events in the early weeks. A standout victory came aboard Katie Riddle, and it was a birthday present for Jami Heidegger, whose family owns Monarch International — for whom Simpson rides.
In Burbank, at the much-anticipated inaugural West Coast qualifying competition for the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, Peters and Legolas 92 marked an 80.825 — their best. It came at California Dreaming Productions’ Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.in their popular U-2-themed Grand Prix Freestyle.
Californians bring home AHA titles from Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. — If there is a place that tests hopes and dreams, it’s the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian National Championship Show. Competition is keen, and it can separate owners and riders from best-laid expectations. It also can confirm hunches, like those of several California exhibitors who returned home from the Oct. 23-31 event at the Tulsa Expo Square with National Championships.
One of them was Shannon Chudzicki, an amateur from Norco who earned her first U.S. National title in a performance class, riding her Arsenal BV to the Purebred Hunter Pleasure AOTR Maturity Championship.
“It was a very exciting moment,” said Chudzicki, who has the 4-year-old gelding in training with Cynthia Burkman. “He’s turned out to be an amazing horse — he’s progressed a lot because of all the training that’s gone into him.”
CRHA Challenge and NRHA Affiliate championships draw 300-plus horses
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.
Temecula's Smith wins CCI1* and 2*; red-hot Dutton, 'Fugitive' take 3*
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).
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.”
SAN 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.”
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
JIMMY FLORES, JR.:
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.