CRHA show, Southwest Affiliate finals draw top reiners to LAEC
BURBANK — With the last big derby of the year, a tough pre-futurity and the NRHA Southwest Regional Affiliate Finals, it’s no wonder the Los Angeles Equestrian Center was at near-capacity for the California Challenge, held Oct. 22-26 by the California Reining Horse Association.
Perfect weather and good ground greeted a talented group of competitors from throughout California as well as five other states. CRHA officials said they sold a record number of stalls.
The futurity, always a big draw as NRHA Futurity hopefuls enter the show pen, showcased potential finalists for the Oklahoma City event Nov. 28-Dec. 6. Competing at home, Tom Foran took Gunnin For A Shine to the Open L4 Futurity Championship, topping reserve co-champions Tracer Gilson of Sanger on Gunna Spank You and Randy Paul on Gunnadeous.
Plus, she just loves the 5-year-old gelding that carried her to unexpected heights this year, winning the California Reining Horse Association 2014 Reiner of the Year. Valenzuela, an Orange County native who learned to ride at the Ortega Equestrian Center, earned the award at the CRHA Challenge show Oct. 22-26. After qualifying for the special class by virtue of her success in her division at CRHA shows this year, she went head-to-head against other club members of all divisions – non pros, novice non pros, and all – and finished on top.
“I’m still in shock that I actually accomplished that,” says Valenzuela, who also claimed the Southwest Affiliate Reserve Championship in her Rookie Division.
Crabo wins first CCI3* at Galway Downs International
For Crabo, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Galway Downs was her first victory in a CCI3*, and for it she received a check for $7,000.
“I’m trying not to swear, but it feels awesome. It means the world to me,” said Crabo.
Crabo bred Eveready II, now 15 years old, was the first person to ride him, and is the only person to ever compete him. “We’ve been working together so hard and so long. I think, why couldn’t he be 11 now and not 15? But when he was 11 he was unrideable.”
With the second-fastest cross-country time on Copper Beech, Davidson put himself in position to win the CCI3* at Galway Downs for the second consecutive year. Davidson won the CCI3* in 2013 on Petite Flower.
WCRHA's year-end show, Northwest Affiliate Finals draws top talent
The WCRHA Year End Show, held in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association Northwest Affiliate Championships, attracted top reining talent to the MEC for six days on competition. From David Hanson’s spectacular run in winning the Open Derby L4 Championship on Giselle Turchet’s Gotta Nu Gun to Ellie Madsen’s victory on her Taris Topsail for the 13-under Affiliate Championship, there were dreams come true.
One dream-maker was Maddox, Christian Rammerstorfer’s maturity horse that went home with five championships, including three NRHA Affiliate wins. In addition to winning the Select The Best Open 7-Up Maturity class, Maddox took the Novice Horse Open as well as affiliate titles in Open, Intermediate Open and Novice Horse Open.
Talent and fun fill a growing Del Mar Int'l
DEL MAR — Packed with world class competition, appreciative crowds and the likes of zombies and engaging contests, the Del Mar International each year adds to its late-October “must attend” faithful. This year’s line-up did not disappoint, from Dutch grand prix rider Harrie Smolders and Regina Z outdueling Rich Fellers and Flexible by .04 seconds in Saturday night’s $125,000 Rancho Valencia World Cup Grand Prix of Del Mar, to Hannah Von Heidegger and Geledimar taking the GGT Footing Grand Prix Series Final the next day.
There were many special classes, each with a compelling story, perhaps none more compelling than that of Buddy Brown and Finally Ours in the Grand Prix Hunter Derby Final. Brown’s win on “Joey” – nicknamed for the boy character in the 1960s television series “Fury” that inspired Brown to ride as a kid – capped the duo’s 18-month journey together.
Battles for saddles, Cut for a Cause are part of popular SCRCHA weekend
Four Shoot Out Champions were crowned on Sunday after the Cut For A Cause competition on Friday and the NRCHA and SCRCHA reined cow horses classes over the weekend. This year’s fund-raising cutting event garnered $5,000 for the El Rodeo Riding Club in Orange County.
The El Rodeo Riding Club is a Southern California group that promotes the equestrian lifestyle with a vast range of activities across many age groups, including providing a safe environment for children to become introduced to horses. Summer camps, riding lessons, horse show, trail and nature preservation activities are part of the line-up that helps promote core values while preserving tradition.
Tom LaBonge, Councilman Fourth District, was front-center of the ceremonies, which also featured words from Los Angeles Equine Advisory Council President Dale Gibson and Vice President Lynn Brown. La Bonge patiently took time to thank and be photographed with each group, including the likes of the Equestrian Trails, Inc. Junior Ambassadors and ETI Corral 20, the Enterprise Farms U.S. Pony Club Riding Center, the Interscholastic Equestrian League, the L.A. Equestrian Vaulting Club and others.
Brown, a longtime equestrian advocate in her hometown who has urged equestrian groups to reach out to local city councils for a rapport with bureaucrats and horse people, was thrilled to see the turn-out of young riders.
The Area VI champions were: Preliminary Rider, Tristen Hooks/Learning To Fly; Training Horse, Ruth Bley/En Vogue; Training Rider, Jain Coert/Fail Safe; Novice Rider, Angela Cricelli/Sunsprite’s Cali; Beginner Novice Rider, Grace Illsley/Dancing Diva.
James Alliston, of Castro Valley, claimed second on Tivoli (52.1), and Kaitlin Veltkamp of Los Gatos, grabbed third place on Flashpoint D (57.0).
Carpenter, 26, earned $3,000 for her winning effort, along with the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and the CTETA Founders’ Cup, established to honor Robert E. Smith, whose vision established the Horse Park at Woodside in 1981.
California Dressage Society and Region 7 Championships bring top talent to LAEC
BURBANK — After four days, six rings, and nearly 1,500 rides scheduled to come down centerline, final championship titles were awarded Sunday and the competition officially entered the record books as the largest edition in the 47-year history of the Annual California Dressage Society (CDS) Championship Show, held in conjunction with the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 7 Dressage Championships, Sept. 25 – 28.
Purses, competition climb again at 2014 High Roller Reining Classic
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The third and final show in the Triple Crown of Reining series that includes Cactus Reining Classic in Scottsdale, Reining By The Bay in Woodside, and the High Roller Reining Classic held at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center did not disappoint.