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.
The Paso Robles Horse Park came to life recently, as two weeks of the 2016 Spring Central California Horse Show Series were filled with trainer and exhibitor parties, complimentary wine tastings — and great competition. John French topped the field of competition in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented byCross Creek Farm, and Guy Thomas overcame a tricky course to be the only clear round and take home the blue in the CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles Presented by Travel Paso.
“Congratulations to everyone on a successful two weeks of competition,” said Adrienne Karazissis of West Palms Events. “Thank you to all our sponsors, trainers, competitors, owners and spectators for supporting the Central California Horse Show Series! Don’t forget to join us this Summer in Huntington Beach!”
4-year-old futurities,non-pro action enliven newest Brumley reining
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Wild Card Reining Challenge made a complete set of the Brumley Management Group’s annual offering of reining shows, as the inaugural five-day Memorial Day event filled the South Point Equestrian Center May 25-29.
The Wild Card is aptly named — a departure and step outside the box for the reining industry — first, with its spotlight on 4-year-olds instead of 3-year-olds. The concept allows equine athletes a chance to mature physically and mentally, prior to the extreme stress in competition.
Actually, the Wild Card show was largely geared toward newness, from innovative ideas to continuing education and the future.
The show overall had a nice complement of non pro competition. With a 72, Robyn Schiller posted Wednesday’s high score of the day with CD Star Commander, winning the Wild Card Reining Challenge 1 Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and the Novice Non Pro Levels 2 and 1.
Newest Show Jumping Hall of Famer sees bright futures in West Coast
Susie Hutchison was recently elected to the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. The official induction ceremony will take place on the East Coast during the Devon Horse Show in June, but Blenheim EquiSports will honor her on the West Coast before the home crowd on June 12, at the end of the Blenheim June Series Week I Grand Prix.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to promote the sport of show jumping and to memorialize the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport.
Already in the Hunter Hall of Fame in 2015, alongside her longtime mentor and partner Jimmy Williams, and her famous hunter mount Best Bet, Hutchison is one of the infamous ‘Rat Pack’ that all rode with Williams. Names such as Hap Hansen, Robert Ridland, Mason Phelps, Rob Gage, Mary Chapot and Hutchison lessoned with Williams at the Flintridge Riding Club in the 1960s.
TEMECULA — Springtime in Southern California wine country is hard to beat for a horse show venue, and the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association struck up a winner the weekend of May 19-22 when it hosted the inaugural Jimmy Flores, Sr. Derby at Casner’s Ranch.
The four-day event included the club’s popular Non Pro Triple Crown and a full slate of NRCHA and AQHA classes on Sunday, making for a big draw and a huge success. Numbers pleased SCRCHA President Christy McSweeny, especially in the Derby Open (21 entries), the Triple Crown (37) and the final day’s horse show (110).
“We had a really good show,” said McSweeny, who found the open slot in the show schedule when the Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association moved its Sherri Gilkerson Memorial event to Arizona. “Everybody was happy. The schedule was really good because the open riders got to be done with their horses and their event before the non pro riders went, so everybody was able to have their trainers there to help them. There were no conflicts.”
WOODSIDE — The heightened atmosphere of the Horse Park at Woodside’s Grand Prix arena, with crowds packed all around, gave the competitors in the Preliminary Challenge divisions at the Spring Event at Woodside the feeling of the “Preliminary Olympics”.
Only a one-tenth of a point separated the top two in the Preliminary Challenge Horse division heading into show jumping. Busy California-based British rider James Alliston held second, third, ninth and eleventh places after cross country. A clear round by Alliston on Sophie Hulme’s Thomascourt Cooley sealed the win on 28.7 penalties after overnight leader En Vogue, owned by Ruth Bley, and ridden by Kimmy Steinbuch, had two rails down.
PASO ROBLES — It had been five years since the last go of the National Stock Horse Association’s Classic in 2011, a popular aged event that returned April 22-24 to rave reviews at the Mid-State Fairgrounds.
Longtime NSHA supporters Mark and Shari Luis spearheaded the resurrection of the three-day show that was headlined by a pair of aged events — a Derby sponsored by Cactus Saddlery and a Bridle Challenge sponsored by DT Horses and Hickory Holly Time. Many other sponsors came on board to make the show’s comeback a big success.
“The response was tremendous,” said Shari, who along with Mark joined the NSHA Board this year with founding partners Russell and Tanna Dilday and Jake Gorrell. “What made this show a success, in addition to the team that does such a good job making the NSHA run, were the sponsorships. The sponsors were amazing and overwhelmed us with their generosity.”
A little history was made May 1 when the San Diego Arabian Horse Association held its first show, the San Diego County Arabian Community Horse Show, at Deer Springs Equestrian in San Marcos. In addition to AHA classes, all breed classes were available, too, including in both Western and English Dressage and Western and English Trail. Stick horses, too, had their special competition, which brightened an already pleasant day. The SDAHA is a union of two previous Southern California Arabian organizations, the Desert Arabian Horse Association and the Tierra Del Norte Arabian Horse Association.
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DEL MAR — Setting an early pace in the jump-off proved to be unbeatable as Nayel Nassar and Lordan stepped up for the win May 14 in the $60,000 Grand Prix of California. It was clearly a week for the young and talented show jumpers, as Lauren Crooks took the win in the Interactive Mortgage Horses 10&U Futurity.
FEI Course Designer Oscar Soberon set the 1.50m track for the 30 grand prix competitors, focusing more on the verticals than the oxers.
First entrant Marc Grock, riding Moonlite Beach, LLC’s Little Gancho, was also the first to go clean. It took another 20 rides before Nassar went clean on Lordan, followed into the jump-off by three of the world’s top riders: Rich Fellers on Harry and Mollie Chapman’s Flexible, Richard Spooner on Cristallo and Will Simpson riding Monarch International’s E Unanime de la Haie.
California jumpers shine as San Juan Capo spring wraps up
The 2016 Blenheim EquiSports show season has departed Orange County for the Del Mar Horse Park, host of this month’s Ranch & Coast Classic and the $60,000 Grand Prix of California. Four veteran riders from the region — Michelle Parker, Susie Hutchison, Karl Cook and Lane Clarke — will hope to continue their winning ways established the last two months in Orange County.
Hutchison, named to the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in late March (California Horsetrader April 7 issue, “Show Jumping Hall adds Susie Hutchison”), has impressed all spring long on Ziedento, owned by St. Bride’s Farm, Brisbane, owned by Barbara Phillips, and SIG Firecracker. Her win on Ziedento in the Blenheim $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix against 37 other entries was a highlight.