CRHA hosts year-end show, NRHA Southwest Affiliate Championships
BURBANK — Not even badly needed rain showers could dampen spirits at the California Reining Horse Association’s 2016 Challenge Show, held Oct 26-30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Exhibitors from all across California as well as Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and other points north, south and east came to participate in National Reining Horse Association Finals, Year-end Special Award Events, parties, futurities, derbies, an inaugural para-reining class, youth meetings, and more.
Events kicked off with a CRHA-hosted omelet Bar on Friday morning, setting the tone for Saturday night’s exhibitor party sponsored by longtime CRHA supporter Danny Gerardi. Italian food, a well-stocked bar and a deejay got spirits flowing in time for the evening’s exciting NRHA Open Futurity, where Nicolas Barthelemy, riding Manny Rojo’s WRS Shiney Diamond, swept all divisions L1, L2, L3 and L4, marking a 150 for their big win.
Megan Wilson and her 'Mojah' take Training Division win, start-to-end
TEMECULA — Galway Downs International is a popular year-end destination for West Coast eventers, offering not only international CCI divisions, but also a chance to tackle a traditional long format event with their USEA Classic Series divisions. These proved increasingly popular at Galway Nov. 4-6, with entries warranting two training three-day divisions.
Megan Noelle Wilson and her own Classic’s Mojah (Chambertin x Sevillano) led the Training Three-Day A division from start to finish. The 7-year-old Oldenburg was originally slated for a career in dressage, and carried theses skills into the first phase of competition, scoring a 26 on the flat.
RANCHO MURIETA — A beautiful autumn weekend at Murieta Equestrian Center played host to the West Coast Reining Horse Association Year End Show Oct. 20-23. With eight saddles, $21,000 in added money, buckles to champions and reserves and even more prizes up for grabs, this premier Northern California show didn’t take long to hit a high note.
With a four-way tie and run-off for the Open championship saddle, Aces High Whiz owned by Larry Lease and shown by David Hanson, won the run-off with a 73.5 to win. Jennifer Gilliam and her gelding, Hick A Shine, and Martin Padilla showing Diamond Oak captured the Co-Championship in the Open 7 & Up Maturity and Reserve Championship in the Open class with a score of 73.
As Reno hosts its final NRCHA Snaffle Bit, the Futurity Finals is one for the ages
RENO, Nev. — In its final go at the Reno Livestock Events Center, the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity played out Sept. 19-Oct. 1, and while tradition was on center stage throughout the event, so was its future.
Top riders and horses in all divisions sparked intense competition that made goosebumps and fed anticipation for next year’s Futurity at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I heard from several people, it’s one of the best finals they’ve ever seen,” said NRCHA 2 Million Dollar Rider and Open finalist Todd Bergen of Eagle Point, Ore. “I think that just shows where this sport is going, how good it’s gotten, how good the horses are, how good the trainers are.”
TEMECULA — It seemed routine to Allyson Tapie, who had just completed her reining and boxing runs Sunday at the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association Shootout in the final go of the day. Then, as she and her Little Yellow Vett started their trot out of the arena, the show manager called her to the judges stand for a bit check.
“I was confused because bit checks are not normally done before you leave the arena,” she said. “But it can be called if the judge sees a need to call one.”
DEL MAR — West Palms Events continues to grow its slate of quality hunter-jumper competitions, and all the while, its Del Mar International continues to improve annually.
This year’s version lasted from Oct. 12-30 at the venerable Del Mar Fairgrounds, host of the 1992 Volvo World Cup. Fittingly, the Del Mar International hosted the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League — one of only seven World Cup™ Qualifiers on the West Coast. Enrique Gonzalez and Chacna won the event.
There were many other significant events during the Del Mar International, including the GGT Grand Prix Series Final, presented by California Horsetrader and Horsetrader.com, the USHJA National Hunter Derby, Onondarka Medal Finals, and the PCHA/Equine Insurance Jumper Championship.
Many top horses will vie Nov. 15-20 at the Las Vegas Nat'l; here are four
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — In addition to a number of well-known riders, an amazing lineup of four-legged celebrities will also be making their way to the South Point Equestrian Arena for The Las Vegas National CSI4*-W in Nov. 15-20.
Robin de Ponthual once again will be partnered with Peter Lutz to try for two Las Vegas wins in a row; Capital Colnardo will be competing with recent double-Longines FEI World Cup Jumping class winner Audrey Coulter; The Dude and his bodacious riding partner, Will Simpson, are coming to play; and Lordan will gallop around the course with Nayel Nassar, just to mention four of many.
Robin de Ponthual
McLain Ward’s storied Castle Hill Farm and Peter Lutz’s home barn in North Salem, N.Y. are only a few farms apart. The two riders, former teen-age riding buddies, are good friends and often work together, with Ward welcoming Lutz’s overflow horses to his barn, and Lutz frequently helping Ward with riding.
In 2014, Ward brought home a Selle Français gelding that had caught his eye, and the minute Lutz climbed aboard, there was an instant synergy. Robin de Ponthual had found his rider, and Katherine Gallagher and Michael Mellor purchased him for Lutz the same year.
The partnership came together in 2015 with a win in last years’ $100,000 Longines World Cup Qualifier at the Las Vegas National, followed by a top 20 finish at the World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Lutz, who has trained a number of top horses and riders over the years, is deserving of this time in the limelight. For the first time in his career, he has an international-level horse that he can hold onto.
Remington W takes rare path from near death to National Champion
Beckey Downing first set her heart on a national championship when she was nine years old. When 2016 started, she felt this would be the year, and she had good reason. After three years, her gelding, Remington W, was coming along nicely under both her as an adult amateur and also her trainer, Joelle Roberts of Temecula. With the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals returning to Nampa, Idaho, the stars seemed to be perfectly aligned this year.
Until the morning of Jan. 13.
Downing, of Anza, received a 6:30 a.m. phone call from Roberts that Remington W was found bleeding severely from his nostrils and clearly in stress.
“We had, and still have, no idea what happened to him,” said Downing, who sped to Roberts’s Delacreme Equestrian facilities at Galway Downs with trailer in tow. “He was ataxic and his right pupil was completely blown.”
They took the horse to the San Luis Rey Equine Hospital in Bonsall, where the equine medical team of Dr. Nick Huggons, Dr. Lindsey Porubovich and consulting internist Dr. Rob Franklin used new CT scanning equipment to diagnose skull fractures that had eluded X-ray diagnosis.
California Dressage Society caps banner year with 2016 CDS and Region 7 championships
BURBANK — Among the many smiling faces seen during awards ceremonies for 29 championship divisions on the final day of the 49th Annual California Dressage Society (CDS) Annual Championship Show and Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 7 Championships held Sept. 29-Oct. 2 was Ruth Shirkey of San Jose.
With her U.S.-bred Hanoverian mare Wyleigh Princess, Shirkey was capping off a tremendous weekend by taking home the Two-Tone Malone Trophy for the $1,000 CDS Horse of the Year in the Second Level Adult Amateur division with an overall score of 68.256%. But the special partnership she now has with her horse almost never happened at all save for one crucial decision.
“My favorite story is that I purchased Wyleigh Princess in utero, and I was really hoping for a black colt,” Shirkey remembered. “When she was born, her breeder called and said, ‘The good news is that the foal is black. The bad news is that it’s a filly.’ She said that if I didn’t want her, to just let them know because they actually really wanted to keep her. So I thought about it for a day and decided I still wanted her, primarily because I really, really wanted a foal by Weltmeyer. So of course in hindsight it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Sacramento Int'l brings MEC to life with jumpers
SACRAMENTO — The standing-room only event kicked off with a special presentation for Style of Riding Sponsored by Shady Lane Farm. Congratulations to Maggie Kehring on her Junior Style of Riding Award and Patricia Warner on her Amateur Style of Riding Award. Thank you to the Archers and Shady Lane Farm for their continued sponsorship of the Style of Riding Awards!
Next was an incredible opening act from the California Cowgirls, an impressive drill team from Rancho Murieta, CA. Following the California Cowgirls was the Doreen Irwin Singers Choir and the Presentation of Colors by SGT Joel Campos, SSG Gary McCorkle, SPC Phillip Spaur, and SPC Nicole Coyle. Thank you so much to all of them for making the National Anthem so special to begin the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Sacramento Presented by Lasher’s Elk Grove Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.