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Romance at the Shoot Out

- November 3rd, 2016
Aaron Brookshire and his fiancee Allyson Tapie embrace after she accepted his proposal in front of the judge's stand at the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association Shootout on Oct. 16.

Aaron Brookshire and his fiancee Allyson Tapie embrace after she accepted his proposal in front of the judge’s stand at the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association Shootout on Oct. 16.

Dave Tapie photo

TEMECULA — It seemed routine to Allyson Tapie, who had just completed her reining and boxing runs Sunday at the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association Shootout in the final go of the day. Then, as she and her Little Yellow Vett started their trot out of the arena, the show manager called her to the judges stand for a bit check.

“I was confused because bit checks are not normally done before you leave the arena,” she said. “But it can be called if the judge sees a need to call one.”

On Top

California Dressage Society caps banner year with 2016 CDS and Region 7 championships

Special to the Horsetrader - October 20th, 2016
Ruth Shirkey and Wyleigh Princess were one of many champions crowned on the final day of competition at the Great American/USDF Region 7 & CDS Championship Show Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the L.A. Equestrian Center.

Ruth Shirkey and Wyleigh Princess were one of many champions crowned on the final day of competition at the Great American/USDF Region 7 & CDS Championship Show Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the L.A. Equestrian Center.

Terri Miller photo

BURBANK — Among the many smiling faces seen during awards ceremonies for 29 championship divisions on the final day of the 49th Annual California Dressage Society (CDS) Annual Championship Show and Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 7 Championships held Sept. 29-Oct. 2 was Ruth Shirkey of San Jose.

With her U.S.-bred Hanoverian mare Wyleigh Princess, Shirkey was capping off a tremendous weekend by taking home the Two-Tone Malone Trophy for the $1,000 CDS Horse of the Year in the Second Level Adult Amateur division with an overall score of 68.256%. But the special partnership she now has with her horse almost never happened at all save for one crucial decision.

“My favorite story is that I purchased Wyleigh Princess in utero, and I was really hoping for a black colt,” Shirkey remembered. “When she was born, her breeder called and said, ‘The good news is that the foal is black. The bad news is that it’s a filly.’ She said that if I didn’t want her, to just let them know because they actually really wanted to keep her. So I thought about it for a day and decided I still wanted her, primarily because I really, really wanted a foal by Weltmeyer. So of course in hindsight it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Monumental Day

After years of inspired effort, a Memorial to SSgt. Reckless finds a home at Camp Pendleton.

From Horsetrader staff reports - October 6th, 2016
As a new SSgt. Reckless monument is lowered into a permanent place at Camp Pendleton, the mare seems alert to her surroundings.

As a new SSgt. Reckless monument is lowered into a permanent place at Camp Pendleton, the mare seems alert to her surroundings.

Horsetrader photo

CAMP PENDLETON — October 26 was a significant date for a big-hearted mare off a racetrack in South Korea. It was on that day in 1952 that Reckless joined the United States Marine Corps. Her eventual battlefield heroics — real, not from Hollywood — would be unforgettable to those who witnessed them.

It’s no coincidence that, after years of inspired effort, a magnificent monument to SSgt Reckless will be dedicated on Oct. 26 this year at Camp Pendleton, the mare’s final resting place.

The hour-long ceremony that will begin at 10 a.m. is open to the public, and speakers will include Brigadier General Kevin Killea, Commanding Officer at Camp Pendleton, monument founder and Best Selling-author Robin Hutton and Jocelyn Russell, the renowned sculptor of the statue. Also present will be about a half-dozen of the men who served with her in Korea and Camp Pendleton, or grew up with her and have memories of Reckless.

Fire in horse country

Sand Fire burns 40,000 acres in Santa Clarita area in L.A. County

- August 4th, 2016
The Sand Fire began its tear through the Angeles Forest in L.A. County on July 22.

The Sand Fire began its tear through the Angeles Forest in L.A. County on July 22.

Katharine Lotze photo

SANTA CLARITA — Hundreds of horses were evacuated in a late July wildfire in northern Los Angeles County that scorched more than 40,000 acres in and near the Angeles National Forest.

The fire that began Friday afternoon near Sand Canyon Road took almost three days to fully contain, destroying 18 homes and killing a man during the fierce first 48 hours. More than 20,000 people were evacuated.

The blaze also destroyed Sable Ranch, a longtime Southern California location for film and TV shoots that succumbed on Saturday. The ranch was a popular location for Westerns with its Spanish-style hacienda, stables and various out buildings. Among the numerous shows shot there were television’s Maverick, The A-Team, and 24.

Volunteers at Gibson Ranch in Sunland tend to evacuated horses out of harm's way on Saturday.

Volunteers at Gibson Ranch in Sunland tend to evacuated horses out of harm’s way on Saturday.

photo courtesy of Gibson Ranch

SUNLAND — Dale Gibson had finished his Saturday morning roping July 23 and was trailering back to his ranch through Kagel Canyon when he got a call.

“They asked me if I would come by and get a couple of horses, and I said `yes!’,” said Gibson.

He took them to Gibson Ranch, unloaded, and before he could eat lunch, the phone rang again.

“I told my wife I was going back to Kagel Canyon to haul some more horses,” he says. “After that point, the next time I walked into my house was 11 o’clock that night.”

Reiner Shine, a good weekend

Special to the Horsetrader From Horsetrader staff reports - July 21st, 2016
Robyn Schiller and CD Star Commander once again ruled the Non Pro field, taking Circuit titles in Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, and Novice Horse Non Pro divisions.

Robyn Schiller and CD Star Commander once again ruled the Non Pro field, taking Circuit titles in Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, and Novice Horse Non Pro divisions.

Mark Blakely photo

BURBANK — At the halfway point in the California Reining Horse Association’s 2016 season, Southern California’s best reiners appeared to be hitting their summer strides at the Reiner Shine show held June 10-12 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

The full slate of National Reining Horse Association Affiliate Shows 3 and 4 classes, as well as classes offering PCHA, AQHA and APHA points, assured a good turnout. Plus, there was more than $11,500 in added money and some great awards. Circuit Champions received beautiful custom wood stirrups, and CRHA Reserve Circuit Champions went home with custom leather halters.

Non Pro rider Robyn Schiller won  Circuit titles on different horses, claiming the Novice Horse Non Pro crown, the Intermediate Non Pro and the Non Pro all on CD Star Commander, while taking the Novice Horse Reserve Championship on Plenty Of Guns.

Another winner of multiple Circuit titles in the Non Pro division was Martha Goss and Faceofaconquistador in the Limited Non Pro and Non Pro Prime Time.
In the Open, Tom Foran captured both the Championship and Reserve, riding Sleipner LLC’s Blue Collar Tag to first and Heather Smith Porter’s Lil Joe Tag to second.

In the Limited Open, Daphne Thompson shined by winning the Championship on Robert Hutcherson’s Custom Crown, and finishing in second, too, on Sleipner LLC’s Dun It Chexinic.

Youth stars included Kristi Wiggins and Red Hot Tinseltown, who topped reserve champ Taylor Stephens and Custom Big Chex in the Youth 14-18, and Peyton

McGowan and GS Red Corvette, winners over Reserve Champion Gavin Berg and Going Down In Style in the Youth 13-under.

Next up on the CRHA season will be the Summertime Slide Aug. 5-7 at Galway Downs Equestrian Center in Temecula.

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/607B_crha

Ryan’s return

A life-threatening disease has only made Ryan Melendez take the reins of his life even more firmly in hand

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 16th, 2016

1606BCoverDEL MAR — Born into the family of a top Arabian horse trainer, Ryan`Melendez didn’t have long to wait before finding himself in the saddle.

“I am sure my dad had me on horses as soon as I could sit up by myself,” Ryan, who’ll turn 18 in July, says of Bill Melendez. “I remember riding like six or seven horses a day, and it was a lot of fun.

“He didn’t always put me on the best of the best horses,” he adds. “I felt like he put me on horses that were going to teach me how to learn to ride — that’s probably the best thing that he could have done because to be a really good rider, I wasn’t going to get there by riding just the easy horses.”

His main ride, a mare named AM Liberty Parade, tried to buck off the 7-year-old Ryan in their very first horsemanship class, a 10-under test at the Scottsdale Arabian Show. They stayed together and years later, in 2014, they won an Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals Championship in Horsemanship.

“That’s my most memorable, best championship,” Ryan says. “Years and years of hard work. In the beginning, she definitely was not happy with being out there. One year at Youth Nationals, she actually flipped over on me, and then we went in the class and got Top 10. I like challenges — what’s the point, if you are not going to work hard for it?”

Right Price

Friends and family make for a success story at Region 1

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 16th, 2016

DEL MAR — Sisters share a special bond, and when you add a horse — well, good things happen.

That’s the case with Ashley and Samantha Price and Dress Blues, a trio whose history together goes back several years and whose immediate past is terrific: a fresh pair of championships and a reserve at the 2016 Arabian Horse Association Championship Show, held May 18-22 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The gelding was foaled on Memorial Day in the backyard of Molly Jenks, a family friend of the Price sisters and their trainer mom, Debbie Price of Priceless Arabians in ALta Loma. When Molly brought Dress Blues, named in part for her husband, a former U.S. Marine, to Priceless Arabians to present to potential buyers, Ashley was anything but in the market, as she has just lost her own horse after 13 years of riding together. However, “Trooper,” as he would soon be called, turned the ehads of a couple others — namely Debbie and Samantha.

Next in line

Newest Show Jumping Hall of Famer sees bright futures in West Coast

By Pam Maley / For the Horsetrader - June 2nd, 2016
904089-1606A HJ feature PHOTO_A Lucy Davis 2014 Altech FEI WEG

USET photo

USET photo

Susie Hutchison was recently elected to the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.  The official induction ceremony will take place on the East Coast during the Devon Horse Show in June, but Blenheim EquiSports will honor her on the West Coast before the home crowd on June 12, at the end of the Blenheim June Series Week I Grand Prix.

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to promote the sport of show jumping and to memorialize the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport.

Already  in the Hunter Hall of Fame in 2015, alongside her longtime mentor and partner Jimmy Williams, and her famous hunter mount Best Bet, Hutchison is one of the infamous ‘Rat Pack’ that all rode with Williams.  Names such as Hap Hansen, Robert Ridland, Mason Phelps, Rob Gage, Mary Chapot and Hutchison lessoned with Williams at the Flintridge Riding Club in the 1960s.

On Board

Top facilities are ready to take care of you and your horse. Here’s what they have to offer.

- May 5th, 2016

Anaheim Equestrian Center
Rancho Del Rio Stable
Anaheim
(714) 535-3510
www.ranchodelriostable.com
Anaheim Equestrian Center/Rancho Del Rio Stable continues to operate under the ownership of Jayne and Bob Jones. Bob Jones announced his retirement last year and Jayne will continue to operate the business that has been at this Anaheim location for more than 45 years. The centrally located boarding facility sits on just under seven acres and offers an on-site tack and feed store.