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“Pumkin”, a 4-year-old Palomino gelding by HF Mobster. (Courtesy photo)

“Pumkin”, a 4-year-old Palomino gelding by HF Mobster. (Courtesy photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—With a record-setting sale-topper and an overall average of $25,800, the Twombly Performance Horse Sale Dec. 7-8 proved a hit attraction at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Held during the National Finals Rodeo in the Roper Cowboy Marketplace, the sale-topper went for $100,000 and attracted bidders from 26 states and Canada.

The top five averaged $50,900, and the top 15 average was $34,500.

When the hammer fell on Lot 4, “Pumkin”, became Twombly’s all-time, high-selling horse! The beautiful 4-year-old Palomino gelding is an own son of HF Mobster. He has had reining training and went to a repeat buyer in Arizona, show officials said.

Lot 15, “Doodle”, who found a new home with repeat buyers from Kansas, sold for $42,500. The son of Mister Dual Pep is a finished reiner with earnings and is a gem to ride on the ranch.

NEW YORK—The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced that it has granted $125,000 to three organizations to support their efforts to create one-of-a-kind, innovative programs that keep owned horses out of risk and in their homes.

The ASPCA Equine Welfare Safety Net Innovation Grant Program inspires new thinking and initiatives to improve equine welfare and expand safety net services for equines. The grant program supports new initiatives designed to identify owners with at-risk horses to deliver services and resources to help keep horses in their homes or provide access to euthanasia to alleviate suffering.

LANCASTER—Many folks told Madison Fay Wagner this would not be a good year for her to run for the Miss California Rodeo title. At 19, they said, she was too young—most candidates are in their 20s—and they also told her there were too many other strong candidates.

But the Valley Center native stuck to her plan and not only ran, she won the coveted title.

“I was told that I didn’t have a chance,” says Wagner, who became eligible for the pagent last spring when she was named queen of the Valley Center PRCA Rodeo. “I took this as incentive to ride even more, study even harder, and practice, practice, practice. While advice is well-intentioned, it can also be misplaced. Have confidence in your ability and don’t underestimate yourself.”

SAN MARCOS—The City of San Marcos has a new mounted ranger, Cortney Pache, patrolling its extensive trails system, and she is looking for volunteers.

Cortney Pache

Cortney Pache

Mounted patrol volunteers are sought in order to assist the City by providing safe and enjoyable trail use for park visitors and the community. Applicants must be an experienced rider aged 18 or higher, have their own or have reasonable access to an equine in good condition and sound health, and be able to get to Walnut Grove Equestrian Park or Double Peak Park and its surrounding trails.

Horses have some guidelines to meet, too, and they are available online at: san-marcos.net/outdooradventures.

William Shatner

William Shatner

Waltenberry photo

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—William Shatner, an avid Los Angeles-based reiner who cultivated a career spanning over 50 years as an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, director, producer, screenwriter, recording artist, author and horseman, will receive the National Reining Horse Association Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2007, the NRHA Hall of Fame Committee initiated the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award, supported by the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF), and each year, the NRHA Board of Directors and past Hall of Fame inductees vote to approve a worthy candidate for recognition.

Shatner, one of pop culture’s most recognizable figures, received the award for his contributions as a horseman, horse industry promoter and philanthropist,.

As of press time, firefighters were still battling more than a dozen wildfires across California on Monday morning, including the Carr Fire in Shasta County, in which at least six people have died, and the Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, which has killed two. In Southern California, the Cranston Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County has burned 13,139 acres and had reached 57 percent containment by Monday, July 30, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The fire had begun Wednesday, and evacuation orders have been lifted for Idyllwild and Pine Cove. The fire was caused by arson, officials said.

LOS ANGELES — For over 25 years, Atwater equestrians “land-locked” by the Los Angeles River have been asking for a bridge to access the trails in Griffith Park.

In 2012, Atwater home owners finally were promised a new equestrian/bike bridge, and it seemed like the long-awaited structure was within reach. Despite a philanthropic boost from Morton LaKretz, who had set up a fund of $5 million to build the bridge, there were many setbacks to construction over the years. It remained in limbo as the delays — and the price of the bridge — kept growing.

Recently, L.A. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell came up with a cost-effective pre-fabricated bridge concept, perhaps not as elegant as the previous designs, but still approved by the equestrian community as functional and safe for horses. Another parallel pre-fab bridge would go alongside for bikers and hikers.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced April 29 that a 9-year-old mare from a quarantined barn at an Orange County facility, displaying mild neurological signs, had tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1.

Previously, on April 24, the CDFA had reported that a febrile horse which initially had tested negative was resampled and confirmed positive for EHV-1, followed two days later by two additional confirmed cases.

Jake Gorell and Plain Catty

Jake Gorell and Plain Catty

Primo Morales photo

FORT WORTH, Texas — They can take the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World Championship away from the West Coast, but they can’t take the West Coast out of the Snaffle Bit Futurity.

At least not this year, the first ever since the NRCHA moved its signature event for 3-year-olds from Reno, Nev., into the Will Rogers Coliseum. Jake Gorrell of Hanford, from the breadbasket of reined cow horses in Central California, rode Kevin Cantrelle’s Plain Catty (Bet Hesa Cat x Miss Plain Plain) to an exciting Open Championship, using a gutsy fence work to top Zane Davis on Bet Hes Black (Bet Hesa Cat x Soula Jule Forever), owned by C Ranches Inc..

Gorrell’s performance earned the winner’s check of $125,000 and all the trimmings that come with winning the sport’s most prestigious title.

Dori Lowe and Maxi

Dori Lowe and Maxi

Courtesy photo

CANYON LAKE — Two months have passed since a horrific June dog attack incident on Maxi, a 5-year-old half-Arabian, who is still recovering from the mauling.

Owner Dori Lowe described what happened to her and Maxi while riding on a Bureau of Land Management trail in Canyon Lake the morning of June 27. She said she first noticed a woman with a pit bull mix off the leash near the trail. Thirty minutes later, as she was riding to the barn along a trail behind baseball fields, the same dog ran up to her and Maxi and began biting at Lowe’s boots.

“The dog’s owner said her daughter used to have a horse, and the dog loved to play with boots and stirrups,” Lowe said.

Trying to get away from the dog, Lowe said she turned Maxi around.