West Coast brings home titles from Fort Worth
FORT WORTH, Texas — Doug Williamson and the Rocking J Ranch’s Short And Smart nabbed the Aaron Ranch Cow Horse Classic Derby, setting the stage for other California trainers and horses to make their mark in the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions, held Feb. 14 – 22 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center. The big week featured the Derby, the 2013 NRCHA World Championshps, and the 2014 World’s Greatest Horseman competition (see page 20).
RANCHO MURIETA — Any other year, three inches of rain might dampen spirits at the season’s first Northern California reining event. This arid year, though, downpours were welcome Feb. 7-9 at the Murieta Equine Center, where a covered show arena and warm-up pen allowed West Coast Reining Horse Association members to kick off 2014 with its Affiliate 1 show.
THERMAL — Jenny Karazissis of Calabasas is a regular contender in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, and she has clearly lost no ground this year. On Saturday, she took Splendid to the win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix for owner Julia Landmann at HITS Thermal. With top scores of 85.75 and 88, Karazissis bested a field of 35 to win under the lights in the desert.
THERMAL — In the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, a West Coast qualifier for the Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson, Polly Sweeney of Pasadena jumped her own Duet to a win with consistent scores of 83 and 84. Sweeney rides under the direction of trainer Archie Cox.
FORT WORTH, Texas — True to form, the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) World’s Greatest Horseman Championship finals, held Saturday, Feb. 22, in Fort Worth, Texas, came down to the very last fence run. The showdown in Cowtown ended with Spearman, Texas, professional Boyd Rice capturing the $25,000 World’s Greatest Horseman Championship by a half-point aboard Oh Cay N Short.
Thanks to dedication, focus and hard work, Lakeside's Elisa Swenson is Miss Rodeo USA
“I’d never done anything like that — a whole week of competition,” says Swenson, whose pageant days began at 4:30 a.m. and ended when her head hit the hotel pillow about midnight. “By the end of the week, you are so proud of yourself that you did this and completed it — whether or not you get the crown. I felt like I was a winner.”
Barthelemy, riding Sheri Jamieson’s Jans Rey Cuatro, shined in all three phases of the event — herd work, reining and cow work — en route to winning the $6,350 first-place prize. His 435 composite score outdualed Marjie Robinson on MH Its Only Boon, owned by husband Ted Robinson, who totaled 430.5 after an exciting cow work performance that brought down the house and moved her into second past Tucker Robinson and Gunna B Lucky, owned by Michael and Debra Brautovich. Marjie earned $3,810 for reserve, and Tucker, who scored 426, collected $2,540.
THERMAL — The seven-week HITS Desert Circuit took a mid-point break last week, and along with the hiatus came recognition for Mid-circuit Champions.
Efforts under way to memorialize California's true war horse
Hutton, a writer who has weaved horses into her work throughout her career, encountered Sergeant Reckless and was astonished the mare had slipped through a generation barely noticed.