Cool awards and friendly competition — plus terrific weather — made for a nice three-day reining event by the California Reining Horse Association Aug. 5-7 at Galway Downs in Temecula. Circuit champions went home with a new bicycle, and reserve circuit champs received super sharp knives.
Although it was not an NRHA Affiliate event, the two-slate show featured CRHA and National Reining Horse Association classes, as well as PCHA, AQHA and APHA classes. Dave Belson and Linde Von Koding were judges.
The next CRHA event will be the association’s big year-end Challenge Show, scheduled Oct. 26-30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
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BEESD, Netherlands — California driving competitor Stefanie Putnam, the only U.S. representative in the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships, used a strong showing in the cone phase to finish fifth overall in the Aug. 3-6 competition.
Putnam, from Layfeyette. took fifth in dressage, eighth in the marathon, and third in cones, driving her Morgan gelding, Bethesda After Dark.
It was her European debut at the Championships, and she impressed with her stellar performance. As the sole U.S. representative, Putnam looked right at home competing against a strong international field in the Grade I division.
She executed a solid test with Bethesda After Dark on the first day in front of the Ground Jury of Andrew Counsil (GBR), Gun Hagring (SWE), Danuta Nowicka (POL), Henk van Amerongon (NED), and Reiner Wannenwetsch (GER).
She and the 1993 Morgan gelding scored of 53.58 in dressage, then the pair attacked the Barry Hunter (GBR)-designed marathon course on Friday, having great times in obstacles two and three. They finished the marathon phase in eighth place, adding 100.92 penalties to their overall score to remain in fifth place.
Guilherme Jorge’s course was less technical than what he had set for Sunday’s first individual qualifier. He included added dimensions with long approaches to the fences for a time allowed of 81 seconds that proved to be a challenge for some riders. Power, speed, and accuracy proved to be the winning formula to complete Jorge’s second course clear.
The trailblazer for the U.S. was Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ 14-year-old KWPN gelding, Voyeur. Repeating their foot-perfect performance from Sunday, this dynamic duo produced the second clear round of the day to get the U.S. off to a great start.
“I wouldn’t say it’s massive in size yet, but I am sure that’s to come,” Farrington said of the round one course. “I think tomorrow will be significantly bigger. It’s exactly what you would expect at a championship level. The time allowed is quite short, which I think is going to be a factor either through time faults or rails down because of people worrying about the time. Obviously, I am thrilled with my horse. It was a great start for Team USA.”
The second rider for the U.S. was Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.), piloting Old Oaks Farm’s Barron, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. Davis and Barron were poised and ready, matching Farrington’s performance with a second clean round for the U.S. team.
“I’m very relieved now that it’s over. After yesterday’s rail I hoped that it would set me up well for today and it definitely did,” Davis said. “He was incredibly sharp and with me. I was maybe a little more tense than usual. I really wanted this for the team. I think tomorrow I will be a bit more relaxed after seeing how well he handled this day and how confident everyone on the team is. It’s nice in my position. I can really count on them [my teammates]. I am pretty lucky, especially for the Olympics, to be on a mount like Barron. He makes it easy.”
“Once I jumped through the triple I kind of settled in,” said Ward. “I knew the team was in a good position. Obviously, we needed to be clear today to be in a good position for tomorrow. We are a good team. So far we didn’t lose it. I think tomorrow will go up another level.”
Riding anchor for the U.S. team, Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) entered the ring on Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ knowing that the U.S. had three clear rounds they would not need her score. Still needing a score for the individual competition, Madden and the 14-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding experienced an unfortunate rub at fence three and a misplaced foot at the water jump to accumulate eight penalties.
“It was a short seven up the first line, and maybe I was a little casual about the back rail, and then he clipped that,” Madden said. “The water has been riding difficult all day. I just didn’t quite get across. I think he actually finished better than he started in the course, so hopefully tomorrow we’re in good shape.”
Madden and Cortes ‘C’ will continue Wednesday in the team competition, however with a total of 12 faults after two days of competition, they will not move forward to Friday’s individual final.
Action continues Wednesday as the top eight teams from round one return for the final round of the team competition. Riders who qualify will advance to the two-round individual final on Friday.
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.
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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — After a month full of hunter highlights, Blenheim EquiSports shined its spotlight on the Leading Hunter Riders from the 2016 Blenheim June Series, with awards presented by Romfh Equestrian Apparel.
With some of the best West Coast hunter professional riders competing during June in San Juan Capistrano, and after having earned a tri-color in the First Year Green Hunters on Lindsay Maxwell’s Technicolor at Devon this year, Nick Haness earned the Romfh Leading Professional Hunter Rider Award.
Two weeks of victories in the professional hunter sections during Blenheim June Classic II & III on Maxwell’s Technicolor, Ecole Lathrop’s Banderas, Laura Wasserman’s Boss, Kailin Kerzner’s Zotikiss, and West Coast Equine Partner’s Spot On secured the win for Haness with a total of 346.5 points.
After the June Series event points were tallied, Lindsay Maxwell emerged victorious as the Romfh Leading Amateur Owner Hunter Rider.
AACHEN, Germany – The United States Dressage Team had solid performances throughout the Lambertz Nations Cup July 14-16 at CHIO Aachen. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, the team of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Shelly Francis, Arlene “Tuny” Page, and Steffen Peters garnered the Silver medal with a total score of 437.139. Saturday’s final placing also clinched the inaugural FEI Nations Cup™ series title for the U.S. Germany had a dominant performance in the eight-nation field, taking the top three places in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special and earning the Gold medal with a total of 492.598. Denmark finished with the Bronze medal on a total of 430.418.
Gorrell and 'Gadget' take Bridle Spectacular, as NRCHA Derby draws out the best
PASO ROBLES — After getting close the last few years to the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s wealthiest bridle contest, Jake Gorrell and his longtime partner, Smooth N Cash, just plain took it.
The Hanford-based Gorrell and Roloff Ranch’s gritty 2005 gelding topped the field of 14 elite equines to win the CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular. Held in conjunction with the NRCHA Derby June 13-19 at the Mid-state Fairgrounds, the CD Survivor Memorial is a $50,000-added contest named in honor of the late, great stallion owned by NRCHA sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses.
It was the first time for Gorrell and the little sorrel he calls “Gadget” to win this particular coveted title, although they have come close before.
“It’s awesome. It’s nice to put it all together, finally. Last year I fell down [in the fence work], the year before I had a switch [penalty in the herd work], came back and marked a 232 [down the fence] and almost got a check, but this was the first time for me to win it,” Gorrell said. “We worked hard at it. We worked and worked and it finally paid off.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lucy Davis, a 22-year-old jumping rider from Los Angeles, will join fellow Californians and dressage riders Steffen Peters and Kasey Perry-Glass when the respective U.S. Olympic Show Jumping and Dressage teams head to Rio De Janiero, Brazil, next month for the 2016 Olympic Games.
The USEF announced the squads last week. The Games will be held Aug. 12-19 at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio.
Davis, who will ride Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, will be flanked on the U.S. Show Jumping squad with an abundance of international experience, as she will be joined by Kent Farrington of Wellington, Fla., riding Voyeur, a 2002 KWPN gelding owned by Amalaya Investments; Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, N.Y., on Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Wexner; and
McLain Ward of Brewester, N.Y., on HH Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Double H Farm.
From prixes to ponies -- and a Six Bar, too -- Blenheim puts on a show with its Classic III
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Whether attending as a competitor or a spectator, Blenheim EquiSports offered something for everyone at the June Classic III, held June 23-26 at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.
From taking quizzes and enjoying cupcakes and ice cream, to a six-bar class that went up to 1.80m with a teen-aged champion, as well as continuing popular classes, series and championships, it was a week of big winners.
Super Sunday at the June Classic III featured three premium events: the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series qualifier, the $2,500 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier and the wrap-up of the USHJA Zone 10 Pony Challenge.
In the grand prix, 27 horses vied on Kenny Krome’s 16-effort course. built by course designer Kenny Krome. Six went clean, but Mandy Porter aboard Abigail Weese’s Milano could not be touched for the win. Two of the six in the grand prix jump-off competed in the U25 Qualifier jump-off, with Delaney Flynn riding Taxo de la Nutria to the top of the class, as well as taking third in the Markel Insurance Qualifier.
Porter is keeping “Cookie” in shape while owner Weese is out of the saddle.
Friends and family make for a success story at Region 1
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.