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Buckling up

- March 1st, 2021

West Coast Ranch Horse concludes its Winter Series

From Horsetrader staff reports

Kelly Miller of Perris and Walla Walla Whizdom shined in several classes, including firsts in Open Ranch Trail and Open Ranch Halter. (Katie Wise / ShezaShootingStar.com photo)

TEMECULA — West Coast Ranch Horse wrapped up a super Winter Buckle Series on Super Bowl weekend Feb. 7 at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula.

‘21 is on!

- January 31st, 2021

SCRCHA launches season with ‘January Kickoff’

By Sue Carter / for the Horsetrader

Charles Stevens takes his Smartest Hotshot to the Open Spectacular title at the SCRCHA January Kick Off event held Jan. 8-10 at California Ranch Company. (Danger Dingo photo)

TEMECULA — Ready to dust off 2020 and hit the show pen, the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association launched its new season Jan. 8-10 with the Cow Horse Kickoff at California Ranch Company.

Beautiful weather, a great group of competitors and a return to a favorite venue added up to a super weekend that featured cutting and herd work on Friday and cow horse classes Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Roy Rich on Cat From Ipanema, owned by Rocking J Ranch, and Non Pro Melvin Reynolds on his Heatt started the weekend off by taking home a check and bragging rights in cutting. Rich and Cat From Ipanema also captured the Open herd work class, while Jeffrey Heyer, trained by Bob Grant, rode his PaddysStarlightChic to the Non Pro crown.

Saturday and Sunday’s cow horse classes were competitive with many familiar faces, as well as those out of the Southern California area, polishing their horses before heading to he NRCHA “Celebration of Champions” in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 9-20.

Tresha Geltner and Remedy To Shine, owned by Judith Adkison, vie in the herd work. (Danger Dingo photo)

The standouts in Open divisions were Grant in Open Bridle on Cynthia Baker’s Nic It Smartly, Rich and Very Smart Look, and Caitlyn Showalter on Brazilian Belle, owned by Mary Houston. Charles Stevens, fresh in from Hawaii, rode his Red Voodoo Remedy to titles in both junior horse classes. Rich also took the Circuit Championship in the Open Bridle, and Tresha Geltner riding Judith Adkison’s Remedy To Shine was Circuit Champion in the Limited Open Bridle.

Winning the Non Pro Bridle division on Saturday was the familiar pair Rachel Reedy, who trains under Sunni McCormick, aboard her Uno Whats Right. Sunday’s Non Pro Bridle winner was Tracy Lynch, who also trains under McCormick, aboard Jim Putnam’s CD Rock Slide. Lisa Fonsen, who trains with Rich, won her divisions riding her RJ Where’s My Sock. Non Pro Bridle Circuit Champions were Lynch (Non Pro Bridle and Intermediate Non Pro Bridle), Fonden (Novice Non Pro Bridle), and Catherine Deel (Non Pro Hackamore), who trains with Rich.

Nancy Nyjordet went home with the Non Pro Limited Circuit title after a winning performance with her Chickaroos Chance. (Danger Dingo photo)

The well-attended boxing division went to Nancy Nyjordet, another McCormick-trained rider, who took home the blues and the Non Pro Limited Circuit title on her Chickaroos Chance. Other Circuit Winners included Brenda Brown-trained riders Alexandra Veen in the 5K Division on her A Boy Named Su and Sheila Nash in the 1K riding her King Of The Coast.

In the Spectacular, Stevens won the Open on his Smartest Hotshot, with Fonden capturing the Non Pro on her RJ Where’s My Sock and Nyjordet winning the Non Pro Limited on her Chicaroo’s Chance.

More online: https://bit.ly/12Ascrcha

CRHA Reiner of the Year

- December 31st, 2020

Carolyn Tachovsky and Diamonds In My Dreams take 2020 title

From Horsetrader staff reports

THERMAL — This one was NOT easy!

There was the pandemic. The lock-down. The changing of venues. Then, once a season was seemingly wrapped up and the California Reining Horse Association Reiner of the Year seemed ready to present, there was — a tie?

Year of Challenge

- December 31st, 2020

With its L.A. home locked down, CRHA moves to desert for 2020

From Horsetrader staff reports

Karleigh Farmer and Roocat, owned by Stephen Silver of Temecula, captured the Challenge Limited Open with a 70.5 and the Novice Horse Open with a 71. (Mark Blakley photo)

THERMAL — A year that started out of the chute in Los Angeles with lots of potential wrapped up 150 miles away in the desert Oct. 20-25 with some terrific runs, as the California Reining Horse Association closed its 2020 season at the Challenge.

Getting back to the Ranch

- December 31st, 2020

West Coast Ranch Horse
is putting entries — and
fun — into the arena

From Horsetrader staff reports

Caliber’s Revenge patiently awaits work under Raquel Cordova of Acton at the Dec. 12 WCRH Winter Series #2 Show in Temecula. (Katie Wise / ShezaShootingStar.com photo)

TEMECULA — Jenni Dawson entered her first ranch horse class a few years ago – in June 2017 at the Tumbleweed Riding Club open show in Lakeside, to be exact — and the rest is history.

Her show background, from ETI as a young rider in Lakeview Terrace to intercollegiate competition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, had been varied and rich. She had jumped a bit, did cutting, western pleasure and some reining. This was different.

Steppin’ Up in the High Desert

- October 30th, 2020

HiDHA show season offers variety, competition — and lots of fun

Photos by Evon Kurtz Photography
EXCA Hall of Famer Bill Cameron enjoys participating in and contributing to his community’s shows. (Evon Kurtz photo)

PALMDALE — Obstacles play a big part in today’s popular horse show classes, but this year, obstacles also have gotten in the way of many 2020 shows. Eight months after COVID’s kickoff in March, some lockdowns remain in place at municipal show facilities, but like a clean trot over poles, some clubs managed to navigate problems and stitch together their show seasons.

THERMAL — The Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association hosted all seven of its 2020 medal finals at the National Sunshine Preview, held Oct. 23-25 and co-produced by LEG Shows & Events and the Desert International Horse Park. Additional sponsors included Hansen Dam Horse Park, Elvenstar, LEGISequine.com and SmartPak.:

Charley Stowell and Milan

ESI photo

Stowell and Elvenstar’s Milan won the LAHJA Junior Medal Final, laying down three consistent rounds to earn the overall championship in the LAHJA Junior Medal Final presented by LEGISequine.com.

Hot to the end

- September 28th, 2020

Smoke and ash doesn’t deter WCRHA reiners in finale

RANCHO MURIETA — A blood orange sun and smokey, ash flurries from nearby wildfires welcomed exhibitors driving in to the Murieta Equestrian Center show grounds Aug. 20. Little did they know that such would be the norm for all four days of the West Coast Reining Horse Association Year End show.

As the NRHA Show Rep Kain Emmons stated, pulling up his face mask, “We don’t know if people are wearing masks due to COVID-19 restrictions or because of the smoky air!” Either way, exhibitors, trainers, and other folk adhered to current California state restrictions by wearing masks, social distancing, and having their temperatures taken daily at the entrance gate.

A full slate of ancillary classes as well as Futurity and Derby classes, judged by Nick Baar and Reid Fady, gave everyone ample opportunities to show off their talented horses. Gorgeous, Vaquero buckles are presented to class champions, and beautiful, silver pocket knives went to the reserve champions.

There were also special awards given at this show. The NRHA Rookie Professional class was recently renamed the NRHA Becky Hanson Rookie Professional class in honor of Becky Hanson, a beloved member of WCRHA and NRHA who passed away May 25 at age 48.

Becky, the winner of the NAAC Rookie Professional class at the NRHA Futurity in 2006, coached and trained many reining competitors over the years from Rookies through Non Pros. Her heart, however, was for the Rookie riders. Dave Bunfill of Plymouth won the class on his Custom Whizett. “Biscuit,” as she is affectionately called, is a 5-year old mare sired by Conquistador Whiz and out of Custom Crome mare.

Dave Bunfill earned the NRHA Becky Hanson Rookie Professional Award on his Custom Whizett. (John O’Hara photo)

Dave, who just started showing reining about a year ago along with his wife, specifically entered the class because of Becky. Although he never met her, he knows a lot about her story.

“It meant a lot to me to win this class — it is a real honor,” said Bunfill, who received championship class buckle as well as a specially designed Becky Hanson buckle.

In addition, in remembrance of Becky, the winner of the Prime Time Rookie class was presented with a beautiful, hand-tooled Becky Hanson memorial leather photo album made and sponsored by the Ricotti Saddle Company of nearby Clements. Jennifer Fisher riding Midnight Whizkey Run was the happy recipient. Becky was well-known for her beautiful photography, and many WCRHA members have more than one of her metal prints in their homes.

Another special award was the Gary Van Hoosen Perpetual Memorial Green Reiner trophy presented to Cindy Laver, winner of the WCRHA Green class. Cindy rode Revolutionic to the win. Revolutionic is one of those reining “war horses” that has carried his various riders to many wins over the years. Gary Van Hoosen was a long-time member, trainer and competitor at WCRHA shows. He was a strong supporter of the emerging reiner, and could always be counted on for an encouraging word and smile.

Cassandra Kindle was thrilled to receive The Topsail Cody Memorial Perpetual Trophy. This large trophy is presented each year to the champion of the Limited Non Pro class. Cassandra’s name plaque will be added to all the other winners since 2002. Cassandra’s ride for this class was Ill Be Smokinum.

On Thursday, five hours of open competition began at 7 a.m.. With scores of 73.5, David Hanson and Mike Boyle laid down what were to be the highest scores of the show. They each shared championship honors in the Open Maturity and David rode Lisa Dentoni’s Smart Little Dunnit, and Mike showed Betty McHugh’s pretty Palomino, Chics Dream.

In the Intermediate Open and Limited Open classes, Gabe Davide showed Mister Smartypants to championships of both classes with a 72 score. “Smarty” is owned by Gordon and Eileen Maxinoski. Liz Rammerstorfer was close behind Gabe in both classes with a 71.5, riding Like Madd, owned by Kelly Staley. Mike Boyle was also the Champion in the Prime Time Open class on Chics Dream as well as the Reserve Champion on Pale Of Gold, owned by Laetitia Loubser, scoring a 70.

Winning six Non Pro classes was Cam Essick and her gelding, Loveya. (John O’Hara photo)

Championing six of the Non Pro classes was Cam Essick and her (as Cam says) “plain, bay” gelding Loveya. Leaving their mark in the arena with a 73, Cam emerged victorious in the Non Pro Level 4 and Prime Time Maturity as well as the Non Pro and the Prime Time Non Pro classes. The duo also went on to win the Non Pro and the Prime Time Non Pro Derbies. Loveya is a proven reiner with LTE earnings of over $130,000. Two reiners shared the Reserve Championship honors in the Level 4 Maturity. Cassandra Kindle showed her Ill Be Smokinum and Betty McHugh showed her Chics Dream to scores of 72.

Concluding the second day of showing, the Non Pro Futurity allowed six riders to show off their 3-year olds. Bill Coburn reined his My Skill Your Luck to a score of 137.5 to take away the awards and monies given to the Champion of the Level 4. Caitie Moulding was Champion of the Level 1 Futurity riding her PS Ice Queen with a 138.

Nineteen Non Pros were eager to show their reining horses of ages seven and under in Saturday’s Non Pro Derby. Essick and her Loveya gathered their fifth and sixth Championship buckles of the show by earning a score of 144 in the Level 4 and Prime Time. Level 1 was won with a score of 142.5 by Stacy Hamilton and her Whizzen The Dream.

Five entries in the Open Futurity closed out the third day. PS Ice Queen won her second Futurity championship of the show, first with Non Pro Caitie Moulding on Friday, and secondly, with trainer Jason Richards on Saturday.

The last day of the show dawned early again but still a bit smoky and ashy. That didn’t deter the Open Derby riders, though. Running first in the draw was Eric Laporte on Michell Kimball’s Sugar Baby. Eric showcased his talent by earning a score of 143.5 which proved too tough to beat by the rest of the field. They took home the Championship of both Level 4 and Level 1.

Sugar Baby is by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Smart Sugar Rose. Eric says of the 4-year old gelding, “He is so laid back and such a dream to show and get ready.”

Sugar Baby now has a new owner, Megan Meyerdick, who looks forward to showing him the Green Reiner classes.

More online: https://bit.ly/010wcrha

Mark Blakely photo

THERMAL — For the first time in recent memory, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center will not host the year-end California Reining Horse Association Challenge show, as health officials still had not lifted constraints on events at LAEC as of press time.

In August, the CRHA moved its Summertime Slide show from Hansen Dam Horse Park in Lake View Terrace to the CRC Ranch in Temecula for the same reason.

The CRHA Challenge will be held Oct. 20-25 at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, a well-known hunter-jumper venue that will be hosting a reining for the first time.

“We really appreciate the generosity of the DIHP opening their doors to us on such short notice, and we look forward to cultivating this relationship for future reining events,” CRHA President Mike Berg said in a press release.

Steve Hankin, President and and CEO of the DIHP, said he hopes to create a new home for regional reining events, adding that three new sand rings will add 250,000 sq. ft. of schooling space to the facility.

Also scheduled the same week at the DIHP on Oct. 23-25 will be the National Sunshine Preview show, the first in a series of shows co-produced by DIHP and LEG Shows & Events that will focus on hunter equitation riders up to 3-ft. and jumpers up to 1.20m.

“These two events bring together two disciplines in a fun, casual weekend. There will be a crossover team event, a dinner social, and more fun activities throughout the weekend,” added Hankin.

“With COVID-19 limiting activities in Los Angeles County, this gives us a great opportunity to move the needle on producing affordable and accessible competitions for the West Coast equestrian community,” said Marnye Langer, Managing Director and CFO of The Langer Group.

Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association (LAHJA) will also be moving its Medal Finals Extravaganza, featuring all seven of its 2020 LAHJA Medal Finals, to the National Sunshine Preview. LAHJA President Kay Altheuser said moving the finals to DIHP “is the best decision for everyone involved.”

“We understand how important the medal finals are to our members, and we want to do everything possible to be able to safely host the finals this year,” Altheuser said.

More online: https://bit.ly/010desert

Sliding through the pandemic

- September 28th, 2020

SCRHA series kicks into gear after COVID lay-off

Kirstin Booth on Babys Got Blue Eyes (Katie Wise photo)

ESCONDIDO — Enthusiastic reining and ranch riding brought the Hunter Equestrian Center to life Aug. 8, as the Southern California Reining Horse Association resumed its 2020 season.

Managed by Track One Events, the show featured NRHA classes and counted toward the popular SCRHA Saddle Series. Another Saddle Series show was happening Sept. 26-27, as this magazine was going to press..

SCRHA President Lori Riis said the uncertainties that have popped up in 2020 has forced members and the club to approach the season one month at a time — evaluate and then adjust.

“Although COVID has definitely created some challenges, our exhibitors have all been very respectful of the social distancing guidelines,” said Riis.”We want to be mindful of the trainers and exhibitors who aren’t able to show yet.”

Even though saddles will be awarded for the Saddle Series this fall, the emphasis lately has been more about returning to the show pen than it has been on year end awards.

“After the shutdown, we wanted to see how many members were comfortable to come out and compete before we scheduled the additional show in October,” said Riis. “They wanted the additonal show, and we will have it the weekend before the (California Reining Horse Association) Challenge.”

One of the canceled shows will take place Oct. 17-18, and it will be the last one in the Saddle Series. Riis and her colleagues have some other innovative ideas that they are chewing on for 2021.

More online: https://bit.ly/010scrha