FORT WORTH, Texas — With two big scores in four tough events, Clayton Edsall of Oakdale earned the title of World’s Greatest Horseman during the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions event held Feb. 12-20 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center.
Riding his own gelding, Skeets Oak Peppy, Edsall scored a 221 to lead the herd work to set his winning pace.
“We were fortunate to up earlier (in the draw), and there were still some cattle we had picked out,” he said. “Some of them got cut. Doug (Williamson), right before me, cut pretty much my whole list, so we went with some backups. Kelby (Phillips) had a good cow picked out, and it all worked out.”
The NRCHA’s World’s Greatest Horseman competition requires the same horse-and-rider combo to compete in four events: herd work, reined work, steer stopping, and fence work.
“In the reined work, he was solid,” Clayton said of “Sly.” “He was a tick better in the prelims. He let me do all the maneuvers and run pretty honest.”
The City of San Marcos held its 25th Annual Trail Days and Membership Drive on March 5, and the community’s horse people showed up in force — more than double of last year. The event asks for residents to come together, put on their hiking shoes or saddle up their horses, and step back in time and experience the rural trails of San Marcos’s extensive trails system. All funds raised from the Friends of San Marcos Parks & Trails Membership Drive directly benefit existing 52 miles of trails and help complete the final segments of the 72-mile multi-use trail system.
A venerable – and well used – equestrian bridge survives effort by bicyclists to make it theirs
BURBANK — After a two-hour public hearing on bicyclists’ access to the Mariposa Equestrian Bridge into Griffith Park, the Burbank City Council last month ended the controversy simply: no bicycles on the bridge.
Known as the “swinging bridge” that connects to the Griffith Park equestrian trails, the bridge carries hundreds of horse-and-riders daily and as many as 1,000 on a weekend. The seven-foot wide bridge, commissioned in 1938, was the result of efforts by movie actor Gene Autry, who understood that once the Los Angeles River banks were built out, equestrians would be cut off from riding in the park.
“It has been under intense pressure by a bike club to be declared a ‘multi-modal’ bridge that would include bicycle access into Griffith Park,” said Lynn Brown, Vice President of the Los Angeles Equine Advisory Committee and a champion statewide for equestrian interests.
VALLEY CENTER — The Valley Center Vaqueros Equine Education Foundation, along with Armstrong Feed in Valley Center, sponsored the community’s Third Annual Day of the Horse Feb. 13, putting on display the area’s vibrant, diverse equestrian world.
“We’re a group of equestrians who all have different interests and disciplines, so the Day of the Horse is a way to embrace that and share it with the general public,” said Julie Picot, a 30-year equestrianne who moved to Valley Center in 2004. “We have members who are into driving, and others are into cowboy challenges or drill team or dressage. We kind of showcase that diversity at the Day of the Horse, and its important for the community to come together.”
A few spots remain unfilled, but they aren’t expected to remain that way long for the Buck Brannaman clinic in the Los Angeles area April 1-4 at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center in Lake View Terrace. Brannaman will be offering two classes: Foundation from 9 a.m. to noon, and Horsemanship 1 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. To bnook your spot in the clinic, call Sally at (323) 662-8085, and see the ad on page 62. Spectators are welcome to watch this remarkable teacher at work, and no reservations are necessary for that. More info is also available on the trainer’s website.
Fiesta Charity Horse Show and Spectacular is dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for cancer research in order to help find a cure for this disease and give people long lives, as well as to honor our nation’s military families. Many local and national organizations have benefitted from funds raised through Fiesta, including the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Fiesta brings together the special healing power of horses and people.
If you have a horse, horse trailer and tow vehicle and have a desire to give back to your community, then the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Mounted Posse is looking for you.
The L.A. Sheriffs Mounted Posse seeks riders to serve as reserve deputies and civilian volunteers. Mounted Posse members support the department by patrolling rural trails, shopping malls, and participating in community parades and other community events. Requirements include being 18 years of age or older, having United States citizenship, residency in Los Angeles County or surrounding area, and passing of a background check. The stations that currently have mounted posses include the Altadena Station, the Industry Station, Malibu/Lost Hills Station, the Lomita Station, the Palmdale Station, the San Dimas Station, the Santa Clarita Station and the Temple Station. Equestrians interested in joining the Los Angeles Mounted Posse should contact the station nearest them:
ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Mounted Posse, an equestrian group that performs in parades throughout San Diego County and beyond, is looking for new members to expand its ranks. To become qualified to ride in parades takes about two to three months, as each applicant must attend a Posse monthly meeting, a couple of training sessions and function as ground crew at a parade. Prospects also must pass a horse-and-rider inspection, performed by the sponsorship committee.
Two Southern California Arabian Horse clubs merged as of Jan. 1 this year, forming a new club, the San Diego Arabian Horse Association. The two organizations that came together, the Desert Arabian Horse Association and the Tierra Del Norte Arabian Horse Association, actually are two branches of the same tree. Tierra Del Norte formed in 1976 when it split from DAHA, which began in 1950.
Former TDNAHA President Theresa Oakley is President of the San Diego AHA, which will meet on the second Monday each month in Escondido. “Our club’s main charter is to promote the Arabian Horse in our local community,” said Oakley. “Our efforts will be focused on introducing the Arabian horse to our community through new ideas that may include one-day Class A shows, supporting local all-breed community shows, and trail rides. We look forward to promoting the Arabian Horse in our community and welcome ideas.”
RIVERSIDE — Six-year-old Katherine King may not have much experience in the saddle, but you can bet she’ll lead the nation in ribbons won this year.
The youngster from Placentia, known in her circles as “Katherine The Brave”, is battling a rare terminal illness, and her village of supporters has grown to include trainer Heather Spies and clients at HS Performance Horses in Riverside. After devoting themselves to give Katherine a special day with a unicorn via the Make A Wish Foundation on Nov. 28, the barn has dedicated itself to the youngster and her family.
“No National Championship moment, no Regional Championship or any ribbon will ever compare to that day,” said Spies, whose former horse, a retired Arabian now owned by Lori Chiodini, made the perfect unicorn.
Katherine has diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), a rare illness with highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumors found at the base of the brain. Nationally, about 300 children are diagnosed with DIPG each year, usually between the ages of five and nine. Last year, she was given a window of less than a year to survive.