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Rosy reining

Derby Day returns to Elk Grove and region's top reiners do, too

Releases and Staff Reports - May 21st, 2015

1505BwpcoverELK GROVE – The thrill of the Derby and the excitement of the derbies collide this time of year at Brookside Equestrian Park, home of the Rein For The Roses. For five days, included Saturday’s Kentucky Derby interlude that features mint juleps, a hat contest and a pause for all to watch the race, the Rein For The Roses lived up to its formidable reputation.

This year’s fifth edition of the show, held April 29-May 3, marked the 25th anniversary of the venue under owner Bill Madden, and both the weather and attendance could not have been better. Four days of West Coast Reining Horse Association Affiliate ancillary classes were featured, as well as the Derby on the Derby, the Maturity and NRHA Green Reiner classes.

Fever rising

CRHA 'Fiesta Fever' reining doubles in size from last year

Horsetrader Staff Reports - May 21st, 2015

Tucalota Creek Ranch was buzzing with the 2015 CRHA Fiesta Fever Reining, which doubled in size from last year.

Tucalota Creek Ranch was buzzing with the 2015 CRHA Fiesta Fever Reining, which doubled in size from last year.

Charlene Skoglund photo

TEMECULA — Normally, a rising fever is a bad thing, but the California Reining Horse Association was excited to have its Fiesta Fever show on the increase.

Club secretary Marilyn Scheffers reported the event is twice of 2014′s turnout, as more than 100 Southern California reiners flocked to Tucalota Creek Ranch for over 150 goes judged by Monica Albair.

Spur straps were awarded to champions, as CRHA members also earned points for year-end awards and a chance to ride in the Reiner of the Year contest in this October’s CRHA Challenge Reining Horse Show. An exhibitor pizza party during the event and an open wine tasting room at Tucalota Creek Ranch added to the festivities.

The big guns were on hand and meant business, and Tom Foran claimed the Open Championship on Taylor Sheridan’s Crome Plated Step. Pat Wickenheiser was reserve on Carla Meyer’s Whiz N Westcoast.

Bakersfield brings out the best

Ralls, Call Me Mitch take Derby in Lifeline Horse Trials highlight

Horsetrader Staff Reports - May 21st, 2015

Phillip Ralls and Call Me Mitch, Estelle Roitblatt's stallion son of Metallic Cat, have picked up in 2015 where they left off, taking the Lifeline Derby Open Championship, earning $6,348.

Phillip Ralls and Call Me Mitch, Estelle Roitblatt’s stallion son of Metallic Cat, have picked up in 2015 where they left off, taking the Lifeline Derby Open Championship, earning $6,348.

Big Daddy photo

BAKERSFIELD — When the California Cow Horse Association puts on a show, you can count on competition.

The Central Valley is the cradle of reined cow horse, the root of the National Reined Cow Horse Association, so when the local club competes, there’s a round-up of all-stars.

“You know, even just for our weekend shows down there in Bakersfield, we get the ‘big dogs’ because there are so many in this area,” says CCHA Board Member Lance Johnston, himself one of those big dogs. “Doug Williamson, Jake Gorrell, John Ward, Jon Roeser and Teddy (Robinson) comes over the hill with Tucker and Tina, and Ron Emmons comes down.

“You would think that our club would put on a nice little weekend show, where we go, have a little fun, and back the horses off a bit,” added Johnston. “But you really don’t get to do that if you want to place at all, or win. You still got to run pretty hard and compete. There are no freebies down there in Bakersfield.”

Feeling Flexible

Dynamic duo is winning, but Fellers says no World Cup Final on horizon

Special to the Horsetrader - May 21st, 2015

Rich Fellers and Flexible win the $60,000 Grand Prix of California May 9 at Showpark in Del Mar.

Rich Fellers and Flexible win the $60,000 Grand Prix of California May 9 at Showpark in Del Mar.

Captured Moment photo

DEL MAR — Fan favorites and famously talented duo Flexible and Rich Fellers thrilled a crowd of spectators, taking the victory in the highlight event of the week, the $60,000 Grand Prix of California, presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique at Showpark open May 9.

Back for the third time as master builder for the Ranch & Coast Classic, Texan course designer Oscar Soberon is quite familiar with the challenges of building for this class. After Thursday’s tight and technical Markel Insurance Grand Prix track, Soberon planned today’s course with less technical emphasis.

The 16-element course with a time allowed of 84 seconds presented plenty of tests for the experienced field. “It’s a $60,000 class, so it’s tougher than Thursday because of the height, but it’s not as tricky. I do think there are questions everywhere; from fence one, which is a wall, to a lot of fences with solid rails, which are always difficult to jump,” he explained. “The combination of white and black rails is also tough. I hope we get to see between four and six clear.”

Spring Forward

El Rancho Spring Classic cutting brings best to MEC

Special to the Horsetrader - May 7th, 2015

Cover ImageRANCHO MURIETA – What do you get when you take a premiere facility in a central location, mix in weekend dates that are scheduled just prior to a large regional cutting, and add a fund-raiser for a heart-felt cause?

You get success, something that the El Rancho Spring Classic, presented by Carol Ward, enjoyed in spades during its four-day run April 22-25 at the Murieta Equestrian Center. Ward, owner of Carol Ward Cutting Horses and also of the MEC, went to great lengths along with her crew to provide another fun-filled show that included tough competition, too.

Competitors from throughout the region participated in El Rancho, many of them appreciative of the chance to get some work in before the 6666 Ranch National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships 140 miles away in Reno on April 26-May 5.

Stars of Spring

Rising talent is showcased during Blenheim season

Special to the Horsetrader - May 7th, 2015

Trained by her father, Estelle Navet and Revann de Lojou have shined this spring, here winning the Modified Junior-Amateur Jumper Classic.

Trained by her father, Estelle Navet and Revann de Lojou have shined this spring, here winning the Modified Junior-Amateur Jumper Classic.

McCool photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The Spring Series in San Juan Capistrano at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park was a full four weeks this year. Offering classes for young horses and young riders as well as Hunter Derbies and Grand Prix events, there was an abundance of winners during the circuit. Highlighted below are four female champions, three amateurs and one professional, who not only enjoyed the experience but brought home some top prizes.

Estelle Navet and Revann de Lojou
Blenheim Spring was a comfortable and rewarding venue for the young and elegant Estelle Navet. Trained by her father, international show jumping champion Eric Navet, the two have formed an undeniably successful partnership. Her victory in the Modified Junior-Amateur Jumper Classic was particularly sweet with her family in attendance. Estelle credits both parents and her sister for valuable help and support.

West Coast riders Fellers, Davis finish Top 10 in World Cup Final

Special to the Horsetrader - May 7th, 2015

Rich Fellers and Flexible (left)  were seventh, and Lucy Davis finished ninth on Barron (right).

Rich Fellers and Flexible (left) were seventh, and Lucy Davis finished ninth on Barron (right).

McCool photo

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat was a happy man when claiming the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2015 title at the Thomas & mack arena April 18.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment!,” said the 32-year-old Olympic champion whose last-to-go ride was an absolute thriller.

He came into the drama-filled final competition sharing the lead with Rich Fellwers of Oregon, but it was French rider Penelope Leprevost who lined up second at the end of the day, while 19-year-old Irish talent Bertram Allen finished third.

Fellers and Flexible finished a very respectable seventh, one of three Americans who broke into the Top 10. New Yorker Beezie Madden ended up fourth, and another West Coast rider, Lucy Davis of Los Angeles riding Barron, was ninth.

Reiners hop to it

CRHA Bunny Slide draws top talent to Burbank

Horsetrader Staff Reports - April 16th, 2015

1504B CoverBURBANK — The Bunny Slide, the California Reining Horse Association’s first competition of the year, hopped into the Los Angeles Equestrian Center April 5-7, attracting established regional talent along with some newcomers looking to enjoy the popular sport.

With 175 horses competing for payouts over $12,000, this was no Easter egg hunt, as reiners vied for the payout and a variety of points. Not only were CRHA year-end and Reiner of the Year points at stake, so were points for respective NRHA Affiliate and AQHA qualifications, as well as PCHA points for the popular Jack and Linda Baker Finals event.

“We had a really nice show,” said CRHA Secretary Marilyn Scheffers, whose club will host another NRHA Affiliate-qualifier, the $11,500-added Reiner Shine, June 5-7 at the LAEC. “It was big. We pretty much had every trainer that’s on board, and we’re enjoying looking at bringing in new people now.”

Ready for the Rolex

Alliston rides Tivoli to big Galway win as Kentucky 3-day event nears

Special to the Horsetrader - April 16th, 2015

Tivoli, ridden by James Alliston to the Galway Downs International Horse Trials CIC3* Championship March 29, looks fully recovered from an injury setback and ready to compete in Lexington, Ky., later this month.

Tivoli, ridden by James Alliston to the Galway Downs International Horse Trials CIC3* Championship March 29, looks fully recovered from an injury setback and ready to compete in Lexington, Ky., later this month.

Captured Moment photo

TEMECULA — Tivoli and James Alliston jumped brilliantly and faultlessly around the cross-country course to win the CIC3* at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, finishing on their dressage score of 49.5.

Alliston and Tivoli took over the lead with a faultless show jumping round on Friday, and their fast cross-country round on Saturday kept them comfortably ahead of John Michael Durr on Esprit De La Danse (52.4) and Jolie Wentworth on GoodKnight (53.6).

Tivoli and Alliston won the Galway Downs CIC3* in March 2012, and that November they followed up that victory with another one in the Galway Downs CCI3*. But then foot problems and a dispute about his ownership kept Tivoli out of action for more than a year. Tivoli, 15, has since had surgery to remove a chip in his hoof, and Alliston is now his sole owner.

“He’s won a lot over the years, but I think I forgot what it felt like to win a big event like this,” said Alliston, of San Ramon. “It’s great fun to ride him around a big course - he’s so scopey. He makes big jumps feel not big, which is a very nice feeling. When they’re near the edge of what they can do, it’s a big deal if you make a mistake at a jump.”

Kocher finish

From St. Louis to San Juan, Andrew hits winning stride with Ciana at Blenheim

Special to the Horsetrader - April 16th, 2015

Andrew Kocher soars with Ciana in San Juan Capistrano April 11 to edge Eduardo Menenzes on Carushka in the 1.35m Jumper-Classic, sponsored by CardFlex.

Andrew Kocher soars with Ciana in San Juan Capistrano April 11 to edge Eduardo Menenzes on Carushka in the 1.35m Jumper-Classic, sponsored by CardFlex.

Amy McCool photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Saturday afternoon was filled with awards and accolades for a range of recipients, beginning with the $10,000 CardFlex 1.35m Jumper Classic, the $500 Grooms’ Class, sponsored by Shapley’s, and culminating with the $50,000 Spring Classic III Grand Prix, presented by EquiFit, Inc.

Andrew Kocher took home the top prize in the 1.35m Jumper Classic, sponsored by CardFlex, on Ciana (owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC), going quick and clear in the jump-off in 43.16 seconds. Eduardo Menezes and his own Carushka narrowly missed the win, stopping the clock in 43.30 for a close second place. The winners of Thursday’s Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix, Nayel Nassar and Nakich Double Dutch (Madeleine Wilson, owner), sped through the timers in 44.66 seconds to take home third.

As the riders took to the Grand Prix field to walk the course, the gleaming horses entered in the $500 Grooms’ Class sauntered in. Standing in center field the grooms illustrated all the essentials used to keep riders and horses prepared to enter the ring beautifully. Adolfo Garcia of Revolution Farms took home the win, showing off Laura Hite’s Chapot Z in pristine, sparkling condition.