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.
Entries are up as world’s best converge on 2016 Las Vegas event
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The 2016 Las Vegas High Roller Reining Classic, is in its ninth, fabulous year at the South Point Event Center, Hotel and Casino. The fourth largest NRHA show in the world, this year’s HRRC ran from Friday, September 9th through Saturday, September 17th, and still draws riders and horses globally from Reining’s finest pools of talent, nearly a decade after its creation.
“There are so many levels to our wonderful sport of Reining,” says Amanda Brumley, show producer. “The High Roller Reining Classic has always been our favorite venue for including the people who love this game, from the Short Stirrup kids to the Non-Pros; from the Million Dollar NRHA professionals to teenagers and their grandparents. This show provides a challenge for everyone.”
This year’s show was up in entries, particularly the Youth group. Encouraged by last year’s Tournament and the new National Arabian Reining Horse Association sponsorship, over 60 youth signed up in 2016. Youth classes ran mornings Saturday and Sunday the first weekend. The kick-off on Friday night was the NARHA Youth Tournament of Champions Bowling and Draw Party, sponsored by NARHA Corporate Sponsor, Markel Insurance, upstairs at the South Point Bowling Center. A great turn-out added even more fun to the gathering. The NARHA Team Tournament of Champions ended on Sunday with awards for both the teams and the individual competitors. The Gold Medal Team winners each won $500 in Scholarship money. The 5-member, Olympic-style team included Custom Spook (Smart Spook x Custom Spinderella) with Luca Fappani; Cashen Big Chex (Big Chex To Cash x Doc Will See You Now) and Adrianna Adams; VLQ Friendly Fire (Forelocks Petja x Polka Jane), a purebred Arabian, and Siena Kruger; Miss Trashy Lady (Trashadeous x Miss Glenda Joe) with Sophia Polumbo, and MK Check Please (Chic Please x Devils Dry Divanita) with McKenna Bein. Custom Spook carried Luca Fappani to the individual Gold Medal and $1,000 scholarship. “I’m grateful Pat Warren leased Custom Spook to me,” says Luca, a seventh grader attending the Sonoran Trails Middle School in Cave Creek. “Custom Spook is so talented and well broke. I’m showing him at Congress in October. My mom’s horse, Premier Diamond (Like A Diamond x Sexy Chexy Nic), is awesome too. He’s the first horse I ever showed and he taught me and made me the rider I am today.” Luca, though enjoying showing horses does not want to be a trainer. “I’d like to go to the University of Southern California and study to be an Orthopedic Surgeon.”
Haness, Maxwell, Looker earn Romfh awards
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Wrapping up their 2016 California season with the Fall Series in San Juan Capistrano, Blenheim EquiSports congratulated the Leading Hunter Riders with awards presented by Romfh Equestrian Apparel.
Three times was a charm for professional hunter rider Nick Haness, amateur-owner rider Lindsay Maxwell and adult rider Tonia Cook Looker. Collecting the most points throughout the season, Haness, Maxwell and Looker earned the Leading Rider Award in their divisions in the spring, summer and fall.
After numerous placings in the professional hunter sections on Maxwell’s Kingston, Enzo and Quinn during the Blenheim EquiSports Fall Series, Haness secured a hat trick with his third Romfh Leading Hunter Rider Title of the 2016 season.
Blenheim star riders get Veredus Leading Jumper Awards
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Riders who excelled in the jumper ring earned extra recognition during the last two weeks of the outdoor Blenheim EquiSports show season through the new Veredus Leading Jumper Rider awards program. After all the points were tallied, riders from the Open, Junior, Amateur, Adult and Children’s divisions were presented with a Leading Rider Sash and a Veredus Horse Boots gift certificate. One rider even made history in the process – Tina Yates with her amazing double win, finishing clean and clear on two horses with the same jump-off time in the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix.
After an amazing two weeks of top notch competition, emerging professional Tina Yates garnered the Leading Professional Open Jumper Rider title after a thrilling and historic win in the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Fall Tournament, where Yates duplicated her score and time on both Bowmore VDL and Cicomein VDL, and by winning in the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix, presented by ACE Equestrian at the International Jumping Festival one week later.
Experience pays, too, in USEF Jumping Talent Search Final
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Always a test of mindfulness and skill, the four phases of the 2016 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – ,held Sept. 22-24 at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, illustrated the demands on a show jumper.
Nineteen qualified riders began the finals on Friday, which after three phases were narrowed down to a final four who then demonstrated their abilities to ride a course on four different horses.
Sitting on top going into the final phase, Peyton Warren, of Rancho Murieta, emerged as the 2016 champion. Riding Casmir Z, Warren’s style and experience gave her the edge to secure the win.
“It means the world to me to win a Final like this because I’m passionate about the jumpers, and that’s what I ultimately want to do for a career,” Warren stated. “I have a lot of respect for this Final because I knew the goal was to have my horse prepared to jump the final round to the best of his ability. And I could feel it accomplishing that.”
Kelby Phillips wins NSHA Futurity on Duals Lucky Charm
Phillips, who’s been Dean Tuftin’s trainer at DT Ranch in Bend, Ore., about 18 months now, rode him to the National Stock Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship Aug. 21 with a solid showing that earned $16,438 for owner Mike Stewart of Munday, Texas.
“After the AQHA World, I went by my friend Jake Murray’s place in Texas, tried him out, and we bought him,” Phillips said. “He was just good-minded. Everything I done with him, he took it real good. Loped real pretty. The thing for our deal is they got to be pretty movers, and he was a pretty mover. He also had a lot of stop.”
Nine months later, all those traits put Phillips and “Will” on top the NSHA Futurity Open leaderboard as they headed into the fence work with a 4.5-point lead. Their 220 in the reining was one-point off the high score, and they had the best herd work with a 224 — a feat he credits to herd crew Mark Luis, Phillip Ralls, Zane Davis and Clayton Edsell.
CDS program put adult amateur dressage competitors in spotlight
During the week, they’re hard-working accountants, managers, students, and medical professionals, juggling careers, family, and a love of horses.
But on the weekends, legions of adult amateurs can be found at the barn or in the arena, pursuing their goals both in the saddle and in the show ring. And, thanks to the Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition program (RAAC), California Dressage Society members have the unique chance to earn special accolades among their peers.
The Equine Insurance/CDS RAAC series was created to provide adult amateur riders from all walks of life with an opportunity to qualify and compete against others of similar skills and experience. The regional nature of these shows provides CDS members with a developmental path for gaining competitive experience, promote excellence and increase awareness of and support for CDS’ Chapter organizations. Riders can qualify to participate in one of three RAAC shows held in easily-accessible venues in the Northern (Santa Rosa), Central (Paso Robles), and Southern (Del mar) regions of California, each offering a chance to compete for fabulous prizes at all dressage levels from Basic to Intermediaire I in Elite as well as Novice divisions that provide an inviting introduction for exhibitors to become familiar with the experience and atmosphere of a licensed dressage competition.
CALGARY, Alberta, Can. — The United States’ McLain Ward and HH Azur went head-to-head against Great Britain’s Scott Brash and Ursula XII in a nail-biting jump-off Sept. 11 at the CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Because the defending champions went triple-clear, Ward and HH Azur needed to complete the jump-off under 41.19 seconds. Unfortunately, they had a rail at fence two, a Rolex vertical, to end on four faults for second place. Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca and Ensor De Litrange LXII finished third with one time fault. Kent Farrington and Voyeur, also part of the U.S. contingent, finished just outside the top three with four faults.